Fresh Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots

1 ½ pounds fresh French green beans, ends trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

4 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ cup dry sherry

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

Chicken or vegetable stock (if desired)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the beans and cook for until just tender but still firm, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the beans from the water to a large bowl of ice water to preserve color and stop the cooking. Drain the beans and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Stir in the mushrooms, sauté about 3 to 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. (Add 1 clove of minced garlic, if desired.) Add the flour and stir for another minute, to cook out the raw flour taste, and then whisk in the sherry, then the sour cream. Simmer for just a couple of minutes. If mixture is too thick, thin with the chicken or vegetable stock. Do not boil, or the sour cream will curdle.

Spread the green beans over the bottom of a 9-inch casserole dish. Pour all of the mushroom sauce mixture over the beans. Toss to coat. (Recipe can be made to this point, cooled, tightly covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Bake in the preheated 400° F oven, until light golden brown and bubbly, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with crispy shallots and serve warm.

Crispy Shallots:

½ Cup Flour, seasoned with salt, pepper & garlic powder

5 to 6 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings, soaked in buttermilk

Oil for frying

Toss the shallots in the flour until completely coated. Shake off excess flour. In a heavy-bottomed pan, bring oil up to 350° as measured by a candy thermometer. Fry shallots in batches until golden brown and place on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Salt immediately after coming out of the oil.