Who hasn’t associated green bean and mushroom casserole with Thanksgiving dinner? Anyone? Canned green beans, canned mushroom soup and canned onion rings, right? And we loved it! Well, if you love that now or have ever loved it, this dish is for you. I made another green bean and mushroom dish last year that was really good but I wasn’t trying to mimic the old standard. So this was our first holiday making such a classic dish totally from scratch and it it was so worth it. Fresh ingredients and homemade fried onion strings and this is one amazing casserole. You might think you like that canned casserole but try this and I promise, you will never go back (you might even wonder how you could have EVER liked that canned,
hot mess old fashioned recipe).
Does anyone remember when I started ‘Whatever Wednesday’ that I wanted it to be an opportunity to share a recipe sometimes that might not really include a memory or back story? That I would occasionally use this day to just post a great recipe I wanted to share with my friends, family and readers? That’s today; this was too good not to share but we also made it for Thanksgiving so the only back story is wanting to try a completely from scratch effort and have my daughter Emily urge me to hurry up as I tried to find a spare moment to take a photo before the food would be devoured.
Emily actually made this dish; we kept Thanksgiving relatively simple with a turkey breast, cranberry sauce and this fabulous dish as the main part of our meal. It’s really just a sauce with shallots that is infused with mushrooms and combined with beans that are covered with homemade onions rings and baked. OK, maybe some wine too. Em did find the perfect recipe for the onion ring topping though.
Ree at The Pioneer Women salivates over these onion strings…and rightfully so. Sort of a miracle of ingredients, nothing special really. Onions, buttermilk, salt, pepper, flour and cayenne. Still, something magical happens in that distance from cutting board through deep fryer to their final resting place on paper towels to drain. I know both of us were noshing on those pups each time we walked by that plate; we had to move it to make sure we had some for the actual casserole! So good…make them for this casserole or make them just to eat as a snack…but trust me; MAKE THEM!
The only element that was not ‘normal’ in my book was the addition of some shredded cheddar cheese on top of the casserole as it baked. Of course now I can’t imagine anything else! This was perfect. We had lots and lots of leftovers. NO one was complaining! Try them next time you’re asked to bring green bean and mushroom casserole to a get together. You will be loved forever.
Just like the old fashioned green bean and mushroom soup casserole except for one thing. SO much better!
- 1 whole Large Onion
- 2 cups Buttermilk
- 2 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon (scant) Salt
- ¼ teaspoons (to 1/2 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
- 1 quart (to 2 Quarts) Peanut or Canola Oil
- Black Pepper To Taste
- 2 pounds green beans, ends removed and beans snapped in half
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and diced
- 1 & 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar
- Slice onion in half; place the flat half down on your cutting board and slice each half into thin rounds.
- Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least an hour.
- Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
- Heat oil in small fryer or large dutch oven to 375 degrees.
- Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.
- Repeat until onions are gone.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook until deep green and tender, about 10 minutes (we like ours a bit crisp tender; cook longer if you prefer softer beans. (The beans do not continue to cook more in the casserole.) Drain and rinse with cool water.
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they start sweating liquid, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Continue cooking, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 3 minutes. Remove the mushroom mixture to a separate bowl.
- Combine the milk, cream, and chicken stock in a large glass bowl and microwave until hot, about 2-3 minutes (or bring to a simmer in a saucepan).
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until creamy; about 2 minutes.
- Add the hot milk mixture and continue cooking, whisking frequently, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Stir the mushroom mixture into the cream sauce and simmer, whisking frequently, for about 5 minutes for the flavors to marry. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. (You want this to be on the salty side, because it will mellow once you add the green beans.)
- Stir the green beans into the mushroom sauce and toss to combine. Pour the green bean mixture into a large, buttered casserole dish (about 2 quarts). Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the grated cheddar and crispy onion strings and bake uncovered until cheese is melted, about 15 more minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Dig in.
We made this for Thanksgiving and it makes a lot; I would cut this in half if serving for a regular meal. Except the onion strings; make them all. You won't regret it.