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Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole with Shallot Crumb Topping

Not your Momma’s Green Bean Casserole!

Confession: I strongly dislike mushy green beans.

Year after year I’ve been asked to post a lighter green bean casserole, and I’ve opted out because the thought of mushy green beans in canned soup with fried onions just doesn’t do it for me.  I’m very particular about how I like my green beans, I love them roasted so they get a little browned[1], cooked until tender crisp.  I like them sauteed with a little garlic and oil[2], I even love them in a salad[3]… but frozen or out of a can… I can do without them.

But, seeing how so many of you love green bean casserole, and after getting a Williams Sonoma Catalog with a (not light) recipe inside, I was inspired to give this a try.

I blanched my green beans for 2 minutes so they wouldn’t turn to mush. If you like your green beans soft, I would boil them for 5-7 minutes.

I made a mushroom sauce with milk and chicken stock instead of heavy cream. After tasting it, I thought it needed a little extra something, so I added some Pecorino Romano.

That fixed the flavor problem! Then came the topping, I wasn’t about to fry onions so I chopped up some shallots and decided to go with a toasted bread crumb topping instead. Next time I may add a little bacon to this (yes, there will be a next time). Put it in the oven and crossed my fingers. When it came out of the oven I served myself a plate and thought it was pretty good! In fact, I had to servings, but this was my lunch so I didn’t feel guilty.

Tips: Next time I make this I will cut the green beans in half, I think it would be easier to serve. Panko would work great in place of the bread crumbs. Adding a little bacon or pancetta to the crumbs would be delicious in my opinion. You can certainly halve this to feed a family of 4. Hope you enjoy!



Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole with Shallot Crumb Topping
Adapted from Williams Sonoma[4]
gordon-ramsay-recipe.com
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8 • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts 
Calories: 160 • Fat: 6 g • Carb: 22 g • Fiber: 4 g • Protein: 7 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 280.5 mg (without salt)

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs green beans, cut in half, trimmed and washed

For the topping:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh)

 For the green beans:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots, minced
  • 16 oz sliced mushrooms, (I used cremini)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock (or vegetable for vegetarian)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Directions:

Boil a large pot of water, when boiling add green beans and blanch for 2 minutes (or 6-8 minutes if you like them softer). Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking.

Meanwhile make the topping, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Reduce heat to medium-low, add breadcrumbs, grated cheese and thyme; sauté until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, careful not to burn.  

Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms, stir constantly for about a minute, then slowly add chicken stock, then milk. Bring to a low boil, and cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in Romano cheese. 

Add blanched green beens and mix well, season with salt and pepper as needed; pour into prepared baking dish. 

Top with toasted bread crumbs and bake about 30 minutes.

References

  1. ^ roasted so they get a little browned (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  2. ^ sauteed with a little garlic and oil (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  3. ^ salad (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  4. ^ Williams Sonoma (www.williams-sonoma.com)

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Brussels Sprouts with Warm Bacon Dressing and the Holiday Side Dish Dilemma

As I enjoyed this very tasty Brussels sprouts with warm
bacon dressing recipe, I was reminded Thanksgiving side dish decision time is
rapidly approaching. It’s that annual dilemma where we’re forced to choose five
or six recipes among hundreds of potentially awesome options.


What makes this decision so tough is that you want things
that are traditional and comforting, but at the same time, want to keep the
menu fresh and interesting. You love those buttery mashed potatoes, and yet
you’ve wanted to make twice-baked potatoes for years. You always make Grandma’s
chestnut stuffing, but that spicy cornbread version you saw on Pinterest sure
looks amazing. What do you do?

Do what I do; keep the starchy cornerstones classic, and
switch up the vegetable sides instead. Go ahead and do your favorite and
familiar potato, stuffing, and gravy recipe; but when it comes to tired old
dishes like green bean casserole, or peas and carrots, let your freak flag fly.

As long as you have a few comfort food favorites around,
people will forgive a little experimentation, and this creative, un-cooked
Brussels sprouts recipe would fit the bill. I love the contrast between the
raw, crunchy vegetable and the rich, smoky, sweet and sour dressing. This would
do any turkey proud.


While I decided to go raw this time, you can certainly turn
this into a hot side by giving it a quick, stir-fry in a large skillet. Just a
minute or two, until it starts to wilt, and you’re good to go. Anyway, I’m not
sure if I made your side dish selection simpler or more complicated by showing
you this new and exciting offering, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. You
always do. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
1 1/4 pound Brussels sprouts (will make about 1 lb. trimmed
and sliced)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 oz bacon, sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 lemon juiced
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne

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