November 12, 2013

Green Bean Casserole with Morel Mushrooms

Green Been Casserole Recipe, Fancy Green Bean Casserole, Morel Mushrooms, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

As I’ve mentioned before, our work schedules are a little funky around here. So funky, in fact, that this year our calendars required us to celebrate Thanksgiving a few weeks early. Despite the somewhat unusual timing, we commemorated this holiday last Wednesday. We observed what I like to call “Chels-Giving”. Ha!

This isn’t the first Thanksgiving we’ve had away from home. Actually, this is the 5th Thanksgiving, we've made on our own. Even though we’ve gotten used to celebrating the holidays with just the two of us, we make our families traditional recipes so that despite the distance, we feel close to them.

Green Been Casserole Recipe, Fancy Green Bean Casserole, Morel Mushrooms, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

Green Bean Casserole has got to be one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. I love the mushroom flavors and the crunchy bits from the fried onions. As I’ve mentioned, my mom is a bit of a food snob, so growing up we never ate the traditional casserole, my mom made what I like to call “Fancy Green Bean Casserole”. With the addition of the fresh green beans, golden mushroom soup for richness and the fresh button and wild sautéed mushrooms, this dish isn’t one you’ll pass over at the table.

What makes this recipe so incredible is the addition of morel mushrooms. For those of you who don’t know about morels, instead of me writing another three paragraphs check out the Great Morel Mushroom page. These beauties can be found in Idaho and Iowa, and throughout most of the United States. As a kid, my Dad took us along each spring into the mountains to “hunt” for these mushrooms so we could store them away for the winter. While I used to detest this event growing up, my wiser and older self, is now grateful for the experience and the delicious dishes these mushrooms produce.

Green Been Casserole Recipe, Fancy Green Bean Casserole, Morel Mushrooms, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

If you can’t go out into the woods and gather morels on your own, they can often be found in farmer’s markets in the spring, and sometimes even at Whole Foods. Buy a package and dry them out using a dehydrator, and store them in a brown bag until you need them. They can also be found, dried, at some gourmet food stores, all year long. And, while this recipe calls for earthy and rich morels, porcini mushrooms are an easy substitute that delivers the same fresh mushroom flavor that makes this dish so exceptional.

Even though the timing of our Thanksgiving may have been a little untraditional, preparing recipes that remind our families makes it feel a little less unconventional and a lot more like home.

Green Been Casserole Recipe, Fancy Green Bean Casserole, Morel Mushrooms, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

 

Fancy Green Bean Casserole with Morel Mushrooms

Makes one 9x13 baking dish

Ingredients

3 lbs. fresh green beans, cleaned and ends removed
2, 8 oz. cartons button mushrooms, sliced
Handful dried or fresh Morels (about 2 cups) or dried porcinis could work, as well
2 tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 cups (1 Can) French Fried Onions - French's Brand
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup milk
Cayenne Pepper (if desired)

To Make Green Bean Casserole

Preheat oven to 350°.

If using dried morels or porcinis, soak them in warm water to reconstitute. Let mushrooms sit in water for 10-15 minutes. When removing mushrooms from water, use a slotted spoon to avoid sand/grit. Slice mushrooms.

Blanch or steam green bean until somewhat crunchy, but tender, 2-3 minutes. You will have to test them depending on thickness. Set aside.

Over the stove, melt butter in pan over medium heat, add garlic and morel and button mushrooms. Sauté until tender, about 8-10 minutes.

In large bowl, combine green beans, golden mushroom soup, sautéed mushrooms and milk. Mix well. Then, add 1 cup of French’s Fried Onions and mix. If you want just a little kick, add some cayenne pepper, just a little.

Pour combined ingredients into baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until heated through. Top with remaining onions. Bake for 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and serve as a fabulous side dish with your Thanksgiving meal.

This recipe can be made in advance and kept in the fridge, covered, until you are ready to bake, so don’t stress about the timing. And keep in mind, it reheats extremely well and tastes fantastic the next day.
 

Click here for more of my family's Thanksgiving recipes, including Sage and Sausage Stuffing and Nantucket Cranberry Pie. 

5 comments:

  1. This sounds so delicious, Chelsea!

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  2. Yummy, I wish we lived closer so that I could enjoy all of your wonderful creations. Miss you!

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  3. Oh, Chelsea. This sounds lovely and so homey... even if it calls for bunches of mushrooms, and I'm generally not a fan. I feel like I need to try this, though, because it sounds so comforting... and I bet the mushrooms add such great flavor and texture to it, too.

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    1. Erin, it's really delicious and I don't feel like the mushrooms are overwhelming in flavor they just add a richness that's perfect compliment to the green beans. Enjoy!

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