Everyone loves Green Bean Casserole. It is an American classic. And oh so out dated. My updated version may not be as easy as opening a few cans, but it can be made easier by purchasing sliced mushrooms and doing serval of the steps in advance. The sauted mushrooms can be made days ahead of time or even a month ahead and forzen. The same goes for the creamy sauce.

Try something old made new this Thanksgiving!!

Green Bean and Mixed Mushroom Casserole

Serves 4 to 6

1 lb Haricots Verts or petite green beans, trimmed

5 tbsp Unsalted butter
1 (8oz container) Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 Portobello mushroom, cleaned, gilled and cut into small cubes
2 cups Shitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and cut into quarters (or a 5oz container sliced Shitake mushrooms)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/3 cup Brandy or cognac

1 tbsp Thyme leaves

¼ cup Unsalted butter
1/3 cup Flour
1 ¼ cup Chicken broth
1 cup Half and Half
Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup Fried onions
¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375° and butter a 2 quart baking dish.

Green beans and Mushroom:
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat; add butter, heat till butter is melted.
Add Crimini, Portobello, and shitake mushrooms; stirring until golden brown and all liquid is evaporated.
Add garlic; sauté till fragrant.
Remove pan from heat and add cognac, return to heat and cook till all liquid is evaporated.
Add green beans into the mushrooms, cover and cook approximately 10 minutes; or until green beans are just tender.

Season with salt and pepper and transfer beans to buttered baking dish (RESERVING PAN FOR CHICKEN BROTH).
Sprinkle green beans and mushrooms with thyme leaves.

Add chicken broth to the pan, bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a sauté heat butter over medium heat to melt.
Stir in flour and cook for several minutes, till roux reaches a light brown color.
Add ½ of the warm broth to the roux and whisk till thick and completely incorporated; repeat with remaining broth and half and half (adding one half cut at a time). Season sauce with salt and pepper
Pour sauce over mushrooms and green beans.

In a bowl stir together fried onions and Panko bread crumbs. “Crunch” the fried onions with your hands to release oils; till fried onions and panko lightly hold together when squeezed.
Sprinkle topping over green bean casserole.
Place in the oven and baked till golden brown and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.