Welcome to Eat Me, a column about cooking at home in Birmingham, Alabama

By JH Daniel, Jennifer H. Daniel and The Chef’s Wife

Thanks For Stopping By

A few of you may know me for writing The Chef’s Wife, a column I rarely update on a food blog I started five years ago called Radiclet. Maybe you were kind enough to read one of my food tutorials on Wonder How To or my food sustainability reporting at Civil Eats. Lord, bless you, if you ever read one of my stories at Arriviste Press or the Southern Arts Journal or anything I wrote that was printed on paper. I’m sorry. Really. Youth is fleeting. As Ryan Adams and David Rawlings once wrote, “When you’re young you get sad, then you get high …”

I write stories and recipes under different names and probably different personalities. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was 19, when I was covering arts and culture for The Crimson White and trying to get published pretty much anywhere. I’m happy to still be here, sharing snarky editorials on Alabama politics, along with local happenings and all things southern food. My newest project is this journalism experiment you’re reading. It’s called The Avondale Reader. More on that later.

Let’s kick things off at Eat Me with a creative use for leftover biscuits, one that you can use in savory or sweet applications.

Crumbly Biscuit Topping Works On Everything, Especially Casseroles

I found some leftover biscuits my husband made, and while I am not a leftover biscuit fan, I figured they must be good for something. Leftover homemade biscuits just aren’t the same as fresh ones, even if you butter them and reheat them. So I crumbled the biscuits up, poured melted butter over them, gave them a stir and then used them as a topping for green bean casserole. Instant buttery topping!

Don’t fret. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving to make this hearty side dish, and you don’t even need a can of soup.

For a light dinner, try this easy homemade green bean and mushroom casserole

Green Bean Casserole With Buttery Biscuit Topping

(Serves 4–6)

Ingredients:

2 lbs of fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half

8 ounces of sliced mushrooms

Tip: Don’t rinse those mushrooms. Just brush off the dirt and slice them. If you get the mushrooms wet, they won’t brown properly.

3 large cloves of garlic, chopped

8 ounces of heavy whipping cream, milk, almond or soy milk

2–4 ounces of vegetable stock, chicken stock or water

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 Tablespoon of butter

2 ounces of flour or make a cornstarch slurry

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan or a medium-sized stock pot.

Add the mushrooms. Salt and pepper them while they are cooking.

Cook for five to seven minutes, until they are browned a bit and soft.

Turn the heat down and add the garlic. Let the garlic and mushrooms cook for a few minutes.

Add the cream, turn up the heat and let the cream come up to a boil. Turn down and let simmer until the cream has reduced, about five to seven minutes. Remove from heat.

Place your fresh green beans in a shallow baking dish. Pour the mushroom cream mixture over the green beans.

Don’t wash that mushroom/cream pan! Leave the little bits of goodness in there and turn the heat back on to medium low. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 ounces of flour. Make a roux. Add your vegetable stock, chicken stock or water, whichever you choose. This will yield a small portion of extra gravy for the casserole. Spoon this on top of your green bean mixture. If you prefer the cornstarch slurry, leave out the butter and add your liquid to the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom. Once it comes to a boil, add your cold slurry mixture and turn down the heat when it starts to thicken, turning it all the way off when your desired consistency is reached.

Sprinkle the buttery biscuit crumbs on top of the casserole and bake at 350°. Cook for twenty to thirty minutes, until the topping turns golden.