Sunday, November 27, 2011

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Mushroom Gravy

I saw this recipe on Guy's Big Bite with Guy Fieri.   I made it for Thanksgiving this year.  Now I will never go back to green bean casserole with canned cream of mushroom soup.  It is really good.  I used three different kinds of mushrooms.  You can use whatever mushrooms you like. 

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Mushroom Gravy

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound mixed gourmet mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup  low sodium chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan
4 medium shallots, sliced and separated into thin rounds
1 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the green beans and cook until they just turn bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Set a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add butter and vegetable oil.  Once the butter is melted and the pan is hot, add the mushrooms.  Cook undisturbed so the mushrooms sear nicely, about a minute.  Add the thyme and garlic and continue cooking the mushrooms to achieve some nice color.  Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg.  Cook 2 to 3 more minutes longer, dusting the mushrooms with some of the flour as they lost release their moisture.  Stir to incorporate the flour and gradually add in the chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and add the sour cream and cream.  Stir gently and cook over low heat until gravy thickens, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the blanched green beans to the pan and fold together so everything is mixed well.  Spread out evenly in the pan.  Sprinkle the grean beans with the grated parmesan and bake until the casserole is bubbly and the top is melted and golden, 15 minutes.

Pour the vegetable oil into a deep skillet and heat to 350 degrees.  Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and season generously with salt and pepper.  Toss the shallot rounds in the seasoned flour, then place in a strainer and shake off any excess flour.  Fry teh shallots in the hot oil in small batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.  Drain on paper towels and season with salt while still hot.  Top the green bean casserole with the fried shallots and serve. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Dump Cake

I have to admit it... I don't like pie.  Never been a fan.  The only kind I like is my mom's crustless buttermilk pie that I get once a year at Christmas.  And I have to share with my cousin Terry... But he's not so bad, so I don't mind!  I love the flavor of pumpkin though... as long as it is not in pie form.  So we started making this dump cake a few years ago and now I make it in lieu of pie at Thanksgiving.  It's super easy.  Hope you enjoy it.

2 cans pumpkin
2 12 ounce cans of evaporated milk (3 cups)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted

Mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, cinnamon, ginger, eggs, sugar, salt and cloves together well.  Pour into a greased or sprayed 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with cake mix.  Drizzle with melted butter, then sprinkle with pecans.  (My daughter doesn't like nuts, so I only do half of the pan with nuts.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cream of Mushroom Soup

I am on a huge soup kick lately.  This has to be one of my absolute favorites.  This recipe should serve four as it is stated, but I promise you I could eat it all by myself!  It's that good. 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 pounds of regular white mushrooms (I actually used a combination of white and baby bells)
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
4 Tbsp Minced Shallots
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme or 2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme (Use fresh if at all possible!)
Bay Leaf
2 Teaspoons of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Fresh Ground Pepper
4 Cups Heavy Cream
3 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsps of water

In a food processor, coarsley chop the mushrooms and lemon juice.

Melt butter in a large sauce pan and lightly saute shallots on medium heat.  Add mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf, saute over moderate heat for about 15 minutes or until the liquid that is released from the mushrooms disappears.

Add salt, pepper, cream and chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Add cornstarch mixture and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Correct season and add more lemon juice to taste.  (I am not big on lemon flavor so I didn't add more).