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Holiday Favorites from Cafe 43: Green Bean Casserole

Article by Sally McDonough November 25, 2013 //   3 minute read

This week, we’re highlighting some of our team’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes, as interpreted by John Maas, the Executive Chef at the Bush Center’s Café 43. He will be preparing them at holiday parties at the Bush Center this season, and now he’s sharing the recipes on our blog so that anyone can prepare the same dishes for their own holiday table.

Today’s dish is a classic: green bean casserole.

Green Bean Casserole


1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed, washed, and cut into 2" pieces
2 tbsp butter
8 ounces small mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp flour
1¼ cup chicken broth
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt, or to taste
¼ tsp finely ground black pepper, or to taste
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Crispy onion strings for topping:
1 ½ small yellow onions
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
pinch cayenne pepper
1 qt vegetable oil, or as needed for frying


Preheat oven to 425F.

Bring 6 qts water to a boil.  In a separate bowl combine 3 qts water and 3 qts ice, stir, and set aside.  Add the trimmed and cut green beans to the boiling water and cook for 6 minutes.  Drain the beans in a colander and immediately transfer the beans to the bowl of ice water.  Allow to fully chill in ice water and drain again in the colander.

In a medium sauce pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and the juices start to come out.  Add the garlic and chopped onion and cook 2-3 more minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over while stirring constantly to avoid heavy clumping and cook one minute.  Add the broth, stir well, and bring back to a simmer for one minute until thickened.  Add the cream, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper, simmer briefly, and remove from heat.  Stir in parmesan cheese.

Slice 1 ½ yellow onions very thinly.  Sprinkle the onions with 1/2 tsp salt and toss gently in a small bowl to coat.  Allow to rest 15 minutes to allow the salt to draw moisture out of the onions.  Carefully heat the oil in a skillet to 325-350F.  In a large bowl or gallon size zip lock bag, combine the onions, flour, and cayenne pepper and toss well to coat and separate the layers of onions.  Shaking off the excess flour, fry the onions in batches until golden brown and crisp.  Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Combine the green beans and the mushroom mixture in an oven safe dish or baking pan. Bake until bubbly, 14-17 minutes.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle the crispy onions over the top, and return to oven and bake for 2 more minutes.  Serve immediately.