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For those of you who know me well, seeing this post might just make you laugh. I’m usually quite vocal about my disdain for classic Green Bean Casserole. In past years, I’ve actually placed a ban on all Green Bean Casseroles, threatening immediate disposal of any canned extravaganzas attempting to weasel their way into my Thanksgiving spread. Not wanting to insult anyone’s family traditions any further, I’ll leave my unpleasantries surrounding the side at that.
To my dismay, I had several friends request Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving this year. Rather than immediately denying their requests, I agreed to make it with this version in mind. Fresh green beans are baked with homemade wild mushroom soup then topped with crispy fried shallots. The finished casserole is fresh, well balance and 100% worth the extra time. I just love the crunchy bits of shallot both on and throughout the creamy filling. While I may not have any good things to say about classic Green Been Casserole, I would highly recommend this version for your Thanksgiving dinner. Continue reading for the recipe.
Fresh cremini mushrooms are used to make the homemade wild mushroom soup. To clean fresh mushrooms, simply wipe the caps with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt. Avoid exposing mushrooms to too much water. They will soak it up, making it difficult to get good caramelization when sautéing.
PS. The smell of mushrooms sautéing in butter is one of my favorite aromas. Earthy and sweet.
Green Bean Casserole
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1/2 ounce dried wild mushrooms
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 pound cremini or white button mushrooms, diced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10 large shallots, sliced into thin rings
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter.
Add dried mushrooms to a small bowl with boiling water. Steep for at least 10 minutes. Once rehydrated, take the mushrooms from the water and roughly chop. Reserve the steeping water.
In a large skillet, warm butter over medium high heat. Once the butter starts foaming, add the diced creminis in an even layer. Do not stir the mushrooms for 3 to 4 minutes. Once golden and caramelized, toss the mushrooms and cook for several minutes on the other side. Add the rehydrated, chopped wild mushrooms to the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle the mushroom mixture with flour, stirring to coat. Pour in 3/4 cup of the mushroom steeping liquid. You may notice some grit sitting a the bottom of the mushroom steeping liquid. Try to avoid pouring that into your skillet. Add chicken stock then whisk to break up any clumps. Add the milk and cook until the mixture has slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
Take the wild mushroom soup off the heat and stir in the kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and green beans. Set aside.
Pour about 1/2 inch vegetable oil into a large, heavy bottomed pot. Warm over high heat until the oil is hot, but not smoking. Add the shallots then turn the heat to medium low. Cook the shallots for 15 - 20 minutes until light golden brown, stirring occasionally to keep the shallots from burning and clumping.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer crispy shallots from the oil to a paper towel-lined plate. Stir half of the shallots into the green bean-mushroom mixture. Reserve the other half for topping. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 50 - 60 minutes.
Take the casserole from the oven, uncover and spread the remaining fried shallots evenly on top. Bake, uncovered, for 5 - 7 minutes more, or until the topping is crispy and golden. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.