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How to make green bean casserole the fancy way

Stock image from Flickr user Burger Baroness

Green bean casserole with homemade onion rings

This dish can wait in the oven for as long as it takes to get dinner on the table - especially if you wait 'til the last minute to put those crispy onion rings on top.

2 pounds green beans

2 T. butter

1½ - 2 T. flour

½ cup milk (or buttermilk)

8 oz. chopped or sliced mushrooms

16 oz. sour cream (fat free works, too)

1½ T. Worcester sauce

2 tsp. salt

Pinch of spice (I prefer thyme)

1 T. dried onion

Optional -

1 cup shredded white cheese

½ or more onion, sliced thin, soaking in milk

¾ cup additional flour (to coat onions)

Oil for frying

Boil beans to soft consistency. Preserved garden beans also work well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat and sprinkle 1½ - 2T. flour to make a rue (sticky paste, like you use to start gravy). Add 2T. milk, and whisk in well. Repeat until ½ cup milk is gone. Dump mushrooms, sour cream, Worcester sauce, spice, dried onion and salt into pan, stirring well, and heat. Add cheese if desired. Put hot beans in casserole dish, and pour cream sauce over the top, stirring minimally. Put in oven till bubbly (not less than 25 minutes), and keep on low as long as needed. Before serving, heat oil to make onion rings (slightly higher than medium high heat or 370 degrees in a deep fryer). In a separate bowl, mix some flours (I like to use rye and whole wheat with a little white flour). Take onion rings out of milk and toss in flour to coat well. Oil is ready when it sizzles when you put anything in it. Fry coated onions for about four minutes until they are darker than a golden brown. Set on paper towel to drain, then set on casserole.

Joshua Simmers - Mandan, N.D.