Friday, 7 October 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

I'm in charge of bringing a vegetable dish to family dinner. Green Bean Casserole has always been a staple, but this year is the first time I've actually made it. Instead of canned soup, canned onions and canned beans, I'm going to make it from scratch.

Green Bean Casserole Redux from Chow

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • Bechamel sauce

  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme leaves

  • 5 medium shallots, sliced (about 1 1/3 cups)

  • 3/4 cup flour, for dusting the shallots

  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

    1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until bright green and just tender, about 6 minutes; drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cold. Set aside.
    2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add mushrooms and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are brown on the edges, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
    3. Combine green beans, mushroom mixture, béchamel sauce, and thyme in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a 2-1/2-quart baking dish and set aside.
    4. Dust sliced shallots in flour and shake off excess. Set aside.
    5. Pour vegetable oil into a 10-inch frying pan (the oil should be 1 inch deep). Heat over medium-high heat to 350°F, about 4 minutes.
    6. Fry shallots in batches, until light golden brown on the edges, about 2 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    7. Top casserole with fried shallots and bake until shallots are golden and crispy and casserole is bubbly and heated through, about 12 to 15 minutes.
    This casserole, plus a boat load of brussel sprouts for me, Eric and my brother ought to cover my vegetable duty.

    Happy Thankgiving everyone and happy feasting!

    See you on Tuesday.

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