Put that mushroom soup back in the cabinet and get rid of those French Fried Onions. This recipe is a wonderful “from scratch” version of the classic Green Bean Casserole. Although green beans make a beautiful presentation when left whole, I decided to cut mine in half for easy serving. The green beans are parboiled, drained and placed in a casserole to await the deliciousness that is the cream sauce. Half of the shallots are minced to mix in with the bread crumbs, and the other half are thinly sliced to use in the sauce. Take time to slowly and carefully add the milk to the roux, stirring with a whisk as you go, when making the sauce. Allow it to reduce until it just begins to thicken. It will continue to thicken as the casserole bakes in the oven. Feel free to season this basic sauce with dry mustard, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, or anything that else that appeals to you.
Kitchen Hint: If you don’t have any fresh thyme leaves on hand you can substitute dried thyme (use 1/3 of the amount of fresh thyme). And, as always, I always recommend that you use crushed croutons in place of bread crumbs.
NEW GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE (Serves 12)
- 3 lb. green beans
- 4 large shallots
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ c. coarse fresh bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper
- 3 c. lowfat 1% milk
- 3 tbsp. margarine or butter
- ¼ c. all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- ½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat covered 8-quart saucepot of salted water to boiling on high. Add beans and cook, uncovered, 6 minutes or until bright green and just tender. Drain well and transfer to shallow 3-quart glass or ceramic baking dish.
- Meanwhile, finely chop 2 shallots. Thinly slice remaining shallots; set aside. In 12-in. skillet, heat oil on medium until hot. Add chopped shallots and cook 4 to 7 minutes or until browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Add bread crumbs and cook 2 minutes or until dry and golden, stirring. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Stir in thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- In microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave milk on High 4 minutes or until milk is warm.
- Meanwhile, in same 12-in. skillet, melt margarine on medium. Add sliced shallots and cook 5 minutes or until golden brown and tender, stirring occasionally. Add flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring. Gradually pour milk into flour mixture in slow, steady stream, stirring constantly; heat to boiling, stirring. Stir 2 minutes longer or until thickened (mixture should have the consistency of heavy cream). Stir in nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- Pour sauce over green beans; gently stir until green beans are evenly coated. Stir Parmesan cheese into bread crumb mixture; spread evenly over green bean mixture in casserole.
- Bake casserole 30 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown and sauce is bubbling.
~ from Delish.com ~