Neil and I love to cook. We make a lot of yummy dinners. We try a lot of new recipes. In fact, one of our goals for this year was to try (at least) two new recipes every month, focusing on techniques, cooking styles or foods we don't usually cook. We even take a lot of pictures of our food! But we never do anything with any of it! So I decided, that every now and then, when I come across a real winner, I'll give it a "shout-out" on my blog. If you, like me, try recipes based on reviews, know that any I tell you about here...have made the cut for us! We had one such recipe for our Pitman Thanksgiving. Now, you should know, that when it comes to Pitman parties, we all have certain special "must bring" items, which makes divvying up the menu quite easy! Mom usually takes care of the turkey and dressing, and if it's Christmas, contributes her famous Christmas pudding. Becky has an amazing cranberry citrus salad that is always on the menu. I make my Grandma Shedden's homemade rolls, and Ashlee (almost without fail) handles desert. We divide up the other things, like potatoes, and specific holiday-centric vegetables accordingly too.
This year I ended up assigned to the green bean casserole. Call it sacrilege, but neither Neil nor I are huge fans of the standard mushroom soup/canned bean/French's onion version. It tastes alright, but it doesn't "wow" us. This is probably because it's totally not a Canadian dish...! We never had it until we moved here, so it's lacking the nostalgia factor for us. So we went out on a limb and tried The Pioneer Woman's version. She's never failed us yet, and she came through with this recipe in a big way! It uses fresh beans instead of frozen, a homemade bechemal in place of the canned soup, and adds bacon, caramelized onion, pimentos and (our addition, thanks to Alton Brown, our other food guru) fried mushrooms. We decided to stick with tradition in at least one area, and replaced her Panko topping with the French's onions, but I think next time I would go with the Panko. It did take a lot longer to prepare than the original, what with the blanching of the beans, the frying of the accessory items and the roux-turned-bechemal, but I think it was worth every minute! It was fantastic! (As was everything else at our feast!)
If you, like me, are not in love with the standard green bean casserole, I urge you to try this one this Thanksgiving! If you love the old favorite and can't bear to have anything else on your Thanksgiving table, try it for something else! You'll be glad you did! I'd love to include a photo, but we were already late. Besides, my photos don't hold a candle to P-Dub's, so when you check out the recipe, you can drool over hers!