Thanksgiving Recipe: Homemade Green Bean Casserole
Serves 6 – 8
3 cups vegetable or canola oil
6 large shallots, cut into very thin rounds, rings separated (or use medium-sized yellow onions)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
1/4 cup unsalted butter
One pound button mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 14.5 ounce can of chicken broth
1 cup milk
Fried onion topping: In a mini-deep fryer set to 375 degrees, heat oil (you can also use a 3-quart saucepan and candy thermometer). Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a large bowl, toss together shallots or onions and 1 1/4 cups flour until evenly coated. In batches, shake off excess flour from shallots and fry until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes, adjusting heat if shallots are browning too quickly. With a slotted spoon, transfer to sheet and season with salt. Set aside.
Green beans: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook green beans until crisp-tender, 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Pat dry.
Mushroom Sauce: In a large saucepan, melt butter and a little olive oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, gradually add broth, then milk. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Assembly: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Add green beans to mushroom sauce and toss to coat. Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve topped with fried shallots.
Topping variation: heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium-sized skillet and add 3/4 cup of Panko breadcrumbs. Turn the heat to medium-high and toast the bread crumbs. When they’re brown, pour them from the skillet onto a plate and let them cool. Combine with the fried shallots on top of the casserole after baking.