The one drawback to having Thanksgiving away from home is that there are no leftovers in the freezer. I wasn’t really done having the taste of Thanksgiving dinner so I decided to whip up something that was slightly healthier than the traditional options but still satisfied that craving.
I decided to do a take on the classic Green Bean Casserole. I didn’t have any cans of cream of mushroom laying around and bechamel is so darn easy that I just made my own. I also always have dried porcini mushrooms in my pantry. This may sound fancy but really it’s just because I love the flavor of mushrooms and having the dried ones in the pantry at all times means I don’t have to run out to the store for fresh ones when I start jonesing for the the taste of mushrooms. In this particular recipe though, the porcini made a huge difference. The bechamel came out way better than I expected and I think it had a lot to do with those fragrant dried mushrooms.
- 1 head of Romanesco Cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 lb Green Beans, trimmed cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup dried Porcini Mushrooms
- 1 shallot peeled and cut in half
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups of milk
- 4 TBS of butter
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- Place bay leaf on the smooth side of one of the shallot halves and secure it in place by stabbing the 2 cloves through the leaf into the shallot. Place the porcini mushrooms, shallots, cloves and bay leaf in a sauce pan with the milk and bring to a simmer and cook until shallot is tender. Remove from heat and let the mushrooms, shallot and spices steep in the milk.
- Bring large pot of salted water to a boil
- Add green beans and romanesco and cook until crisp tender. They won’t cook very long in the broiler so make sure the veggies are just slightly firmer than you want them to be for the final result. Put in a bowl and set aside.
- Pour the mushroom and milk mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl and set aside. Reserve porcini mushrooms and when they are cool enough to handle chop them into a small dice and set aside.
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup flour, whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in milk, and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in a teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and reserved chopped porcini mushrooms. Pour over green beans and romanesco, and toss to combine.
- Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking pan. Spread half the green-bean & romanesco mixture over the bottom. Sprinkle on half the grated cheddar cheese, and top with the remaining veggie mixture. Sprinkle on remaining cheddar cheese.
- Heat broiler, positioning rack about 8 inches from heat. Cook casserole, covered, until mixture is bubbly and heated through, about 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook until top is golden brown, about 30 seconds.