Fancy Green Bean Casserole

Here’s a gussied-up version of America’s quintessential Sunday dinner side dish. Green bean casserole with Porcini Mushrooms in a homemade creamy velouté instead of canned soup, topped with crispy, homemade fried scallion rings.

1 Cup vegetable oil for frying
6 Large Shallots, very thinly sliced and separated into rings
2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed, halved
4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1/2 Cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 oz Porcini Dried Mushrooms
1 Cup plus 3 Tbsp all purpose flour, separated
1 Cup heavy cream
1-1/2 Cup chicken stock
1/2 Cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 tsp Sea Salt, Fine divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground Tellicherry Peppercorns divided

Place porcini mushrooms in a bowl. Warm the chicken stock and pour over the dried mushrooms and cover the bowl. Once the mushrooms are fully reconstituted (about 15-20 min), pour off stock and strain liquid into a bowl, straining through a couple layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter in a fine mesh strainer.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large heavy skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Mix 1 Cup of flour with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss the shallot rings in the flour mixture, making sure each ring is well coated. Once the oil is hot, shake off the excess flour from shallot pieces and fry them in batches. Once a batch of shallot rings is golden brown, use a heatproof slotted spoon to remove them to a tray lined in paper towels. When you have finished frying the shallots, drain the oil from the frying pan, and keep skillet handy.

Heat a large pot of boiling water, and cook the green beans in the boiling water until the vegetables are just done, about six minutes. Plunge the green beans into a bowl of ice-cold water to stop them cooking any further, then remove beans from the ice bath, and pat dry.

Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until pieces are crispy. Add the chopped onions to the bacon skillet and cook until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and garlic to the skillet also, and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat under the skillet to medium. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp flour over the bacon mixture and stir contents of skillet for 2 minutes to cook off the flour taste.

Add heavy cream and strained chicken stock to the skillet, and continue to stir constantly for about two minutes to prevent the flour from clumping. Add shredded white cheddar cheese to the skillet, and stir until it is just melted. Finally, add cooked green beans to the mixture, and stir to coat the beans in the cheesy bacon mixture.

Transfer green bean mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Bake in the oven until casserole is bubbling around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove baking dish from oven and allow to “set” for about five minutes before sprinkling fried shallots over the top.

Serve immediately.