Thanksgiving is creeping up on us ever so quietly. Some of you real organized people out there already have your menu planned, the table set and the giblets gibletting. Sorry to say, not me. I am tweaking and primping.
A couple of years ago, I showed you a N'Awlins style Thanksgiving and passed a comment to the effect that I thought it might just be against the law not to serve green bean casserole on Thanksgiving. I've been a rebel because I've never, ever served it at my table. The whole cream of mushroom soup grossed me out. It's so salty, and tastes blech!
I found a way to make a way better green bean casserole and I'm sharing it with you early in case you want to try it out and surprise your gift the the new green bean Casserole on the block!
Rinse and drain 1 lb. of haricot verts (fresh, French style green beans).
Add the greens beans to a pot of boiling, generously salted water. Once the water returns to a boil, cook the beans for 2 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon or colander to drain; remove the beans from the boiling water and immediately immerse them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking. This beans will be tender but crispy when you serve them. So much better than the limp beans in a can. Once the beans have cooled, drain and set them aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Once the butter begins to bubble, add in 1lb. of sliced mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of chopped, fresh thyme leaves. Either button mushrooms or baby bellas will work nicely. Saute the mushrooms until they begin to turn golden brown. Don't move them around too much. After the mushrooms have been cooking for about 5 minutes, add in 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and saute along with the mushrooms. This will take about 10 minutes. Once the mushrooms have browned, add 2 tablespoons of flour to the skillet and thoroughly blend in with the mushrooms and oil. Stir frequently and allow the flour to cook for about 2 minutes to get rid the pasty flavor.
Lower heat to medium and slowly add 3/4 cup chicken broth and thoroughly combine.
Add 3/4 cup heavy cream. Gently stir to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a low boil, lower heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the skillet from the heat and fold in 1 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese until cheese is melted.
Toss in the green beans until they are completely covered with the creamy mushroom mixture. Turn the green beans into a buttered, oven-safe casserole dish.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of French fried onions, 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup Panko crumbs. Stir in 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
Pour the topping over the green beans. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes. check the casserole after 20 minutes. if top is sufficiently browned, cover with foil and continue baking for the remaining 10 minutes.
I'm seeing so many Thanksgiving law-abiding cooks out there this holiday season.
Happy early Thanksgiving!