Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thanksgiving Recipes - Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Serves 8 For this gourmet take on a potluck classic, the casserole is assembled and the shallots are cooked ahead of time. Just before serving, pop the dish under the broiler for about 10 minutes.


tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish


medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice


red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice


pound button mushrooms, stems trimmed, quartered


teaspoons coarse salt


teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2

pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces


tablespoons all-purpose flour


cups milk

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of grated nutmeg


cup grated Parmesan cheese


cup breadcrumbs


cup canola oil


shallots, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch rings

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion, and sauté until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and mushrooms, and cook until softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside to cool.

2. Prepare an ice bath: Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans, and cook until bright green and just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, and plunge into ice bath to stop cooking. When cooled, toss drained beans with mushroom mixture; set aside.

3. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup flour, whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in milk, and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in cayenne, nutmeg, and the remaining teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Pour over beans, and toss to combine.

4. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking pan. Spread half the green-bean mixture over the bottom. Sprinkle on half the grated Parmesan, and spread with the remaining green beans. Combine the remaining Parmesan and the breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over casserole. Cover with foil, and refrigerate until just before serving.

5. Heat canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Toss shallot rings with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Fry the shallots in batches, turning frequently, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Place in an airtight container, and set aside until ready to serve.

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