Thursday, December 1, 2011

7 Days of Thanksgiving Recipes - Homemade Green Bean Casserole with Fried Shallots

This was a fan favorite: Creamy Green Beans with Crispy Shallots (it was in the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens, but I modified the shallots).  It's a homemade take on the Green Bean Casserole.  Everyone loved it and you can make it a day ahead of time.  Here's how:

Homemade Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots (modified)

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in 3-inch pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
1 white or red onion, diced
1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 gratings of fresh nutmeg
Canola oil, for frying
9 shallots, sliced crosswise in 1/4-inch rings
1/2 cup cornstarch, sifted
1/2 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
garlic salt (to taste)
2 eggs

1. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside.  
2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boiling. Prepare and set aside a large bowl of ice water. Cook green beans in boiling water about 2 minutes, just until bright green; drain and place in ice water to cool rapidly. Drain thoroughly.
3. Meanwhile, in very large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in hot butter about 3 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add 1 Tbsp. butter; turn heat to medium-high. Saute mushrooms about 4 minutes, until golden. Transfer onions, mushrooms, and beans to a large bowl.
4. Make the homemade cream of mushroom soup: In the same skillet, melt remaining 3 Tbsp. butter over medium heat; stir in flour. Stir constantly, about 2 minutes, until flour turns light brown. Slowly pour in the milk; cook and stir about 4 minutes, until thickened. Stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat; cool completely. Pour cooked sauce over bean mixture; stir to coat evenly. Spoon into prepared baking dish.
5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Cover, refrigerate up to one day ahead of time. 

6. Meanwhile, mix in a small bowl: cornstarch, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic salt. Meanwhile, for topping, pour 3 to 4 inches of oil into a deep heavy saucepan. Heat oil over medium-high heat until sizzling. Working in batches, separate shallots into rings; toss with egg, then coat with cornstarch/breadcrumb mixture, shaking off excess. Carefully add to hot oil. Fry for 2 minutes (each batch), until golden and crisp. Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.  Set aside in tupperware and store at room temperature until ready to cook.

7. When ready to cook, bake casserole for about 30 minutes at 350, until sauce bubbles around edges.  Top with fired shallots and bake remaining five minutes.

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