PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Magazine Food Critic Hal B. Klein is in the Pittsburgh Today Live kitchen making his favorite Thanksgiving recipe – Green Bean Casserole.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Preheat oven to 375F. Better yet, do this after you’ve pulled the turkey from the oven and it is resting (rest your turkey for at least 45 minutes).

To Begin:

  • Dice four slices of bacon and cook over medium heat until the pieces just begin to brown.
  • Set aside the bacon but keep the rendered fat in the pan.
  • Add 8oz. sliced mushrooms to the pan. Toss until sliced mushrooms are coated with the bacon fat and then don’t do anything for two minutes. Then, gently toss for a few more minutes until the mushrooms are golden brown. Add two tablespoons butter and continue to cook until the mushrooms are a deep shade of brown. Add a pinch of salt and then set mushrooms aside.

Meanwhile:

  • Remove the stem end from approximately two pounds of fresh green beans, casting aside any beans that are overly diminished in quality.
  • Boil beans in salted water for three minutes. Shake off as much water as you can and beans to a mixing bowl (or, if making in advance, shock the beans in ice water, dry them and set aside).

For the sauce:

  • Make a roux by melting two tablespoon of butter into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add two tablespoons all-purpose flour and whisky. Continue to whisk from time to time for about four minutes, until the roux just begins to turn golden and smell a little of toast. Gently stir in one cup of whole milk and three-quarters cup of heavy cream. Whisk occasionally over medium heat until the mix turns as thick as a milkshake, approximately four minutes.
  • Add a half cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed.
  • Add reserved mushrooms.

To cook:

  • Mix the green beans and the sauce. Add the whole mix to a two-quart casserole dish.
  • Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes.

To finish:

  • Top with the reserved bacon and a cup of French’s crispy fried onions. Cook for three more minutes.
  • Remove from oven and add a sprinkling of fresh lemon zest.
  • Let rest for ten minutes prior to serving.

Hal B. Klein is associate editor and dining critic for Pittsburgh Magazine. Recipe inspirations from Bon Appétit and The Pioneer Woman.