Green bean casserole was first created in 1955 by Campbell’s to showcase the versatility of their Cream of Mushroom Soup. As canned green beans and Campbell’s soup were two items common to the 1950’s cupboard, this became one of those “quick and easy” Thanksgiving side dishes. While the classic green bean casserole is a combination of green beans, cream of mushroom soup and fried onions, I decided to put a Peruvian twist on the dish. This recipe uses fresh green beans, a home-made, low-fat mushroom sauce, and popped kiwicha on top for some crunch. It is delicious!
Green Bean Casserole with Popped Kiwicha
1-2 cups popped kiwicha
2 lbs. fresh green beans, ends removed, cut in half
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, diced fine
5 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp All-purpose flour
3 cups low-fat milk
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Medium sauté pan with lid
Large pot with lid
Large sauté pan
Medium casserole dish
-For the popped kiwicha:
Heat a medium saute pan over high heat until the entire surface is extremely hot. Add 1 tablespoon of kiwicha and evenly distribute it in the pan. No oil is needed. Cover the pan with a glass lid and allow the kiwicha to “pop” until white, roughly 30 seconds, making sure to move the pan over the heat to ensure even heat distribution. When popped, remove the kiwicha from the heat and immediately transfer to a bowl.
Repeat step 1 until the desired amount of kiwicha is popped. It may take a round or two of trial and error to get the heat, movement of the pan, and the timing just right, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time, and then popping kiwicha will be fun as well as practical.
-for the green bean casserole:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add green beans and simmer for 3-5 minutes until al dente. Drain beans in a colander and run cold water over the beans to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and continue cooking until fragrant.
Sprinkle flour evenly over the surface of the onion mixture. Turn heat to low, and stir mixture with a wooden spoon until the flour has been absorbed.
Slowly add milk, one tablespoon at a time, to incorporate. When the mixture starts taking on the consistency of a sauce, switch to a whisk. Add remaining milk and whisk to combine. Add paprika, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the consistency of a creamy soup. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place blanched green beans in a lightly oiled casserole dish. Pour mushroom sauce over the top. Sprinkle popped kiwicha over the top of the casserole and bake for 15-25 minutes until the sauces start bubbling. Enjoy.
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