Not your mama’s green bean casserole


A holiday dish for sure, this is a true crowd pleaser.  Upgraded from my 1950’s frozen green bean, Cambell’s cream of mushroom soup, French’s onion rings version. Make as many shallot rings as your patience can muster!  (Sorry, forgot to take picture of it, next time)

Makes 6 -8 servings

Ingredients

Green beans, 1 ¼ pounds

Coarse salt & fresh ground pepper

2 TBS butter (salted or unsalted)

10 -12 oz mushrooms, crimini, portabella, white button – or any combination

4 large shallots – or more if you want tons of shallot rings

All purpose flour, 1/3 cup PLUS 3 TBS

1 cup half & half

1 cup chicken stock or vegetable broth ( I use vegetable broth – 1 heaping TBS of Organic “Better than bouillon” dissolved in hot water)

2-3 tsp tamari

Dash of cayenne pepper or hot chili oil (optional)

½ tsp truffle oil (optional)

Good oil for “frying” the shallot rings (I use high temperature sunflower oil)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly butter a deep 2 ½ quart baking dish. Trim the green beans and halve crosswise or cut in thirds. In a very large steamer, steam green beans until just vibrant in color – 4 minutes max! OR, bring a large saucepan of water to boil over high heat and add the green beans for 4 minutes….MAX!  (You are basically blanching them, not cooking or killing them since they will go into the oven.)

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they wilt and release juice,  about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the 3 TBS of  minced shallots and cook until softened – about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with the 3 TBS of flour & stir well. Slowly stir in the half & half, stock, tamari, cayenne and truffle oil – if using. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low & simmer , stirring until thickened, 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the green beans, season with salt & pepper, and transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish.  (The casserole can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated.) Bake until the liquid is bubbling, about 20 minutes (30 if it has been refrigerated).

 

The shallot rings!

Make the shallot rings while the casserole is baking – or separately, ahead of time.  Line a baking sheet with a section of newspaper and then layer paper towels over the newspaper. Place near the stove. Cut the 3 large shallots crosswise into 1/8” thick rounds and separate into rings. Place 1/3 cup flour in a small bowl. Toss the shallot rings in the flour to coat evenly, shaking off the excess. In batches, to avoid crowding, add the shallots to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Add more oil as needed to the frying pan. (I don’t deep fry in the 2”s of oil this recipe calls for.) Sprinkle shallot rings with coarse salt.

Remove casserole from the oven, scatter the fried shallots on top, and serve.

If you make the shallot rings ahead of time, you can store them in a plastic container.

Variation:

For those who don’t want the dairy or the shallot rings – don’t fret. Add toasted almonds on top. It tastes great!

green beans and almonds

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