I mean, where's the turkey? Where's the cranberry sauce? And more importantly, why do we have Indian food on the menu?
Each Thanksgiving, my sister, Deepa, hosts my entire family and extended family since she's my only sibling who actually cooks "meat" despite being a vegetarian, and for that, I commend her. She doesn’t take on the whole turkey challenge, but chicken will suffice.
And as much as I complained (and still do) about the highly Indianized menu (and yet no one listens to me), I look forward to my sister’s Chicken Biryani every single year. It's freakin' amazing, so much so that I don't really miss turkey, perhaps I am more Indian at heart?
Growing up in the United States, it took me a while to come to terms with our “non-traditional American-Indian” Thanksgiving, but my US born & bred teenage nieces who range between the ages of 13 to 18, uhmm, not quite the case.
This year they've demanded Deepa buy "turkey" from Boston Market along with some "traditional sides" so they can enjoy a more traditional Thanksgiving, if you will. She complied.
And now I'm left wondering, how come no one listened to me all those years when I insisted on having a more traditional Thanksgiving? Well, I guess I'm just a sibling.
To me Thanksgiving is all about family, eating, the biggest sale event of the year, and saying THANKS! I may not have turkey, but I sure am surrounded by a lot of love, and for that I'm willing to sacrifice any turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you all can find joy in your heart this time of year and something in your lives to be thankful for, for me that's always my health, my family & friends and their wellbeing, my job, my blog, and FOOD!
And now I leave you with a lighter "almost made from scratch" Green Bean Casserole where I used a little less butter, and opted for regular milk instead of cream. My casserole turned out a little more liquidy than I had hoped for, but an extra tablespoon of flour will fix that. Enjoy!
NUTRITION: Green Beans are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, and K. They are also a very good source of Fiber, Folic Acid, Vitamin B2 and B6, and a good source of Iron, Calcium, Protein, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Mushrooms are a very good source of Vitamin B6 and Protein. Cheese is an excellent source of Protein and Calcium.
INGREDIENTS (makes 4 servings, recipe very slightly modified & adapted from Smitten Kitchen):
- Pot of Water – boiling
- Fresh Green Beans – 1 pound (trimmed, halved, steamed)
- Unsalted Butter – 2 tbsp
- Baby Bella Cremini Mushrooms – 1 (12 ounce) box (sliced)
- Salt – 3/4 tsp
- Black Pepper – 1/4 tsp
- Nutmeg – just a pinch
- Cayenne Pepper – 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp
- Garlic – 2 cloves (chopped)
- All Purpose Flour – 2 tbsp (add 1 more tbsp for a thicker sauce)
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth – 1 1/2 cups (you can use Vegetable Broth too)
- Full Fat Milk – 1/2 cup
- Medium Cheddar Cheese – 1/2 cup
- Trader Joe’s Gourmet Fried Onion Pieces – 1/2 cup (you can use more)
1. Start by bringing water to a boil.
2. In the meantime, trim and cut the beans in half.
3. Once the water comes to a boil, set to medium heat, add the green beans. Let it steam for 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Once done, transfer the beans to a ice cold water bath, this will shock the beans and stop the cooking process.
5. Set aside.
6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
7. Chop the garlic and slice the mushrooms.
8. On medium heat, heat butter.
9. Once melted, add the mushrooms. Season with salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes until liquid is released.
10. In the meantime, grate 1/2 a cup of cheese.
11. Add the garlic to the mushrooms and cook for about a minute.
12. Add the flour. I added 2 tbsp of flour, but for a thicker sauce I recommend using 3 tbsp.
13. Cook for a minute so the raw flour taste goes away.
14. Slowly add the chicken broth, a little bit at a time.
15. Simmer for a minute.
16. Add the milk. Simmer for about 6 minutes on low-heat, you may need more time.
17. As you can tell, my gravy isn’t very thick, I should have let the sauce heat thru for some more time until I reached a desired consistency. At this point, add the green beans. Make sure they are well coated.
18. Top with cheddar cheese.
19. Top with fried onions.
20. Into the oven for 20 minutes until bubbly.
21. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then serve. The sauce thickens up slightly. Delicious.
TELL ME: How do you make your Green Bean Casserole? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side?