Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots
From Best Comfort Food magazines, one of those $10 ones, not a regular circulation
1-1/2 pounds haricots verts or thin string beans, trimmed
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
12 oz white mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
12 oz pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (we used Portobello)
4 large shallots thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup freshly finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (we skipped)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375. In an extra-large skillet, cook beans in batches in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain beans and pat dry.
2. In same skillet, melt two tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add button and shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and thyme; cook until mushrooms are tender and excess liquid has evaporated. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Gently toss with beans.
3. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of butter in a small wide saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour. Stir in half-and-half. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in Parmesan cheese, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Pour sauce over green bean mixture, stirring gently just until combined. Transfer green been mixture to a greased 2-quart casserole.
4. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle bean mixture with pine nuts.
5. Meanwhile, rinse and dry saucepan. In the saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sliced shallots in small batches and cook about 1-1/2 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper towel to drain. Top casserole with fried shallots just before serving.
Makes 8 servings. We halved the recipe and were sorry after. Make it yourself and you’ll know why.