Friday, November 16, 2012


I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away!  This week when I began posting Thanksgiving recipes, I actually thought that I had an extra week.  If I were one who used a calendar, I may have been more on the ball.  I have friends who right everything on a nice little calendar, but not me.  No, I choose to store events and appointments in my little head.  I like to live life on the edge, and be surprised by the holidays!  I love to run out the door in a frantic state to buy a gift and/or card on the way to a birthday lunch!  That’s just who I am.  I can hear the horrified gasps of you who are always organized; you’re wondering if you should even keep reading.  While you who also have calendar avoidance are cheering because you totally relate.
I assure you, you should keep reading.  Perhaps by the end you will all be cheering!  I will still have my entire menu in by Tuesday.
So far on the menu for 6 people (all the recipes can be doubled) are Roasted Butternut Squash Soup as an appetizer and Pumpkin Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars for dessert.  I always serve Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes.  This weekend I will brine and roast a 7 pound turkey breast to post on Monday (Buttermilk Brined Roast Turkey Breast with Gravy).  I will also roast a couple acorn squash with maple syrup, top them with balsamic glaze and hazelnuts to post on Tuesday (Maple Roasted Acorn Squash). 

Today I bring to you Green Bean Casserole!  This ain’t no mushy, overly sauced, green bean casserole.  This casserole uses fresh, crispy green beans and earthy mushrooms, with just the right amount of sauce and cheese.  The green beans stay nice and crisp and the cheese looks so pretty on the top, that I skip the fried onions on the top.  If you must have them, feel free to add them.  I actually really like the crispy onions sold at Ikea.

Here’s what you do.

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees.
Put a pot of water on to boil.

Meanwhile trim the ends of the green beans.


When the water comes to a boil, add some salt, and the beans. 

Cook for about 1 ½ minutes.

Have a bowl of ice water ready.

Plunge the beans into the ice water.  This shocks the beans, so that they stay bright green and crisp.   

When the beans are completely cooled, drain them and set them to the side.


Remove the stems from the Shitake mushrooms, as they are woody and fibrous.


Slice the all the mushrooms.   

Also slice the shallots, mince the garlic, and chop the fresh thyme leaves.


Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; add the mushrooms to the hot skillet.   

Brown the mushrooms for about 4 minutes.


Add the shallot, garlic…


…Fresh thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper.


When the mushrooms are almost done add 1 ½ tablespoons of butter.

Then sprinkle about 1 ½ tablespoons of flour over the top.   

Turn the heat down to medium.  Cook and stir for about 3 minutes.

Add vegetable or chicken stock, stir the sour cream in, and mix well to incorporate.

Then add the half and half.


A couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce…

…Fresh grated nutmeg, dry mustard, salt and pepper.  Stir until combined.


Remove the skillet from the heat; add the drained beans and a squeeze of fresh lemon.  

Give it a stir.

Pour the beans and mushroom sauce into your favorite oven proof casserole dish.  An 8 x 8 x 2 is a good size.

Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top.  I like aged Gouda, but aged Cheddar or Gruyere would also be yummy.


Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the casserole is hot and bubbly.  

The casserole is much prettier in person. 


For photo purposes, I removed the casserole to a platter.

To get ahead of the game, the beans can be blanched up to 3 days prior.  The mushrooms can be sliced ahead of time (or buy sliced mushrooms), and the cheese can also be grated before hand.

Serves 6

1              lb.          Fresh Green Beans, ends trimmed
      Salt and pepper
2             Tbsp.        Olive oil
8              oz.          Cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
8              oz.          Shitake mushrooms, sliced; stems must be removed
2                            Large shallots, thinly sliced
2              cloves     Garlic, minced
1              tsp.        Fresh Thyme leaves, chopped
1 ½          Tbsp.       Butter
1 ½          Tbsp.       Flour
1              cup         Vegetable or chicken stock, low or no sodium
1              cup         Sour cream
2/3           cup         Half and half
2              dashes   Worcestershire sauce
½             tsp.        Dry mustard
1              pinch      Grated nutmeg
1              tsp.        Fresh lemon juice, about ¼ of a lemon
1              cup        Grated aged Gouda cheese, aged Cheddar or Gruyere can be substituted

1.        Pre heat oven to 450 degrees.
2.       Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the boiling water, and add the trimmed green beans.  Blanch the beans for about 1 ½ minutes.
3.       Drain the beans and transfer them to a bowl of ice water.  When the beans are completely cooled, drain them and put them to the side.
4.       Heat the olive oil in a large skillet to medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms to the hot skillet to brown.  Cook about 5 minutes.
5.       Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook about 3 minutes
6.       Add the butter and the flour.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Cook and stir for about 3 minutes.
7.       Add the stock, and stir in the sour cream.
8.       Once the sour cream is incorporated add the half and half, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Stir until combined.
9.       Remove the skillet from the heat, add the blanched green beans and the lemon juice, toss to combine.
10.       Transfer the beans and sauce to an 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish (or your favorite casserole).
11.       Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the beans.
12.       Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the casserole is hot and bubbly.

*If desired, top with crispy fried onions or shallots. 


  1. Yummm my husband loves mushrooms and green beans, so I know he would just love this casserole!

  2. This is my kind of casserole! Thanks for the meat free solution. It had never occurred to me. I wonder if I could get Tyler to give up meat for one night!

  3. Those look absolutely lovely. I hope someone makes them for me on Thanksgiving.