I love this mashed potato green bean casserole. Buttery mashed potato base topped with green beans in a rich cheese sauce making the best comfort food side dish. You will know what I mean after tasting it.
5 cups mashed potatoes (see below)
4 cups cooked fresh green beans*
3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
3 TBS unsalted butter
3 TBS flour
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup chicken broth*
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 can French fried onions
When ready, PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 inch pan with oil and set aside.
Going by the general rule that one pound of potatoes makes 4 cups cooked/mashed potatoes, I use 1.5 - 2 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes. Peel and cut the potato in half vertically and half that horizontally and half them again. Rinse well after peeling and put in salted water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until fork tender. When cut into smaller pieces, it doesn't take long to cook Drain well and put back into the hot pan to dry.
Add 3 TBS unsalted butter, 1/2 brick of cream cheese (4 oz), 1 cup warm half-and-half, salt and pepper to taste and mash until you reach the desired consistency. Line the bottom of the 9x13 with the mashed potatoes and lightly smooth out to seal around the edges.
Green Bean Casserole
Fry the bacon in a large skillet until almost crisp and add the onion. Fry until translucent, and add the garlic. Remove bacon, onion and garlic with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
Keep the bacon fat in the pan and add the butter. When melted whisk in the flour and continue whisking until it begins to turn brown; approximately 2 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth. Continue cooking until it thickens and add the cheese. Whisk until melted and thoroughly combined.
Add the bacon and onion mixture and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until combined and cook for two additional minutes. Finally add the cooked green beans and mix to combine. Pour evenly over the mashed potato layer and sprinkle with French fried onions. Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes.
Cooking Fresh Green Beans
To cook fresh green beans, remove the ends by lining them up and cutting the stem off. Cut into bite sized pieces. Bring salted water to a boil and add the green beans. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste to see if they are done. Drain well.
Easy Chicken Broth
Add one teaspoon of Better than Bouillon to one cup of hot water and taste after it has dissolved. Add more if needed.