I was having a conversation with someone a while back about cream of mushroom soup (hey, when you work with food and kitchen gadgets, this can become our topic on any given day). I think maybe the soup discussion stemmed from us talking about green bean casserole. The discussion took a sharp turn and blossomed into us chatting about Hansen’s, a dairy in nearby Hudson, Iowa. I’m not exactly sure how we got there from green bean casserole…
Hansen’s Dairy isn’t only about milk. Their products also include ground beef and dried beef, butter, cream, cheese curds, seasonal eggnog, and of course, ice cream (soft-serve, hard-pack, AND custom ice cream cakes). And while their dairy is some-30 miles from here, they have several retailers nearby that sell their products. Hansen’s is a family-owned business, and they work hard to create a great product for their customers. And those cows! They just keep cranking out the milk!
Rada Manufacturing is another locally owned family business. Manufacturing well-known kitchen knives in Waverly, Iowa, Rada has been in business since 1948. We provide 100% Made in USA cutlery, kitchen utensils, quick mixes, gourmet popcorn, cookbooks, and lots more to customers, thousands of fundraising groups, and many resellers around the country. Our future is based on our customers’ success, so of course, our customers’ success is extremely important.
It’s sort of easy to forget sometimes just how much locally owned businesses do for us and our communities. They help build strong connections by linking people in commercial and personal relationships, contribute to local causes, and return a share of profits to the local economy. And let’s not forget the amazing products they provide for our enjoyment. That alone makes life just a little bit more wonderful!
If you’re lucky enough to have a locally-owned business near you, please consider supporting them by purchasing their products or services. This is their livelihood, the livelihood of every person living under their roof, and the livelihood of their employees. That’s a lot of responsibility!
Oh, remember that green bean casserole I talked about earlier? There’s a recipe below for one that uses no “cream of” soup of any kind. Be sure to give it
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some ice cream to buy
(20 hard-pack flavors to choose from at Hansen’s). And I’ll
be scooping it with a hard-working Ice Cream Scoop from Rada!
Life is delicious!
NO-SOUP GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
2 T. unsalted butter, divided
2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed & halved
6 bacon strips
2 shallots, finely chopped (about ½ C.)
½ lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 C. crème fraîche or sour cream
⅓ C. heavy cream
1½ C. shredded Gruyère cheese
Black pepper to taste
2¼ tsp. chopped fresh marjoram or ¾ tsp. dried, optional
½ C. crumbled buttery crackers
Heat oven to 375˚. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside.
Cook the beans in a big pot of salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Transfer the beans to a bowl of cold water then drain.
Heat a big heavy skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp then transfer to paper towels to cool. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet and return the skillet to the heat. Add the shallots and cook until just barely softened, stirring constantly. Add the mushrooms and increase the heat slightly. Cook while stirring and scraping the bottom of pan, until mushrooms begin to sweat. Add a little salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a big bowl whisk together the crème fraîche or sour cream and the heavy cream. Stir in the Gruyère. Add the set-aside green beans, mushrooms and shallots. Crumble in the bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste and the marjoram if using; stir everything together until beans are well coated. Transfer to the prepped baking dish.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and toss with the cracker crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the beans. Bake for 30 minutes, until crumbs are golden brown and beans are bubbling. Let set a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
No-Soup Green Bean Casserole
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter divided
- 2 lbs Fresh Green Beans trimmed & halved
- 6 strips Bacon
- 2 whole Shallots finely chopped
- ½ lb Fresh Mushrooms sliced
- 1 c Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
- ⅓ c Heavy Cream
- 1½ c Shredded Gruyere Cheese
- 2¼ tsp Chopped Fresh Marjoram optional
- ½ c Crumbled Buttery Crackers
- Salt & Pepper to Taste