Friday, November 25, 2011

Green-Bean Casserole Topped with Shallots

Having just indulged in a delicious (if deadly) canned soup / fried onion version at an office potluck, I knew I wanted to try a green-bean casserole for my own Thanksgiving dinner.  I wanted it to be light and healthy, though, with a focus on the vegetables instead of the cream and "fried."  I also wanted a recipe that would have rich mushroom flavor without the risk that one of those slippery, slimy suckers would wind up accidentally in my mouth.  I HATE mushrooms.

The Gracious Pantry has a lovely recipe for Clean Eating Green-Bean Casserole that I was able to adapt to meet all of my needs.  I followed the instructions for the Clean Eating Mushroom soup, substituting low-sodium vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Half a pound of mushrooms (whatever type you enjoy most)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp. olive oil
1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup non-fat milk

Wash and slice the mushrooms.

Saute the mushrooms in the oil. This is a very small amount of oil for one pound of mushrooms. But if you keep the heat low, the mushrooms will release their own moisture and before you know it you’ll have a bunch of water in the pan that won’t allow them to burn. Just get the pan hot over high heat and then immediately turn to low heat. Stir frequently.

When the liquid comes out of the mushrooms, add the balsamic vinegar. Then, the flour, which will soak up all the liquid pretty quickly.

Put the chicken broth into your soup pot. Transfer the mushrooms to the same pot and combine with the broth.

Add milk.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Once the soup was made and sufficiently cooled, I pureed it in my blender.  This took away all of the slimy mushrooms and also made the soup very thick.  I was then able to pour it over the green beans without added extra flour or cornstarch to thicken it.

I topped my casserole with crumbs I made out of whole-wheat Ezekiel bread and almonds, and then layered on shallots that I had browned in a bit of olive oil on the stove.  I then baked the whole thing on 325 (the turkey was in the oven...) for about an hour.

It came out creamy and crispy, but left me wanting a bit for salt.  A sprinkle at the table made it perfect!

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