Green Bean CasseroleNovember 18, 2015 By Cathy — 8 Comments
Not your grandma’s green bean casserole – green beans, roasted wild mushrooms and béchamel sauce topped with crispy shallots.
This is not your Grandma’s green bean casserole. I think many of us grew up with the traditional green bean casserole for Thanksgiving: canned green beans, condensed soup and packaged onions. Good in theory, but lacking in flavor. This casserole takes everything we love about the classic and amps it up. It’s all from scratch and may take a few more steps than the original, but so worth it. And say it with me…it can be made in advance!
It all starts with the mushrooms. I like a mix of wild mushrooms: shitake, cremini and oyster. You can use other varietals of wild mushrooms or even throw in some regular button mushrooms, but a mix makes it more interesting in both texture and flavor. Next, a splash of olive oil, a good sprinkle of salt and pepper, throw on some thyme sprigs and roast the mushrooms until browned. The roasted mushrooms get stirred into a creamy parmesan béchamel sauce, then the whole mixture gets folded into some blanched green beans. Almost there…it gets finished with crispy shallots and baked until bubbly. YUM.
Of course you know my theory for staying sane on Thanksgiving is to make as much you can in advance so you also have time to shower and visit with Aunt Mabel. This casserole (other than the crispy shallots) can be prepared, poured into the baking dish, covered tightly and refrigerated the day before and then baked just before serving. Navigating refrigerator space, while often frustrating, is far less overwhelming than trying to whip up a feast just hours before the whole crew arrives.
And while we’re talking about planning ahead, do yourself a favor and pull out your serveware over the weekend, grab a pad of post-its and get to labeling. I put the name of each dish on a post-it note, then stick it in the plate or bowl I’ll be using to serve. It’s simple but super helpful when you’re trying to get everything to the table while it’s still hot. It also makes it easy for guests to lend a hand. Because even though the kitchen control freak in me hates to admit it, we can all use a little help sometimes.
- 2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
- Roasted Mushrooms
- 8 oz shitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps sliced
- 8 oz oyster mushrooms, large, central stem removed and cut into smaller pieces
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 8-10 thyme sprigs
- Salt and pepper
- Bechamel Sauce
- 1 stick butter (4 oz)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Crispy Shallots
- 2 cups canola oil
- 4 large shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
- 2-3 Tbsp Wondra flour
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a large (preferably rectangular) baking pan with cooking spray.
- Green beans: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add beans.
- Boil about 5 minutes or just until tender. Plunge beans into an ice bath and remove when cooled. Reserve.
- Mushrooms: Spread sliced mushrooms and thyme onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Reserve.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Bechamel Sauce: Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add minced garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add flour and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring well.
- Pour in milk to hot roux, whisking constantly.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in nutmeg, soy sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat and combine beans, mushrooms and béchamel in a large bowl then pour into prepared pan.
- Bake (at 375 degrees) for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
- While casserole is baking, fry the shallots.
- Shallots: Heat canola oil in a heavy pot fitted with a deep fry thermometer to 375 degrees.
- Add Wondra flour to a large ziploc bag and sprinkle in shallots.
- Seal bag and shake vigorously until all shallots are evenly coated with flour.
- Remove shallots, gently shaking off extra flour and add to heated oil.
- Cook shallots in two batches until golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove shallots from oil and allow to drain on a paper towel-lined dish.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Top casserole with crispy shallots and return to oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Watch to be sure shallots do not burn.
- Serve hot.
- *Casserole can be prepared, covered and refrigerated one day ahead. Remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking, top with crispy shallots and bake.