Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Casserole

     Have you ever read the green bean casserole recipe on the back of a can of cream of mushroom soup?  Even when using canned and frozen ingredients, that tasty casserole recipe is a holiday favorite for many families.
     I have made this casserole with fresh ingredients every time that I have cooked it.  Fresh green beans and wild mushrooms en casserole are a great flavor combination!
     Crispy Onion Recipe:  Very thin slice a large handful of onion.  (The onion must be sliced paper thin.)
     Place the onion in a mixing bowl.
     Add sea salt, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Let the onions sweat for a few minutes.
     Add some flour and toss the thin onion rings and flour together to coat them.
     Fry the onion rings in 360 degree oil.
     Poke the crispy onions with a chef's fork while frying, to keep them from sticking together.
     When the onions turn to a light golden brown color, remove them from the oil and place them on a dry towel to remove any excess grease.
     Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Casserole Recipe:  Chop 1 handful of a mixture of chanterelles, porcini, portabella and cepe mushrooms.
     Place the chopped mushrooms in a sauce pot.
     Add 2 cups of water.
     (If you use dried wild mushrooms, soak them overnight in water in a refrigerator and then boil them in the soaking liquid.  Chop the reconstituted mushrooms before cooking.)
     Place the sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Bring the broth to a boil.
     Reduce the temperature to medium heat.
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 pats of butter.
     Add 1 small handful of chopped onion.
     When the onions turn clear in color, add them to the mushrooms and the mushroom broth.
     Simmer the broth over medium heat.
     Make a white roux with equal amounts of unsalted butter and flour in a sauce pot over medium heat while constantly stirring.
     Add just enough roux to the broth, while stirring with a whisk, to thicken the broth to a medium sauce consistency.
     Add a generous splash of cream while stirring.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of thyme leaves.
     French 2 large handfuls of fresh green beans.  (Cut the beans lengthwise into thin strips.)
     Add the green beans to the mushroom sauce.
     The mushroom sauce should be reduced by this time.  There should be just enough sauce to almost cover the beans.  There should be a little bit more beans than sauce in the pot.
     Place the mixture into a casserole dish.
     Bake in a 350 degree oven till the sauce and beans are bubbling hot.
     Place the crispy fried onions on top of the casserole.
     Return the casserole to the oven to heat the crispy onion topping.  (This only takes a minute!  Be careful not to burn the onions!)
     Set the green bean and wild mushroom casserole on a serving plate.  No garnish is necessary.
     The deep aroma of the wild mushrooms with green beans is mouth watering!  The crispy fried onion topping adds a wonderful texture and flavor.  This is a traditional holiday vegetable side dish.  Absolutely yummy!  ...  Shawna

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