This is a fancy, updated version of a classic green bean casserole, with gorgeous chanterelles instead of cream of mushroom soup, and crispy shallots instead of fried onions. Hell yeah.
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour
for the beans
1 lb. green beans
4 quarts water
½ cup sea salt
for the chanterelles
½ lb. chanterelle mushrooms
1 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbs. butter
for the cheese sauce
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. flour
2 cloves garlic (peeled, smashed smooth with ½ tsp sea salt)
2 ½ cups whole milk
3 oz. smoked gouda
2 oz. parmesan (ground in a food processor)
salt and pepper, to taste
for the topping
1 ½ cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 oz. parmesan (ground in food processor)
1 cloves garlic (peeled, smashed smooth with ¼ tsp sea salt)
1 tbs. butter
1 quart canola oil
1. First, cook the beans. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a 6 quart sauce pan. Add ½ cup of salt. Meanwhile, take the stem ends off of the fresh green beans, and cut in ½ on bias. Allow the water to come back to the boil and then set a timer for 2 minutes. Drain beans and rinse with cold running water to stop cooking. Set aside.
2. Next, clean the chanterelles by peeling back the stem with a paring knife, and brushing off any surface dirt with a soft towel. Cut mushrooms into quarters. Heat a cast iron or small steel skillet to medium-high, and add 1 Tbs. of olive oil. Add quartered mushrooms, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook stirring often until mushrooms lose their water and begin to dry back out slightly. At the last minute add a tbs. of butter to the hot pan, and toss one last time. Taste the mushrooms for doneness and seasoning. Set aside.
3. Now, make the cheese sauce: In a small sauce pan (about 4 quarts) melt butter over medium-low heat and then add flour. Whisk well to incorporate, and then add minced garlic. Cook until flour begins to get very pale golden, and garlic is no longer raw. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Quickly, but gradually- mix in 2 ½ cups milk. Whisk to thoroughly incorporate. Allow milk mixture to simmer gently until thickened, 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the Gouda and grated parmesan. Whisk well, and then taste and adjust final seasoning.
4. Now, make the shallot topping: Slice 4 shallots to 1/16 inch thickness. Heat 1 quart canola oil to 250 Fº and carefully fry the shallots to a light golden brown. This takes quite a bit of time, and no, 250 is not a typo. You have to go low and slow with the shallots as the natural sugars have a tendancy to burn. Drain onto a paper towel. They should be a light nutty brown, but any further and they will taste bitter. Salt lightly and allow to fully cool. In a small saute pan over medium-low heat, add butter and then garlic and panko. Carefully and evenly toast to a light golden brown.
5. Finally, it's time to assemble and bake this thing: Toss green beans and mushrooms with cheese sauce. Taste for final seasoning. Place in a small casserole (about 9x9 or so), and top with the Panko crumbs. Bake at 375 Fº for about 15 minutes or until very bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with crispy fried shallots. Serve.