The holidays conjure up visions of family, fun, and food ... and green bean casseroles, of course. The holidays also mean there are a lot of people on the go, dropping in for a quick bite.
Why not treat your family and guests to a mini gourmet green bean casserole appetizer? Our Mystery Chef has created a recipe that’s a fresh twist on a holiday favorite ... simple, elegant and tasty.
Nothing could be easier than chopping your favorite mushrooms, adding them to a cream sauce with green beans and serving them in phyllo cups garnished with a shallot and panko topping. A new holiday tradition could be in the making!
Green Bean Casserole Appetizers
1 package frozen small phyllo cups (about 15 fully baked shells)
2 cups thin green beans
3 cups of crimini mushrooms (brown baby bella)
2 whole shallots (large)
1 cup light cream
1 cup 1% milk (2% works well too)
1 tablespoon sea salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional)
1 1./2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper (or to taste)
1 or 2 cloves crushed garlic (optional)
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
3 cups vegetable oil (only for frying onions)
Prepare the shallot onion topping beforehand. Remove the skin of the shallots and halve. Cut into thin slices. Pour the vegetable oil into a small deep pot and heat. After the oil starts to shimmer, place in one slice of onion, as a test. If the onion bubbles and floats to the top, put in a third of the onions, so that the oil covers only one layer. If not wait, and retest. Fry until light brown to brown, then remove with a slotted spoon, draining the oil. Place the done onions directly into a bowl of panko and toss. Repeat the process until all onions are fried and coated. Set aside.
Quarter the mushrooms, and then slice very thinly and evenly, discarding the stems.
Combine the mushrooms, cream, salt and pepper in a pan. If adding soy sauce, add only 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, or to taste. Add in garlic, if desired. Make sure that the mushrooms are not crowded more than two layers high, or they will not cook properly; if so, choose a bigger pan or make more than one batch. Bring to a boil and then lower heat. Stir occasionally, so that the cream does not burn. The mushrooms will begin to release a thickening substance, so that you don’t need to use flour to thicken the sauce.
Cut the green beans into 1/2-inch lengths (or smaller), discarding the ends.
When the mushroom sauce has reduced in size by about 50 percent, add in the green beans and milk, and continue to stir. The mushrooms should be very soft and tender and about 30 percent of their original size when done. Taste and add more pepper and, or salt if desired.
Take the phyllo cups and place on your serving dish. If frozen, thaw as instructed on the package before starting to cook this recipe.
Fill the cups with the green bean and mushroom sauce mixture, and top with panko-covered fried onions.
Enjoy this mini-gourmet version of the classic green bean casserole.