Ahem. Are you listening? PUT THE CANNED GREEN BEANS DOWN. We know they're easier to deal with than trimming fresh beans, but the taste and crunch of fresh beans really can't be beat. You might be used to the traditional green bean casserole using canned beans and soup and those delicious, crunchy French fried onions. But we're here to contribute to a new tradition on your Thanksgiving table: Cheddar Green Bean Casserole. It has... are you ready for this?... FRESH GREEN BEANS, FRESH MUSHROOMS, FRESH SHALLOTS and REAL CABOT SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE! Ok, we'll stop yelling now. We're just so excited about this new and improved Thanksgiving staple.
Cabot Creamery is a 1,200+ farm family dairy cooperative with members in New England and upstate NY producing all natural, award-winning cheeses, including the "World's Best Cheddar", as well as a tasty variety of flavored cheddars. The extra sharp cheddar used to make the sauce for these beans is tangy, creamy and absolutely delicious. If you never made a cheese sauce before, fear not! We'll walk you through the steps in the directions.
To make this casserole you will need:
Cooking spray 6 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 pounds) 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 3 shallots, minced 8 ounces Cremini or Button mushrooms, chopped 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 cup dry sherry 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth 1 cup half and half 8 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar (or any sharp white cheddar), grated (about 2 cups), divided 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1. Preheat oven to 400 ºF. Coat 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Meanwhile, bring several inches of water to boil in large saucepan fitted with steamer. Add green beans and steam until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove steamer from saucepan and put beans in an ice bath to stop beans from cooking further.
3. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter. Add shallots and cook until just starting to brown. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt, pepper, and cook. Stir occasionally until mushrooms have released their juices and liquid has evaporated. Add sherry and cook. Stir occasionally until liquid has evaporated.
4. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture and stir to coat. Cook flour until light brown. Add broth and milk and bring to simmer, stirring often, until sauce is thickened.
5. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheddar. Add green beans and stir to combine. Transfer to prepared dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar.
6. In small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, paprika, and onion powder. Sprinkle over casserole.
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top. Let cool slightly before serving.