Thanksgiving is coming! The biggest food holiday of the year is a short countdown away and, as has become our New York tradition, I’ll be cooking dinner for my husband and parents in our very tiny apartment. This is the year that I branch out from the recipes that I’ve eaten every year on Thanksgiving and infuse some of my own creativity.
I know that there’s nothing new about green bean casserole, but we never ate it growing up. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever even tried it until I was an adult. You guys, it’s pretty darn tasty! My biggest complaint about it is that can of condensed cream of mushroom soup. There are ingredients in that can of congealed goop that I cannot pronounce, which already makes me unhappy about it. It’s just not that appetizing and it’s also usually really high in sodium. I realize that green bean casserole isn’t really healthy, but on a day when you’re putting forth so much effort into a meal for loved ones, why not just make this from scratch?
I was not disappointed when I made this. Rather than being soft and mushy as I’m used to them being in green bean casserole, the beans turned out to have a little bite to them. The mushrooms were a prominent feature, until when you use the canned soup approach and the fried scallions on top are fresh and crisp. Alex deemed this the best green bean casserole he’s ever had and so I’ll be making it again on Thanksgiving Day this year! Let us know if you add it to your Thanksgiving celebrations!
1 1/2 cups shallots, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons flour, divided
1 1/2 pounds French green beans (haricot verts)
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup half and half
Place the shallots between layers of paper towel and gently press the excess water off of them. In a large bowl, toss the shallots with 2 tablespoons flour and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. In a medium pan or cast iron skillet, heat 1/2 inch of canola oil on medium. Fry the scallions in small batches, for just 1 minute until they’re golden brown. Once fried, set them aside on a paper towel. Trim the ends of the green beans and cut them in half. Blanche the green beans in salted boiling water for 1 minute before transferring them to a large bowl of ice water and set aside. In a large saute pan, heat butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until browned. Stir in the nutmeg and cayenne pepper and cook for another minute. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour and half of the vegetable broth. Stir until any flour clumps are broken up. Add the remaining broth and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-low. Add the half and half and cook, stirring often, until the mixture starts to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Combine the green beans and 1/4 of the fried scallions into the skillet and toss until evenly coated. Pour the green beans and mushrooms into an oven safe dish, scatter the remaining scallions over the top, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes until the green beans are heated through and the dish is bubbly.