This version of the classic green bean casserole from America’s Test Kitchen really jazzes it up and makes an incredibly flavorful dish. No cans of soup here, just fresh green beans with a lovely rich cream sauce and three kinds of mushrooms. The porcinis and creminis lend a nice woodsy flavor to the dish. If you can’t find creminis, they might be labeled “baby bella” or “baby portabella”.
You can prepare parts of the dish ahead of time. I make the topping and cook the beans the night before and keep them in the frig, then just bring them to room temperature before baking the dish. The assembled casserole needs only 15 minutes in a 375° F oven to warm through and brown. For a small gathering, you can cut the recipe in half and use a 2 quart baking or gratin pan.
[Updated November 23, 2009.]
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE WITH THREE MUSHROOMS
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.
Serves 6 to 8.
food processor with blade attachment
2 large bowls
6 quart pot
small microwave-safe bowl
large nonstick skillet
3-quart gratin dish
4 slices sandwich bread with crusts, each slice torn into quarters
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups canned fried onions (about 6 ounces)
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces white button mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
12 ounces cremini/baby bella mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I use Wondra® or Pillsbury Shake and Blend.)
1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
1. TOPPING: Put the bread, butter, salt, and pepper in the food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour into a large bowl and toss with onions; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375° F.
3. BEANS: Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the beans. Cook the beans for about 4 to 5 minutes, until they are bright green and slightly crunchy. While they are cooking, add cold water and ice to a large bowl and line a baking sheet with paper towels. Drain the beans and put them into the ice water to stop cooking. Drain and spread beans out on the prepared baking sheet.
4. SAUCE: Pour 1/2 cup hot tap water over the porcini with ½ cup hot tap water in small microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cut 3 or 4 slits in the top for steam vents. Microwave on high power for 30 seconds, then let them stand about 5 minutes. Mushrooms should be soft. Pour the mushrooms and liquid out through a fine strainer lined with paper towel. Reserve the strained liquid, and mince the mushrooms.
5. Heat the large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Allow it to melt for about 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic, button, and cremini mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes.
6. Add the porcini mushrooms and their liquid, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir and cook about 5 minutes. You want the mushrooms to be tender and the liquid to reduce.
7. Add the flour and cook about 1 minute, until the flour is incorporated. Add the chicken broth and stir. Reduce heat to medium.
8. Add the cream and stir, simmering gently for about 15 minutes. You want the sauce to thicken like a heavy cream soup.
9. Spread the beans out in the gratin dish. Pour the mushroom sauce over the beans and stir until the beans are coated. Sprinkle the crumb and onion mixture over the top.
10. Bake until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.
[An original post from Andrea Meyers: making life delicious. All images and text copyrighted, All Rights Reserved.]
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