Green bean casserole is among the most popular Thanksgiving recipes for 2011. The classic green dish has been a trending Google search for the last two weeks.
For those looking for an authentic recipe, we turned to no other than Martha Stewart for her take on what we think is the best green bean casserole yet. I personally made this dish myself over the weekend and have dotted some of my own tips below. And yes, it was yummy.
To get started, gather the following ingredients:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish
- 1 medium onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 pound button mushrooms, stems trimmed, quartered
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- One and a half pounds of green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch of grated nutmeg
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 4 shallots, cut crosswise in 1/4 inch rings
Now, the directions:
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion, and sauté until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and mushrooms, and cook until softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare an ice bath: Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans, and cook until bright green and just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, and plunge into ice bath to stop cooking. When cooled, toss drained beans with mushroom mixture; set aside.
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup flour, whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in milk, and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in cayenne, nutmeg, and the remaining teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Pour over beans, and toss to combine.
- Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking pan. Spread half the green-bean mixture over the bottom. Sprinkle on half the grated Parmesan, and spread with the remaining green beans. Combine the remaining Parmesan and the breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over casserole. Cover with foil, and refrigerate until just before serving.
- Heat canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Toss shallot rings with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Fry the shallots in batches, turning frequently, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Place in an airtight container, and set aside until ready to serve.
- Heat broiler, positioning rack about 8 inches from heat. Cook casserole, covered, until mixture is bubbly and heated through, about 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook until top is golden brown, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle fried shallots over top, and serve immediately.
Some tips -
- Boil your beans with at least one gallon of water and mix in at least two tablespoons of salt. This helps prevent the beans from turning reddish-brown. Yuck.
- Use fresh beans instead of canned ones if possible.
- Set aside at least one hour to prepare.
- Enjoy Thanksgiving!