If you have been watching the massive clean-up and restoration efforts going on after Hurricane Sandy and have been looking for a way to help, please consider making a donation to assist the people who have lost power, homes, possessions, and, in some cases, loved ones. The American Red Cross is in need of donations, and you can donate $10 directly to the fund for Sandy by texting the word “Redcross” to 90999. Feeding America is also collecting funds specific to the Sandy relief efforts. Save the Children is collecting donations and needed items for displaced children, and #dineoutNYC is tracking restaurants that are open for business in the area, and is encouraging people to dine out and tip big to get the restaurant industry back on its feet. There are many ways to help, and the need is great, so please consider donating.
The goal of this blogger event is to spread the word about ways to help, and to share a favorite comfort dish recipe with readers. My first thought was that if I didn’t have power for several days my favorite comfort food would be a box of donuts and a bottle of vodka, but I assumed you could figure out that recipe on your own (a tip: chocolate donuts are better with vodka). Instead, I went with what I am going to call REAL green bean casserole–one that will make you wish you could eat it every day, not just at Thanksgiving. This is the real deal, with a sherried mushroom cream sauce and some crispy shallots on top. Nothing canned, nothing fake, just pure, luxurious flavors. If you serve this at Thanksgiving and people don’t like it, please do not invite them back to dinner next year, because there is something wrong with them.
- 2 pounds green beans, cooked to the degree of “done” you prefer
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- salt, to taste
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- ½ cup heavy cream (no substitute)
- Place the cooked green beans in a serving dish and keep them warm until the toppings are ready.
- For the shallots, break up the rounds into individual rings before you cook them, so they will crisp up more as they fry. Heat the olive oil over medium-high in a medium skillet. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until the rings get brown and start to look crispy. Do not let them burn, but let them get nicely browned. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little salt.
- For the sauce, heat the butter over medium-high in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms, garlic, white pepper, and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are softened. Increase the heat to high and add the sherry. Cook until the sherry has mostly cooked off, and there is only a little liquid around the mushrooms. Add the cream and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has reduced enough to easily coat a spoon.
- Pour the mushrooms and sauce over the green beans, and top with the fried shallots right before serving.
You must use real cream in the sauce or it will not thicken, so don’t try to go low fat with this recipe. You are pouring that sauce over a whole bunch of green beans, so this is totally healthy, trust me. Also, if you grew up in an area that called green onions “shallots,” note that here it means the smaller, purple-skinned, onion-looking-things. Green onions will not work as a substitute.
There are a number of other wonderful comfort food recipes shared by bloggers, and you can view them here. Please do consider donating to this recovery effort if you can!
Thanks for reading,