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.
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.
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.
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