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Creamy Green Bean Casserole

Creamy Green Bean Casserole
Howard Yoon for NPR /

The cream of mushroom soup in the 1950s version of this dish gets a makeover with sauteed fresh button mushrooms and a traditional white sauce that's easy to make. The sauce should coat the green beans, not drown them. For the topping, use crushed oyster crackers, saltines or fried onions if you prefer.

Makes 4 to 8 servings

1 pound green beans, trimmed, cut in half

1 tablespoon butter

12 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 sprig fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups milk, preferably whole

1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Swiss)

Cornflake Topping

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 to 1 1/2 cups cornflakes cereal (placed in a zip-lock bag and crushed by hand)

1/2 cup shredded cheese (use same kind as in main recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8-by-8-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook green beans until firm but tender to the bite, about 5 minutes. Immerse green beans in a large bowl of ice water or run under cold tap water for 2 minutes to preserve color. Allow to drain in colander.

In a large deep skillet over medium high heat, add butter and mushrooms. Stir occasionally until water cooks out of mushrooms, about 5 minutes.

Add flour, salt, pepper, thyme and garlic and stir in milk until consistency is thick and uniform. Turn off heat.

Add cheese and green beans. Mix thoroughly, then pour contents into the casserole dish.

To make topping, pour melted butter over crushed cornflakes in a bowl. Mix in cheese. Spread evenly over the top of the casserole.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until topping is golden brown.

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