Homemade Green Bean Casserole

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Let me preface this whole post by saying I don’t think I have ever had the green bean casserole with the canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup. I have definitely had those french fried onions (#latenightsnacking).

I’ve made homemade green casserole before on the blog, but I was never completely satisfied by it. One of the hardest things when first cooking what how to get sauces to thicken with a roux. I swear that I would follow recipe directly exactly but it would never thicken up as promised (I am looking at you chicken pot pie recipes…).

BUT I was determined. And I wanted to make a casserole completely from scratch to see if I could get those french fried onions to be even better than than those boxed ones.

And finally I feel like I was able to master a homemade version of cream of mushroom! Forgive the darker photo from a winter evening and make this homemade this holiday season!

HOMEMADE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated & Pioneer Woman

For the Casserole:
1 lb green beans, trimmed and chopped
1 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup half and half

For the onions:
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
Oil for frying

DIRECTIONS

Cover sliced onions with buttermilk and refrigerate for an hour.

Heat large pan and add green beans. Cook for 2-3 minutes until sizzling. Add water until beans are just covered and cook for 4-5 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain green beans and cool with cold water (or do water bath if you aren’t feeling as lazy as I was when cooking).

Heat large pan and add butter and mushrooms. Season with salta and pepper and cook until mushrooms have released water, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in chicken stock and half and half. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer while stirring. Simmer until thicken for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer into 8×8 casserole dish (or 9×9 if you want a smaller filling to fried onion ratio.)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil to 375°F.

In large dish, mix flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Working in batches, drain onions and dip into flour mixture, coating to cover. Fry in oil for 1-3 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain and salt when hot out of the oil. Repeat with remaining batches.

Sprinkle onions on top of casserole. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until bubbling and onions are golden brown.

Homemade Microwave Potato Chips

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Hello? Anyone out there?

It’s me again, your long lost friend who loves to eat a lot.

I started a lot of blogs in my adolescent years (anyone else remember xanga?), and I would always start off posting “I am finally going to start a website and actually keep up with it!”.  Then, like clockwork, I would post 3-7 posts and then lose my way.  Well, with this site I’ve had a pretty good track record since I started it almost 3 years ago but recently it’s been a lot of radio silence.  My bad.

So, I am back with a resolution to resume cooking and posting more. And today we are back with a doosie: homemade potato chips.

I’ve been thinking about food a lot lately- how it’s linked a lot to family memories.  So I am commemorating my return to Cinnamon Freud with a food my family (especially my dad) loves: potato chips.  And they are fun to make homemade and (despite the damage of a permanent black circle in the middle of one of my mom’s plates and burning the tips of my fingers) all in the microwave.  I promise: it really works!

HOMEMADE MICROWAVE POTATO CHIPS
From the kitchn

INGREDIENTS

Russet potatoes
Kosher salt (or other desired seasonings)
Paper towels

DIRECTIONS

Slice potatoes extremely thin using a mandolin. Soak potatoes in warm water. Working in small batches at a time, dry sliced potatoes.

Line a plate with a paper towel. Place potatoes in a single layer on top. Season with salt. Microwave at full power for 3 minutes. Flip over. Microwave at 50% power for 3 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batches.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

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It is that time of the year to start eating big, warm, gooey casseroles. The cold wind is blowing outside, and I am refusing to leave the warmth of indoor heating.  However, sticking my hands and head in the oven to get out a warm, bubbly casserole is a lovely way to get warm. I have some understanding on Sylvia Plath in the winter months.

So it’s the time for casseroles: with lots of cheese and carbs- and maybe a few vegetables if we are trying to get on Santa’s nice list. One good old favorite casserole for the holiday season is the classic green bean casserole.

Every one seems to love a good green bean casserole- even botany.  And while there is nothing wrong with making green been casserole from mushroom soup and using the canned fried onions, if you love to cook, green bean casserole from scratch is absolutely delicious- and not really that much more difficult. This is perfect for any upcoming holiday celebration- and even better, all the components can be made ahead of time with just a quick bake before serving.

Santa, I am possibly interested in a stocking full of fried onions.  Let’s talk.

HOMEMADE GREEN BEEN CASSEROLE
From Cinnamon Freud

INGREDIENTS

4-5 shallots, thinly sliced
Flour, for dredging
Oil, for deep frying
1 – 1 1/2 pounds hairicot verts
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 pounds mushrooms, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan, fill oil about 2 inches high.  Heat to 375°F. Dredge shallots in flour.  Shake off excess.  Fry for about 1-2 minutes, until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Repeat with remaining shallots. Set aside.  You can make the shallots the night before- just keep stored in layers on paper towels in an air tight container.

Prepare your hairicot verts (or normal green beans).  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Working in batches, boil the green beans for about 1-3 minutes.  Immediately transfer to ice water.  Remove from ice water.  Set aside.

Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and cook mushrooms until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper (you may need to do this in batches depending how large of a pan you have).  Combine in a bowl with green beans.

In a saucepan, melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Add leeks and cook until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper, about 5-8 minutes.  Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Slow whisk in milk and chicken/vegetable stock.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened about 5-8 minutes.  Stir in marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour sauce over green beans and mushrooms.  Stir together and put in casserole dish.  This can also be stored overnight covered in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Sprinkle fried shallots on top of casserole.  Bake until warm and bubbly, about 10-18 minutes.

Homemade Fig Newtons

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There is a theory out there (meaning I heard it in one place) that combines my two loves: food and movies.  Apparently, those who are powerful in movies are those who eat other people’s food.  They are more likely to survive the movie.

My favorite movie and food combo: I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE.  I have never seen There Will be Blood, but I can watch Daniel Day Lewis scream about milkshakes for hours.  #productivity

So what you should do is make up a batch of these homemade fig newtons, serve them to friends and family, then take their fig newtons and eat them.  Then shout  “I EAT YOUR FIG NEWTONS”.

Yes, you want to eat fig newtons and shout about them.  Even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of the store bought packaged “cookies” (let’s get real, I love fig newtons but they really aren’t a cookie).  Instead eat this soft, chewy dough and the sweet fig filling with the occasional crunch of seeds- homemade here really is better.  I loved these little snacks, and the possibilities are endless with different fruit fillings.

I’M KING OF THE WORLD. FREEDOOOOOOM.  I WANT THE TRUTH- YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH. WHAT’S IN THE BOXXXXXXX.

Yeah, now  am just listing shouted movie quotes. I should just stuff a bunch of fig newtons in my mouth and shut up.

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HOMEMADE FIG NEWTONS
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
3 ounces butter, softened
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking power
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-2 tablespoons cold water

For the Fig Filling:
2 cups figs, stems cut off
2 cups orange juice
1 cup water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

For the Dough:

In a large bowl, cream together butter and light brown sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.  In a separate bowl whisk all purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt . Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until a soft dough forms.  Stir in water if needed, starting with 1 tablespoon.  Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for 2-4 hours.

For the Fig Filling:

Meanwhile, place figs, orange juice, and water in a saucepan.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  Stir in sugar.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Transfer to a food processer or blender and processes until smooth.  Let cool.

For the Fig Newtons:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into two pieces.  Roll out dough into a rectangle until dough his about 1/4 inch thick.*  Spread half of the fig filling down the middle, leaving a 3/4-1 inch border.  Fold dough over and pinch closed.  Repeat with remaining dough and fig filling.  Bake for 18-21 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool and cut into bars.

Makes 30-40 fig newtons.

*I found the dough difficult to roll out, so I divided it into 4 pieces and using my finger to push it out.