Thanksgiving Roundup: The Dinner

Ah, Thanksgiving. Have I mentioned how much I love it? We were lucky to be hosting some great friends who also happen to be transplanted Pennsylvanians like ourselves:


Good friends and good eats made for a great holiday! Let's get a closer look at the dinner we enjoyed:


Clockwise from the top, we had turkey (of course), green bean casserole, parsley mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce, and turkey stuffing.

This is all pretty standard fare for Thanksgiving, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Tiegan made the cranberry sauce by following the time-honored direction on the bag from Ocean Spray (we only had a handful of cranberries of our own this year, which I have other, more garnish-like plans for). Kirk added fresh parsley to the mashed potatoes to use it up, but it was a nice addition.

The green bean casserole, though, is a homemade riff on the old Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup-using invention (which I will admit to loving). It's a pretty tasty upgrade!

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

8 oz mushrooms, finely chopped 
2 Tbs. butter 
2 Tbs. plus 1 cup flour 
salt, pepper, thyme, and cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1 gallon bag of frozen green beans 
1 leek, chopped into half-inch pieces and separated into rings (a little--don't gp crazy worrying about that)
oil for frying

1. Melt butter into a saucepan and sauté chopped mushrooms over medium heat until softened. Then stir in 2 Tbs. flour to make a roux before stirring in the cream. Cook cream down on low heat so it thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme to taste. This is your not-from-a-can cream of mushroom sauce.

2. Add your green beans to the sauce (or vice versa), mixing thoroughly in a casserole dish. 

3. Add 1 cup of flour to a mixing bowl, adding salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Toss leek rings into the mixture to coat them, sifting off excess flour. 

4. Heat cooking oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat (a deep fryer would work if you've got one lying around). Fry leeks in small batches until crispy; drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle these evenly over the top of your casserole. These are you not-from-a-can French Fried Onion Crunchies. 

 5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes (easily accomplished while the turkey is resting). 

6. Eat in mass quantities on Thanksgiving. Also good throughout winter for as long as you have frozen green beans!

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