As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to break out the recipes and start sharing them with everyone. This is one of my favorite dishes because the sweetness of the caramelized onions, mixes with the bechamel and the almonds to give the beans a distinctive taste. No greasy, canned onions here – Enjoy!
3 large onions, sliced into half moons
1 lbs of fresh green beans
1/4 cup of sliced almonds
2 – 3 cups half and half (you may not use all three cups)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 stick of butter (go ahead use the whole stick) – You will need 1 to 2 pats for the onions
1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour (I use Wondra in the convenient spill proof container )
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Non-stick cooking spray
Cook the beans in boiling water for about 5 minutes and immediately transfer to an ice bath. Set aside. Sprinkle with Red Pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cook the onions in a little bit of olive oil (one circle around the pan) and 2 pats of butter. Saute and cook over low/medium heat until onions have caramelized and are a nice golden brown color. The darker the better without burning them. Set aside when done.
In a saucepan, add the remaining butter, melt it down. Add the flour and cook it in the butter until it no longer looks pasty. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Add the half and half and whisk together. Mixture should thicken a little and coat a spoon. Remove from heat. Grate some nutmeg into the cream mixture (about 1/2 teaspoon) and stir. Set aside when done.
In a casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, layer some green bean, some of the cream mixture, some of the onions and some of the almonds. Repeat finishing up with onions and almonds on the top. Top with Cheddar Cheese.
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.