Lighter Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole

I tasted my first Green Bean Casserole in college. Well, let me be completely honest. Not only did I taste it, but I also made it.  Working in the dining hall had it’s benefits! It was a seemingly perfect and easy dish: canned string beans, canned condensed mushroom soup and fried onions.  


My, Oh, My… canned green beans PALE in comparison to fresh!
Years later, (yes years later) I realized that this wasn’t the healthiest thing that I could be eating.  Was there a better way?  Of course there was a better way!  Fresh green beans? Yes!  Making my own mushroom slurry? Yes! And here’s where I hang my head low… frying my own shallots? YES, PLEASE!!!  Despite holding on to the fried onion aspect, I feel that upgrading and elevating the other two elements creates an amazing and healthful version of my college dining hall staple.

Blanched and cooled green beans into baking vessel

Saute mushrooms

LOVE the steam coming off of the mushrooms and chicken stock

Mushroom Slurry

Add mushroom slurry to 1/4 of the fried onions and all of the green beans

Top with remaining onions… and bake uncovered until it bubbles, about 15 minutes.

Lighter Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole

Lighter Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole

(makes about 6 side dishes)

Ingredients

1 pound of fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Fried Shallots (recipe below) OR 4 ounces of store bought french fried onions
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (substitute with 1 TBSP of corn starch to make it Gluten Free)
1 cup of Vegetable Broth (substitute with chicken broth or water)
1 cup of 1% milk
a sprinkle of garlic powder
Kosher Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F.

1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add cleaned green beans and blanch for about 5 minutes, so that the bean still has some crunch to it.

2. Drain into a collander and put into an ice bath, or run them under super cold water.
3. Meanwhile: Melt butter in a skillet on medium-high heat. 
4. Add the mushrooms, along with a sprinkle of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid. 
5. Add minced garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. 
6. Add flour (or corn starch) and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute until you can’t see the whiteness of the flour.
7. Add the broth. Simmer for about a minute, then decrease the heat to medium-low. 
8. Add milk and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, for approximately 8-12 minutes.  
9. Remove from the heat.

10. In an 8×8 baking dish (or similar size) combine green beans with mushroom slurry and about 1/4 of the onions. 
11. Top with the remaining onions. 
12. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly for approximately 15 minutes.

Fried Shallots

From Alex Guarnaschelli

Ingredients

4 cups canola oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3 medium shallots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
Kosher salt


Directions

Pour the oil into a medium frying pan. Heat to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and cayenne. Toss the shallot rounds in the flour and shake off the excess by shaking the rounds in a strainer once they have been floured. Test the oil by dropping in 1 shallot slice. It should begin to bubble and fry gradually.

Prepare a baking sheet fitted with a kitchen towel. Drop a small batch of the shallots into the oil and gently swirl the oil as they fry. This will help them they fry more evenly on all sides. When they are light to medium brown, remove them with a slotted spoon and lay them out on the kitchen towel to cool. Sprinkle with a touch of salt.

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

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