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Monday, March 14, 2011

Cleanin' Out the Freezer

Spring is coming.  I promise. No, really.  The calendar says so.  And with it will come garden fresh greens and eventually full on summer produce.  But, for now, we are stuck with whatever we put away last summer.  By now, even with the best of freezing methodologies, some of it is startin' to look a little, well, weak shall we say.

Have no fear.  I have a solution for that.  At least, for some of it.

Here it is.  The solution to all of your green bean woes.  Disguise it with cheese and no one will ever know.

Butter, always an excellent starting point.  Butter keeps well on the counter for a very long time.  Except in super hot, groady weather.  Then you might need to keep it in the fridge.  Otherwise, it's fine sitting there.  But don't tell the health unit.  They get picky about these things.

Frozen butter is much easier to get the wrapper off of than warm butter.  This eliminates the stress inducing "what do I do with the wrapper that's filled with half of my butter" dilemma. It also comes off nice and neatly.  It also allows you to stock up when it's good and cheap.

Toss in the butter and finely chopped onions.  As pictured above, I was too lazy/couldn't be bothered to go all the way down to the cold cellar AGAIN to get more fresh onions.  So I used some of the french fried onions.  They actually added a very nice taste to the mixture.

Note at this point:  If you are using previously frozen beans, be sure to thaw and drain them.  Too much water ruins everything.

Then add the cheese.  Add as much as feels right.  Ignore the recipe on this point.  Just this once.

Then flour, pepper, salt, and sugar.  Unbelievably, that little bit of sugar makes a difference.

After giving the rest of the ingredients a stir, mix in the sour cream.  Being a bit of a sour cream snob, I really prefer to use Sealtest.  For those of you not living in Ontario or Quebec, I am so sorry.  You will have to make due with an inferior substitute.  And for the love of all that's holy - full fat sour cream.  None of that namby pamby low fat zero fat nonsense.

Take some more butter and melt it in a measuring cup, then add the bread crumbs.

Give it a good stir.  At this point, do not confuse it with graham cracker crust mixin's.  That would not do at all.

Top of your scrummy dish with the crumb mixture.  Then pop it, uncovered, in a 350 F oven for 35-40 minutes.
The smell will be intoxicating.  Onions, cheese, butter.

Allow it a few minutes to set up and cool.  The fats in the dairy products will hold their heat for a considerable length of time.  Patience is necessary grasshopper.  Otherwise, you'll burn your tongue and won't taste any of this.

And here it is, in all its deliciousness.

I would also say cooked, crumbled bacon would be scrummy in here.

Sundried tomatoes might also be tasty.

If fresh onions aren't available in your house on the day these are made (and I know you're going to), dried or french fried onions will also work wonderfully well.

After this is cooked, it will keep for several days, well covered, in the fridge.

This can also be made in the crockpot, although the crumb topping does not have the same crunch.

And there you have it.  You have successfully disguised last year's vegetables.  And only dirtied two dishes and a spoon. 1. 2.
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