Sometimes, I think about a classic American recipe, and I wonder: “How would a French cook put their own spin on this?”
So recently, when I got a mailing of recipe cards from my friends at Comté-USA, I knew I’d have to post this baby. It’s basically a French take on a Green Bean Casserole. (You know—the one with canned cream of mushroom soup and canned onions)?
Well, leave it to the French to make it fresher, better, and more indulgent. This version vaguely follows the old midcentury model, but uses crisp fried shallots, fresh mushrooms, and a homemade Comté cheese sauce (rather than that cream of mushroom soup).
What? You don’t know about Comté cheese? Find out more here. It’s a French version of Gruyère….but to my palate, so much more fascinating.
Here’s the recipe:
Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole with Comté and Fried Shallots
Makes 4 to 6 servings (or more, if you have a lot of other things on your holiday table!)
1 cup canola oil
1/2 pound shallots (about 6 whole), peeled and very thinly sliced
1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
10 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 3/4 cups shredded Comté (about 4 ounces)
Line a large plate with paper towels. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer and lightly smoke. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until light golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to the paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 2- to 3-quart casserole dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes. While the beans cook, fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain the beans and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop cooking. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel to dry.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and toss. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the minced garlic; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Whisk in the broth and milk and bring to a simmer. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until thickened. Turn off the heat and add half of the shredded Comté, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stir until the cheese is melted. Add the green beans and stir to coat.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Comté over the top. Bake 10 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and heated through. Before serving, sprinkle the fried shallots over the gratin. Serve warm.