When Thomas Cheller, owner of N.Y.C.’s New American Restaurant Hot Spot Per Se, takes on the modest green bean casserole, ramping it up with an indulgent cream of California cèpes (aka porcini mushrooms), you've got a side-dish vying for center stage. Go on, search out the thickest fresh cream you can find – fall is the perfect time to indulge. Read on for the delicious recipe.
Green Bean Casserole with Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots
8 medium cèpes (porcini) mushrooms, cleaned
4¾ cups canola oil, for sautéing and frying
1 yellow onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 sprig thyme, leaves picked and finely minced
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup flour
4 tbsp soft butter
1 juice of lemon salt
1 white pepper
2 lb. haricots verts (thin French string beans), cut into 1-inch pieces
15 large shallots, peeled
1½ cups flour
2 cups parsley, chopped
1. Slice half the stems off mushrooms and cut into ¾-inch dice. Chop remaining stems and tops into small dice and reserve.
2. Heat a medium-size pot over medium heat and cover the bottom with canola oil. Add diced mushroom stems, onions, and garlic; sweat until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add chopped thyme, chicken stock, and cream. Bring to a boil.
3. Meanwhile, mix together flour and butter by hand until combined. When stock mixture comes to a boil, take pot off heat and whisk in butter and flour mixture bit by bit, until all of it is incorporated. Return pot to a simmer and cook gently for 15 minutes, whisking constantly to prevent the bottom from burning.
4. Finish with lemon juice, salt, and white pepper to desired taste.
5. To make the haricots verts, bring 7 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1/3 cup of kosher salt. Add haricots verts and blanch until tender (about 2 minutes).
6. Remove beans and place in an ice water bath until chilled; drain well.
7. Place beans on paper towels to absorb excess water.
8. To make the crispy shallots, hold the shallots from the root end, slice very thinly using a mandoline. Place in a large mixing bowl.
9. Heat 4 cups oil to 325°F. Just before frying, rub shallots with flour until you have individual rings. Add shallots to hot oil and fry in batches, stirring constantly, until lightly browned (about 2 minutes). Drain well.
10. Place on paper towels and season with salt.
11. To put it all together, preheat oven to 350°F.
12. Sauté reserved cèpes in canola oil until golden brown.
13. In a bowl combine cèpes, cream of mushroom, and haricots verts.
14. Place mixture in an oven-proof casserole dish, sprinkle with parsley and crispy shallots, and bake for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.