It is hard to believe that Christmas will be here in a few short days! It always seems that these days are on fast-forward and in a blink it is Christmas Eve, then Christmas day, and then the day after. It must be the quickest time of year! On Christmas Eve, Greg and I will go to services and then spend Christmas day with my parents. Yesterday we went to a fun family party at his sister’s house. Every year she gathers the family for a nice party that includes a “gag” gift exchange. Everyone brings a gag gift or something that is funny. Each person has to either recite something from a Christmas movie or poem, or a few words from a Christmas song. Then you pick a wrapped gift and pick a name of who goes next. You can steal a wrapped gift from another person and typically there is a gift or two that is in great demand with people stealing from each other. At the end, we each open our gifts. I got a “pick up sticks” game and Greg got some odd magnifying glasses that you can wear for bird watching. The pick up sticks look like they would make good chicken skewers since they are made of wood and the ends are painted different colors. Of course they probably are not FDA approved for food! But somehow everything in my life goes back to food, technology, or sci-fi. For my song I asked if anyone knew who the group was that remade a famous Christmas song. This song has gone viral in certain social media circles. Here are a few words “Make it So, Make it So, Make it So”. “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot Make it So, Make it So, Make it So”. Trekkies will know this one… but in case you have not… It is a parody of “Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow” by Captain Picard and the Starfleet officers from Star Trek The Next Generation. Since it does not snow in the galaxy… we can’t say “let it snow”… but Picard always says “make it so”. Of course I just love this “Christmas song”. In case you have not seen it…
Now on to a dish that I made for Thanksgiving.
1 1/2 pounds green beans
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 garlic clove, finely grated
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 tsp smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Earlier in the day I like to steam the green beans for about 3-minutes. Then immerse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Dry, cut into bite-size pieces, and dry again. When you are ready to make them, preheat the oven to 350° and spray a shallow 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk over low to medium heat for about 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, whisking constantly, until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the goat cheese. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and ½ teaspoon of the smoked paprika.
In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the sauce. Spread the mixture into the prepared casserole and the remaining ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika over the top. Bake for 20-minutes and then add the French-fried onions. Bake a few more minutes until the French-fried onions are lightly browned. Let the casserole stand for a few minutes before serving.