Monday, November 26, 2012

Green Bean Casserole Makeover: Green Bean Poutine

Green bean casserole—you can love it or you can hate it, but you can’t ignore it. In its most classic form, the iconic muddle of frozen green beans, cream of mushroom soup and crispy French onion strips has been making an appearance on holiday tables for years. For this post, I gave the famous recipe from the back of the soup can a well-overdue new look.

I first tried poutine, a glorious Canadian specialty of gravy-covered French fries dotted with cheese curds, during my visit to Quebec in September. Thinking back on its rich, so-bad-for-you-but-who-cares-its-delicious deliciousness got me inspired to make a green bean poutine with fried green beans. It is a green bean casserole that you can eat with your fingers!

I won’t say that my dish is fancy, but it is made up of some fancy-sounding stuff like, “velouté” and “tempura.” I’m also not going to claim that it’s “good for you” just because it’s made with green beans; the beans are still fried and covered in gravy, though I’m pretty sure it has fewer calories than the lard-fried French fry version. And I also won’t say that it’s very photo-friendly, although I did get it to look pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

To make the poutine, I stuck with all of the key elements of the green bean casserole that we all know and love/loathe and put my own spin on them. For the gravy, I made my own “cream of mushroom soup” with a mushroom velouté (a thickened stock similar to gravy) made with homemade mushroom stock, white wine and assorted mushrooms. For the fried green beans, I crushed French onion strips and incorporated them into a tempura batter along with some cold club soda to make the beans nice and crispy. The gravy is ladled onto the fried beans in a bowl and topped with toasted almonds, parsley, and chunks of semi-soft queso blanco cheese. Yum!

Green Bean Poutine:
Yield: 1 big bowl, or 3-4 small bowls
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ shallot, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces assorted mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup, divided
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 ½ cups mushroom stock**(homemade or store bought vegetable stock)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup finely crushed French’s French fried onions
- 1 ½ cups cold club soda
- ½ pound string beans
- Peanut oil (or other neutral oil) for frying
- Queso blanco (other other semi-soft cheese), cubed
- Sliced almonds, toasted
- Parlsey, roughly chopped
1) To make the mushroom velouté/gravy: Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Add ¼ cup flour and cook 1 minute more, stirring continually. Add the wine and stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
2) In the meantime, make the tempura batter: Combine the remaining 1 cup flour, cornstarch, crushed French fried onions, and club soda in a large bowl and mix well.
3) Heat the peanut oil in a fryer or about 2 inches up in a wok or small saucepan until a bit of the batter sizzles when dropped in. Dip the beans into the batter a few at a time, then fry in the hot oil until crispy and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Top the fried green beans with mushroom gravy, cheese, almonds, and parsley. Serve immediately.
** To make homemade mushroom stock, remove the stems from the mushrooms and add to a small pot with about 1 quart of water. Simmer for 45 minutes and strain.


Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

I live in Montreal so i am impressed by your take no our junk food classic...but it so much healthier and gorgeous.

Faith said...

This is so creative, I love it...what a fun twist! I bet it was delicious! said...

Very nicely done...and also creative...

Natasha Price said...

We were on the same wavelength with the veloute, and I love your idea of green bean tempura - awesome!

Lori Lynn said...

Marisa ~ this is super-clever! Out-of-the-box thinking. And actually sounds mighty tasty. YAY for your makeover!

Joan Nova said...

That was a fun way to go! Good job!

Victoria said...

Love how creative you got with this!! It's festive and original at the same time. Would love to try this :)

Magic of Spice said...

I would say fancy...and incredibly delicious! What a beautiful creation!