Veggie of the Week: Green Bean pt. 4

Preparation and Serving:
– Wash raw beans in cold water
– Just before using, remove the strings and trim the ends
– Green beans can be found canned, frozen, and fresh
– Can be boiled, stir-fried, battered and fried, used in tempura, fried with other vegetables, eaten raw, or baked in casseroles
– Can be used in stir-fry, stews, grilled-salads, steamed along with carrots, cauliflower, peas, tomato…etc.
– Mix well with cheese, nuts, mushroom, seafood, meat

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons butter, plus more for dish
1 medium onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound button mushrooms, stems trimmed, quartered
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup canola oil
4 shallots or green onions, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch rings

Directions:
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
2. Add onion, and saute until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes.
3. Add bell pepper and mushrooms, and cook until softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
4. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
5. Set aside to cool.
6. Prepare an ice bath: Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside.
7. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.
8. Add beans, and cook until bright green and just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
9. Drain, and plunge into ice bath to stop cooking.
10. When cooled, toss drained beans with mushroom mixture; set aside.
11. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
12. Add 1/4 cup flour, whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes.
13. Pour in milk, and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes.
14. Stir in cayenne, nutmeg, and the remaining teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
15. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
16. Pour over beans, and toss to combine.
17. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking pan.
18. Spread half the green-bean mixture over the bottom.
19. Sprinkle on half the Parmesan, and spread with the remaining green beans.
20. Combine the remaining Parmesan and the breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over casserole.
21. Cover with foil, and refrigerate until just before serving.
22. Heat canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
23. Toss shallot or onion rings with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour.
24. Fry the shallots or onion in batches, turning frequently, until golden brown.
25. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
26. Place in an airtight container, and set aside until ready to serve.
27. Heat broiler, positioning rack about 8 inches from heat.
28. Cook casserole, covered, until mixture is bubbly and heated through, about 10 minutes.
29. Uncover, and cook until top is golden brown, about 30 seconds.
30. Sprinkle fried shallots or onions over top, and serve immediately.
31. Enjoy!

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