It is never too early to start thinking about Holiday meals. Meat has traditionally been the main attraction, but side dishes are now successfully vying for stardom. It is always fun to add a new dish to your repertoire, and even more interesting to amp up a classic. Today’s homemade version of the classic Green Bean Casserole is sure to make you retire your canned mushroom soup for good.
I recently had the privilege to meet the creator of my new favorite recipe – award-winning cookbook author Rick Rodgers at a book launch luncheon at Melissa’s Produce along with other fellow bloggers and food writers.
We savored several of his delicious recipes from his new book, The Big Book of Sides.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup, Mexican Christmas Eve Salad, Roasted Beet and Orange Salad with Orange glaze, Butternut Squash and Potato Gratin and Homemade Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole with Crispy Shallots.
The Big Book of Sides is Rick’s 48th cookbook under his own name and he has an additional 30 others with other cooks & celebrities. He worked his magic in the kitchen by showing us how to make the perfect gravy.
He adapted well to cooking under the watchful eyes and multiple cameras for his gravy demonstration.
He entertained us with stories and multiple helpful tips that you can find in his book.
This comprehensive cookbook has 450 recipes for vegetables, grains, salads, breads, sauces & more to get you motivated for regular meal & holiday menu planning. The 32 photos in the book are beautiful, but I wish there were more of them. His recipes are easy-to-follow and I love that he has main dish pairing for every recipe suggestions.
I especially like the special occasion menu plans. Who doesn’t appreciate a little help with that?
The Big Book of Sides is a welcome addition to my kitchen and I think it will be in yours too.
- 1 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (I always use Kerrygold Butter)
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup finely chopped shallots
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk (I used almond milk)
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Maggi Seasoning or soy sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- ¾ cup (90 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large shallots, cut into ¼ inch rings, rings separated
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.
- To prepare the casserole: Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook just until they turn a brighter shade of green, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. (To prepare the
- green beans ahead, wrap them in paper towels after drying, transfer to a 1-gallon plastic zip-tight bag, and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
- Melt the butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the shallots and cook, stirring often, until they soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and stir well. Stir in the milk, broth, and Maggi and bring them to a boil, stirring often. (The mushroom sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for 1 day. Reheat in a large skillet over low heat.)
- Stir the green beans into the mushroom sauce. Transfer them to the baking dish. Season with pepper. Bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°F.
- To deep-fry the shallots: Meanwhile, pour enough of the oil into a large, deep skillet to come halfway up the sides and heat until the oil is shimmering and reads 365°F on an instant-read thermometer. Place a wire cake rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
- Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together in a brown paper bag. Mix the shallot rings and buttermilk in a medium bowl. In batches, remove the shallots from the buttermilk, letting the excess buttermilk drain back into the bowl. Add the shallots to the flour mixture and shake to coat. Transfer them to the oil and deep-fry until golden brown, about 1½ minutes. Using a wire spider or a slotted spoon, transfer the shallot rings to the cake rack to drain and place them in the oven-to keep warm. Top the casserole with the fried shallots and serve.
Where you are an experienced cook or a novice, The Big Book of Sides will be a staple for years to come in your kitchen.
…and then, she paused for thought.