Green bean casserole was, and still remains, a favorite Thanksgiving memory. Mom would crank the top off Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, mix it with canned green beans and top it with a whole tin of french-fried onions. It was dirty. And perfect.
Times have slightly changed, but green bean casserole still holds a special place in my heart. I will be honest, although this version includes fresh cream and a biscuit top, and does its part to reduce the continuous heap of green beans coming in from the garden, I will always have a soft spot for my childhood version. But this one does contain some serious pull. So without trying to compete with childhood loyalties, I give you:
Fresh Green Bean Casserole with Buttermilk Biscuit Top:
*8 cups loosely packed fresh green beans, tops removed and chopped into quarters
*2 cups quality whole milk
*1 cup fresh cream
*3 tablespoons unsalted butter
*3 heaping tablespoons AP flour
*1 small sweet onion, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*fresh ground black pepper
Buttermilk Biscuit Top:
*2 cups quality AP flour
*1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cubed
*1 cup buttermilk
Place a large pot filled 3/4 with salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add prepared green beans. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until beans are tender but still bright green. Strain.
Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Melt butter in same pot over medium heat. Add flour and mix into a roux with a wooden spoon. Brown roux stirring often then add the onion and garlic. Stir. Once aromatic, add milk and cream. Whisk. Bring to a simmer whisking constantly. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Allow liquid to reduce by a third, and thicken before adding the strained green beans. Stir. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish. Set aside.
Make biscuit topping by mixing the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Cut in the butter and blend with fingertips into the flour until it resembles a course meal. Mix in the buttermilk with a fork until completely incorporated. Do not over mix.
Gently flatten about 3 Tablespoons of dough into pieces and place over green bean mixture to create a top with small gaps between dough pieces.
Bake until cream sauce bubbles and biscuit top is golden, about 20-25 minutes.
Cool slightly before serving.
And don't forget to raise a glass in honor of mom.