Chanterelle & Green Bean Casserole

Chanterelle & Green Bean CassaroleThis is a popular Pacific NW version of the traditional Thanksgiving side dish, Green Bean Casserole. Stephanie Kimmel, chef/owner of Marché restaurant in Eugene, turned Thanksgiving’s well-worn green bean casserole into a refined dish. The colorful fresh green beans and chanterelles baked in a homemade white sauce are a serious improvement over the 1950s three-can combo. For toppers, the golden shallot and bread crumb crust out-crunches canned french-fried onions any day. To make things easy on the big day, prepare the beans and sauce ahead. I still have my yellowed clipping of this recipe from The Oregonian — it’s worth the extra effort. YIELD: 6 servings

  • Beans and mushrooms:

    • 1 to 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 8 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and, if small, quartered or, if larger, sliced 1/4-inch thick
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Sauce:

    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Topping:

    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Scant 1/2 cup sliced shallots
    • 1/2 cup fresh white bread crumbs
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. To cook beans: Boil green beans in salted water until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
    3. To cook mushrooms: In a large sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and onion and sauté over medium-low heat until softened. Add the chanterelles and thyme and stir to combine. Cook until mushrooms have released their juices and the juices are reduced. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
    4. To make sauce: In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in flour. Cook for a minute or two to remove the rawness of the flour. Whisk in milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, until the sauce is smooth. Add salt and cook, stirring often, until sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon.
    5. To make topping: Melt butter and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook until soft and beginning to turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
    6. To assemble: In a large bowl, combine green beans and mushroom mixture. Pour the sauce over all and stir until well-combined. Transfer mixture to a large buttered gratin or casserole dish. Smooth the top and sprinkle evenly with the bread crumb mixture.
    7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cream sauce is bubbly and the bread crumbs are golden.
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