In general, making stuff from scratch is always better, but I found a dish where making it from scratch elevates it to the Stratosphere. It's green bean casserole. My Mum never made this dish, she had other, better sides that she turned out with ease. The green bean casserole that I remember from my friend's houses was a gummy, soggy mess of canned beans, coagulated mushroom soup and canned fried onions. I never could wrap my head around why it was a perpetual holiday favorite, except that the Campbell's soup commercials were so sweet.
Not sure where the idea to do this dish right came from. I think it was a combination of an amazing mushroom sauce that my Aunt makes and the back-to-scratch trend that happened with all Thanksgiving food blogs. I did this for the first time last year and people practically threw themselves out the window when we ran out. If I'm being honest it's my new favorite side dish, after stuffing of course.
It's not an easy dish to put together though. The fried shallot topping pushes it to something that is pretty intensive, but honestly, if you're making an effort for the holiday, this is one dish you want to splurge on. It just fits and it is the perfect accompaniment to the rest of the meal. It also is a great gravy for your veggie guests as well. It's a win for everyone!
Green Bean Casserole with Fried Shallot Topping
- 1 pound green beans, with ends snipped and bean chopped in half
- 50 grams (about 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic
- 50 grams (3 1/2 tablespoons) flour
- 2 cups (about 480 grams) milk
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms, any kind you prefer, I use baby portobello
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated finely
- 3 shallots, very very finely sliced
Melt the butter at the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and let cook for two minutes. Add the mushrooms and let cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until the mushroom/butter mixture has absorbed it all. Cook for five minutes. Have the milk at room temperature. Slowly, slowly whisk the milk in. Add the parmesan cheese and continue to whisk. YOu want to increase the temp a little bit and have the sauce bubble for a few seconds. Then turn the heat back down. Keep whisking. When the sauce begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon, turn it off.
Have a pan of water boiling. After the sauce is done, throw the green beans in for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and throw the beans into ice water. This is called "shocking" it helps keep your beans green and crunchy. Put the green beans into an oven safe dish and cover with the sauce. Mix as needed.
Heat up a pan of canola oil. Coat your shallots in flour. The oil should be really hot. Fry the shallots in the oil until they are golden brown. If you have a little pan, do this in batches. Don't crowd the shallots. When you fish out the shallots, drain them on paper towels. Top the casserole with the shallots. This can sit for a few hours until you're ready to bake it. Place in a 350F oven for 25 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling.