Lest you think my family only indulges in diet-busting dishes like luxurious cheesecake, buttery potatoes and creamy holiday salad on Thanksgiving, let me share with you a healthy yet decadent tasting veggie side dish that will also be joining the lineup this year: Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots.
Aka Hungry Hubby Casserole! (More on that in a minute. )
Throw out every memory you have of the gloopy glop from Thanksgivings past, and instead imagine steamed, crisp-tender green beans surrounded by a light and silky homemade mushroom-cheese sauce, accented by bright pops of fresh parsley and crispy, pan-fried shallots.
This genius recipe from Ellie Krieger uses 1% milk and no extra fat to create a parmesan cheese laced “cream of mushroom soup” type sauce that’s very waistline friendly, but tastes anything but. Just ask Ben. He ate nearly the entire batch I made last weekend in one day. I say nearly because…I helped too. HA!
Start by steaming some fresh, trimmed green beans.
You could use a microwave steamer basket, or a stove-top one like this. Just make sure you only steam them for a few minutes, as you’ll want them to still have some snap!
Next, set aside the beans, and get started on the crispy shallot topping (my favorite part!)
Peel the shallots, slice them into very thin rings, and separate the layers.
Then fry them in batches in extra virgin olive oil. It only takes a few minutes to get them golden brown and crispy.
Remove the shallots to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the remaining oil in the skillet.
‘Cause you’ll be adding mushrooms to it. As you know, I despise mushrooms, but I heart the smell of them cooking, and don’t mind when they’re left in big slices like this so I can pick ‘em out.
After the mushrooms are golden brown and all the liquid has evaporated out, add dried thyme, fresh garlic, salt and pepper for a quick saute, then pour everything into a large bowl and set aside.
Next, using the same skillet (this is a very dishwasher friendly recipe – only 2 pans!) pour in 1% milk whisked with flour.
Season with salt & pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
Finally, combine the sauce, mushrooms, green beans and some other supporting ingredients like fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, top with the crispy shallots and a dusting of a bit more parmesan cheese, and bake ’til golden and bubbly.
Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots
From Ellie Krieger
1-1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 medium shallots, sliced into rings (about 1 cup)
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups 1% milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, steam green beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup shallots into the skillet at a time and saute, stirring every so often, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer shallots to a paper-towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining shallots, cooking in batches. Set aside.
- Add mushrooms to the remaining oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown and all the liquid has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, salt & pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl.
- Whisk together the milk and flour until flour is dissolved. Turn the heat down to medium and slowly pour the milk mixture into the skillet. Season with salt & pepper to taste and, whisking constantly, bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to medium-low and whisk constantly until mixture has thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Pour the sauce into the bowl with the mushrooms along with 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, the parsley, nutmeg and salt & pepper.
- Spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and spoon the green bean mixture inside. Top with the crispy shallots and remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
This could easily become my new favorite side dish at Thanksgiving. It tastes so naughty, yet is so nice. So insanely, illogically nice!!
The sauce is creamy but not heavy and the shallots taste caramelized and almost salty. They totally kick canned onion rings’ ass. Sorry, it had to be said.
Make these beans – you won’t be sorry!
Tune in tomorrow for the final recipe in my Week of Thanksgiving Favorites series. It’s a double doozie!!
How do you approach Thanksgiving dinner? As a one-day, no holds barred feast, or with restraint and a plan?