Green Bean Casserole,
"Garlic-butter, Parmesan, twice baked potatoes, topped with a shallot, mushroom gravy, finished with thyme & sea salt seasoned, fried green beans"
5 tablespoons unsalted, butter
1/4 cup minced, shallots
8 ounces thinly sliced, white mushrooms (about 1/8")
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chicken stock (or broth from your roasted turkey)
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream, room temp
4 Russett baking potatoes, about 3 pounds total
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced, garlic
1 1/2 to 2 ounces (weight) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh, thyme leaves
Mortar & Pestle
Fried Green Beans
Note: If you like extra savory with your green bean casserole, toss the fried beans with chopped crispy bacon.
1/2 pound (8 ounces) green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
Vegetable oil for frying (I prefer peanut if no allergies)
Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauce pan, over medium temperature. Add the shallots and stir. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and cover with a glass lid (to see through). As soon as the mushrooms have released all their juices, remove lid and cook until juices have evaporated and mushrooms start to brown. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour. Cook 2 minutes, then whisk in the chicken broth. Season with salt & pepper to-taste and cook on low for two minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the cream and grate some nutmeg over the top, if using. Be conservative with the nutmeg; a little bit goes a long way. Let gravy cool and then cover until ready to use. Be careful not to let any condensation from lid, drain into gravy.
Note: I have found that cooking the potatoes in the microwave, then baking them in the oven produces a softer skin. The microwave method is quicker also, but the potatoes will have to be handled more carefully when preparing, as the skins will be softer.
Place the potatoes directly on oven rack and bake at 400F until a fork goes through easily when pierced.
Microwave the potatoes on high, turning over every five minutes until fork tender; about 15-20 minutes. Using an oven mitt, slice potatoes in half lengthwise and allow to cool some. Remove the flesh from the potatoes using a spoon, leaving about 1/8 " to keep their shape, and add to a mixing bowl. I like to use a paring knife and cut around the perimeter and then cut criss-cross, being careful not to cut through the bottom and then spoon out.
Note: As a second option, potatoes can be baked side by side in a rectangular baking dish, and warm gravy can be poured over the top, right before serving and finished with fried green beans.
Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a small pan and heat over medium-low temperature. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes lightly golden in color. Remove from heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of cold butter (to stop further browning). Once melted, add the garlic butter and Parmesan to the potatoes, season well with salt & pepper and cut-in using the edge of a fork to mix. Don't mash! This will give the potatoes a more natural texture.
Carefully turn the potato skins over, brush the bottoms with olive oil and season with salt. Fill the potato skins with the mixture, leveling off the top so there is enough to fill all 8 potato skins. Arrange the filled potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle more Parmesan over the tops and brush with melted butter. Place in the center of oven at 400F and bake 20 minutes. Turn oven on broil, move the oven rack up and broil the tops until golden. Remove from oven and lightly tent with aluminum to keep warm. Potatoes can be kept warm in a 200F oven until ready to serve.
Add sea salt and thyme to mortar & pestle and finely grind.
Fried Green Beans
Slice the green beans into 1" to 1 1/2" segments. Add the sliced beans to a bowl and cover with buttermilk. Whisk the flour, corn starch and salt together in a bowl. Take a hand full of the soaked beans from the bowl, gently shake off excess buttermilk and drop into the flour/corn starch coating. Stir with a fork to coat well and then scoop out using your spider strainer, shaking off excess coating. Place onto a plate and repeat until all beans are prepared for frying.
Heat your frying oil to 350F and fry beans in batches until lightly, golden brown. Place on a plate lined with paper towels and toss with some of the herbed sea-salt while still hot.
When ready to serve:
Using a spoon, cut each potato down the center lengthwise and spread apart wide enough to spoon some of the mushroom gravy into each one. Place onto a serving dish and serve with the fried green beans.