We talk about reminiscence and recreating family recipes all the time when cooking and the green bean casserole is, for sure, a Thanksgiving classic.
January 22, 2021
Oddly, this is a dish my mother NEVER made when I was growing up. I think I tasted it for the first time when I was about 30 years old. I know the classic base uses store- bought soup mix and fried onions. If you can cut the onions thinly using a Mandolin slicer, that makes the task easier. Of course, store bought fried onions can also be a good shortcut if you want to save time. It is also surprising how rewarding it can be to make it all from scratch!
1lbstring beansends trimmed the beans cut in halfKosher salt
4tbsp(½ stick) unsalted butter
12-14oz(about 3 cups) white mushroomscut into ½ inch slices
1cup(8 ounces) sour cream
2mediumred onionscut into very thin rounds
Cook the green beans:
In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Salt the water generously. It should taste like sea water. Prepare an ice bath: Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and add some cold water. Place a colander squarely inside the ice bath. The colander will keep you from having to pick the beans out from amongst the ice cubes. Plunge the green beans into the water and cook 2-3 minutes. When the beans are cooked, remove them from the hot water with a strainer and transfer them to the colander inside the ice bath. Use a spoon to “swirl” the beans around in the ice bath so they cool quickly. Drain.
Make the mushroom base:
In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt the butter and add the mushrooms. Season with salt to taste and add the Cayenne and mustard. Cook until the mushrooms give off most of their liquid, 5-8 minutes. Whisk the garlic and flour into the mushrooms. Cook the flour 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn’t stick or burn, and add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cream and sour cream and simmer gently. Continue cooking over low heat until the mixture thickens, 5-8 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Fry the onions:
Pour the oil into a medium frying pan. Heat to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and cayenne. Toss the onion rounds in the flour and “shake” off excess by shaking the rounds in a strainer once they have been breaded. Test the oil by dropping in a few slices. They should rise to the surface and fry gradually. Prepare a baking sheet fitted with a kitchen towel and a slotted spoon. Drop a small batch of the onions into the oil and gently “swirl” the oil as they fry. This will help them they fry more evenly on all sides. Fry 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oil and spread on the baking sheet. Season immediately with salt.
Bake and serve:
When ready to serve, stir the green beans into the mushrooms. Simmer on the stove, over low heat, for 2-3 minutes, so the beans and sauce meld together. Add more cream and a splash water if the sauce is too thick. Transfer the skillet to the oven for 8-10 minutes to finish heating it and to give the casserole that “baked” effect. Remove from oven and top with fried onions. Serve immediately.