Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Cooking: Thanksgiving

no doubt...

I spend Thanksgiving with American friends living in Brussels.  The idea is not so much the "official" celebration, but more a friendly get-together, where we enjoy good food and drink, with a great bunch of friendly faces around us.

Given the recent events in Paris and around (including Brussels), I feel this year was indeed the year when I felt grateful for all my friends and family, both near and afar, both those I see on an everyday  basis but also the ones I see less often: I know they are there beside me, either physically or in spirit.  I'm never alone in the world.  And for that, I'm ever so grateful!

Onto the festivities:  also customary is the tradition of potluck: the burden does not have to fall all on the hosts - especially when a large group of people is gathered, every little contribution makes up for a festive table indeed!

My task for this year - a green bean casserole:

Green Bean Casserole
(adapted from ifoodreal)

800g green beans, trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk

1 cup water
3 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
250g thinly sliced onions (I used frozen)
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 

3 tbsp water

Preheat oven at 180C (air).  Start with the beans:  Boil water in a huge pot, add beans, salt to taste.  Bring to boil again, then simmer for about 10 minutes.  Depending on how you like the beans, either increase or decrease time. (I like mine super cooked, hence the duration...). Drain and keep aside.

On to the topping: in a  large skillet, fry the onions over medium heat until golden (I had semi-thawed the onions in the meantime).  Set aside  in a bowl to allow them to cool down a bit.

Lastly, the sauce:  in that same skillet, over medium heat, add butter and flour and combine (like with any white sauce).  Add milk, water and cream cheese and whisk all together.  Add salt and pepper to taste and then add the green beans, stirring carefully.

Finish the topping: in the bowl with the onions, add breadcrumbs, cheese and water and mix until you get a steusel-type consistency.

In a baking dish (mine was 40*15cm), transfer the green beans and cover with the topping.  Cook for about 20 minutes. Try not to eat it all at once...


  1. That looks delicious! We generally cheat here and rather than make the sauce from scratch use cream of mushroom soup ;-) Sounds like a great time.

    1. (I don't like mushrooms, hence the need to make proper sauce...)




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