Green Beans with Cremini Mushroom Sauce

Roasted (or sometimes deep-fried) turkey may be the star of Thanksgiving; it’s the sides that really get me excited. I grew up with the classic Campbell’s recipe. Two cans of green beans, one can of cream of mushroom soup, French’s fried onions… you get the idea.

A few years back, I decided that I was an adult and should try making an adult version of my childhood favorite. This recipe was a huge hit and continues to deliver rave reviews. If you're intimidated by number of steps in this recipe, bear in mind you don’t have to fry your own shallots. The canned fried onions will work just fine. But, please. I’m begging you. Save the cream of mushroom soup for another day. Mushroom sauce from scratch is well worth it!

Green Beans with Cremini Mushroom Sauce

Green Beans with Cremini Mushroom Sauce

1 pound shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
Salt

2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed if needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the shallots with 1/3 cup of the flour; shake off any excess flour. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 inch of oil until shimmering. Add the shallots in 2 batches and fry over moderate heat until very crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels, then sprinkle with salt.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the beans until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water; drain and pat dry.

Melt the butter in a large, enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, cayenne and a large pinch of pepper; cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour and gradually stir in the stock until smooth.

Simmer the mushroom sauce over low heat, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream, lemon juice and beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large glass or ceramic baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Cover the casserole with foil and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Uncover, scatter the shallots on top and serve.

Author’s Note: Cremini mushrooms are actually baby portobellos and can be replaced in this recipe with a variety of small mushrooms from white button to chanterelle. Recipe is adapted from Food & Wine Magazine.