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Green Bean Casserole with Fried Leeks

Yield 6 servings
Remember the old green bean casserole made with convenience products: frozen or canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions? Here it is again, only updated with some upscale ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Madeira
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • Vegetable or peanut oil
  • 2 large leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced crosswise
  • Salt

How to Make It

  1. Melt butter in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and thyme; sauté 5 minutes. Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add Madeira, and cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Add whipping cream, and cook 2 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

  2. Meanwhile,cook beans in a small amount of boiling water 5 minutes or just until crisp-tender; drain. Add beans to mushroom mixture, and toss gently. Spoon into a greased 2-quart gratin dish or shallow baking dish. Cover and keep warm.

  3. Pour oil to depth of 2" into a 3-quart saucepan; heat to 350°. Fry leeks in 3 batches, 40 seconds or until golden. Remove leeks with small metal strainer; drain on paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle fried leeks over warm bean mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 5 minutes or until casserole is thoroughly heated.

Christmas with Southern Living 2002