Monday, November 23, 2009

30 and counting.....Vegetarian Green Bean Casserole

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has watched Food Network Challenge: Thanksgiving Family Feast.  The response has been overwhelming.  I can honestly say that for my mom, Becca, and me, it has been one of the most fun and rewarding things we have ever done.  Who knew that those 3 days in Denver would turn out to be so amazing.  Forget Christmas, forget my birthday, I am a Thanksgiving girl forever more. 

Our recipes will appear hear over the next few days.  Make them your own and eat them in good health!  Happy Thanksgiving! 

For the topping:
4 Leeks, thinly sliced
6 cups canola oil
For the casserole:
2 tbsp + 1tsp of kosher salt
1 lb fresh green beans, washed, ends snapped, halved
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
12 oz crimini mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup vegan ‘no-chicken’ stock
1 cup soymilk creamer
Preheat oven to 475 degrees

Topping: Heat 6 cups of canola oil. Deep fry leeks until golden brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Casserole:  Bring 1 gallon of water and the 2 tbsp of salt to a boil in a large saucepan.  Blanch beans for 5 minutes.  Drain and place in ice water bath to stop cooking.  Drain again and set aside for later.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over med-high heat.  Sautee mushrooms, 1 tsp of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Add minced garlic and nutmeg.  After a few minutes, sprinkle 2 tbsp of flour over the mushroom mixture.  Stir and cook for another minute, then add ‘no-chicken’ stock.  Let simmer 1-2 minutes.  Turn the heat down to med-low and add soy half and half.  Let thicken, stirring occasionally, 8 or 9 minutes.  Remove the pan from heat and add a portion of the leeks, leaving enough to sprinkle over the top after baking (about ¼, as you like it)  Bake until bubbling, 15 minutes.  Remove from oven. 

Just before serving, sprinkle with remaining leeks.  (The leeks will be extremely ‘fragile’, so there is no need to bake them on top.  Feel free to make extra to have on hand to sprinkle as desired.)

**This is based on Alton Brown’s Best Ever Green Bean Casserole.  I vegg-ed it up and swapped his onions for leeks.  It really is fantastic.  You may never go back to the canned stuff!

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