French Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Casserole
Just in time for the holiday, it's time to re-think yo' momma's green bean casserole. Sure, it's super easy to open a few cans and put that hot mess in the oven. Let's take this traditional casserole to new heights with Haricots Verts, an assortment of beautiful wild mushrooms, shallots, and really yummy, creamy sauce.
Let's start with the beans. In the grocery store, or your favorite big box giant, like Costco or Sam's, are these little French green beans, called haricots verts. (Pronounced "arico ver", like "very"). These gems are packaged in cellophane and ready to use. No prep needed. Just make sure to check the expiration date and look at the beans to ensure freshness.
First, bring a big pot of salty water (we need to season every step of the way), to a rolling boil. Carefully add the beans to the boiling water. After the beans are in the pot, make a shock pot. Ice; water; Kosher salt (one real good pinch).
When cool, drain them on a stack of paper towels.
Throw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme tied up in a bundle, and just let it ride.
Place in an oven safe casserole dish. Top with a big handful of French's French Fried Onions.
Place in an oven safe casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until bubbly and golden.
If you really want to go for the gusto, you could slice up some shallot rings, dunk them in seasoned flour, then fry them in oil until crisp, and top the casserole with that. Too much work and mess for me. French's work just fine.
Thank your Grandmama and mama for introducing you to a tasty holiday tradition. Then make it better.
- 1 1/2 pounds Haricots Verts, (If not available, use fresh green beans, trimmed and de-strung)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound mixed gourmet mushrooms, such as shiitakes, creminis and oyster, cleaned and quartered
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, tied up in a bundle
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 big handful French fried onions
- Bring a big pot of salty water to a rolling boil. Carefully add the beans to the boiling water.
- After the beans are in the pot, make a shock pot. Ice & water, & Kosher salt.
- Cook to desired tenderness.
- Plunge them directly into the shock pot.
- When cool, drain them on a stack of paper towels.
- 1 pound total mushrooms: oysters, cremini (baby portabellas), and Shitake. Chopped.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter.
- When the skillet is hot, add the mushrooms, 2 large shallots (or 1/4 chopped red onion), Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Saute' the mushrooms until brown and caramelized. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/4 tsp nutmeg while the mushrooms are browning.
- Add 2 Tbspb all purpose flour to the mushrooms. Whisk and cook about 3 minutes.
- Whisk in 1 quart chicken stock.
- When smooth and thick, stir in 1/2 cup light sour cream.
- Remove thyme bundle.
- Put beans back in the skillet with the mushrooms. Fold it all together.
- Grate 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano over the top.
- Place in an oven safe casserole dish. Top with a big handful of French's French Fried Onions.
- Place in an oven safe casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until bubbly and golden.