Saturday, February 15, 2014

Scratch Made Green Bean Casserole

This made from scratch green bean casserole has a bit of a twist to it. Instead of just having the casserole and then a topping of fried onions, this casserole also has a quick and easy crust. There are no canned cream of anything nor any canned green beans. This recipe calls for only fresh ingredients. I hope you enjoy it.

3-4 Cups of Cleaned and Cut Green Beans
1 Teaspoon of Garlic
2 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon of Sun Dried Tomato Oil
4 Sun Dried Tomatoes
2 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Pinch of Lawrys Season Salt
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 1/2 Cup French Fried Onion
15 Ritz Crackers

Start by trimming the green beans and cutting them on an angle into 2-3 pieces.

After you are done trimming the beans, add them in a pot with 1 1/2 cups of water and close the lid on the pot. This will steam the green beans.
Steam for 3-5 minutes and then drain them. The beans will still be pretty raw but will continue to cook later on. After draining them, add them back in the same pot and add the 1 tablespoon of butter and the garlic. Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes. 

Then chop up the sun dried tomatoes and add them into the pot. Cook for 2 minutes and then add 1 tablespoon of the sun dried tomato oil and 1 more tablespoon of butter.

Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes and make sure you don't see any more white spots from the flour.

Then add in your milk and seasonings. Stir until the milk is smooth and has no lumps from the flour. Cook on medium low for 6 minutes, this stage will allow the sauce to thicken and furthermore cook the green beans.

Grate in some sharp yellow cheese and stir into the beans to add some depth of flavor and silkiness. Finally stir in 1 cup of the french fried onions.

Set aside the green bean mixture and grab a round baking dish and the ritz crackers. Crush the crackers with your hands and line in a uniform layer the crumbs on the bottom of the dish.

Pour in the green bean mixture on top of the crust and smooth out with spatula. Then top with the remaining onions. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ever

This grilled cheese sandwich is simply divine. Its the perfect blend of cheesy goodness and sophisticated flavor. Its perfect with soup or just served on its own. Lets get started.

2 Cloves of Garlic
2 tablespoons of Canola Mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of Parmesan
1 teaspoon of  Mustard
4 sun Dried Tomatoes about  1 1/2 tablespoon
2 oz. Cheddar Cheese, 2 slices
2 oz. Pepper Cheese, 2 slices
Lawry's Season Salt
Bagel cut in half, or 2 Slices of Bread

Start by microwaving the garlic for 1-2 minutes until it becomes soft.

Then remove the skin and mash with 1/4 teaspoon of salt until it forms a paste.


 Add the garlic to a bowl and add the Parmesan, mayonnaise and mustard and mix.

Then chop up 3 of the 4 sun dried tomato's and sort of mash it with your knife to break up any big chunks. Then add that to the bowl of yummy deliciousness. Also add in pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of season salt


Then take an ounce of each cheddar and pepper jack and dice into really small bits.

Add the cheese into the mixture and then spread that mixture onto both sides of the bagel/bread .


Now before we continue can we talk about the bread of choice? I'm choosing to use a bagel, which is harder to find then traditional white bread, but I feel it makes a better choice because it is a heartier bread and can withstand all this cheesy goodness that we are adding to it. If I were to use plain old white bread then the sandwich would fall apart and get greasy fast. By using the bagel its just insurance that the sandwich will make it onto the plate in one piece. Now enough about the bread and lets get back to the actual recipe.

After you've spread the mixture equally on both sides, take the remaining 2 ounces of cheese and lay it on top of the mixture.

Then slice the remaining sun dried tomato and place on top of cheese and then close the bread up.


Place the sandwich in a dry pan on low heat. Then add a plate and something heavy on top of it to weigh it down. I used a can of corn( not that heavy BTW but had  no other options)

Cook until cheese is melted and both sides are crisp, about 4 minutes a side. Its crucial that the heat remains on low so the cheese gets a chance to melt and the mixture becomes one with the bread and not burn the bread so patience is key. Once that happens remove from pan and enjoy.

I like to serve sandwich with some tangy Herb soup. If anyone wants I would love to share the recipe with the soup with you. In the meantime give this recipe a try and tell me how it goes.