All you need are:
~ 3 cups fresh green beans, washed and broken into pieces 1 1/2" to 2" long
~ 1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
~ 2 shallots or 1/4 of a red onion, diced
~ 4 oz. cremini mushrooms, washed and diced
~ 2 cloves garlic, minced
~ 2 oz. unsalted butter (half a stick, 4 tbsp.)- divided
~ 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
~ 2 cups milk
~ 1/2 cup panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
~ kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Place the green beans in a shallow pan with about 1/2" of water. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook until just bright green. Drain off the hot water and dump the beans into a bowl of ice water. Set aside.
Saute the chopped mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme in 2 tbsp. unsalted butter over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the flour and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the milk while stirring and cook until thickened. Season to taste and add the drained green beans. Heat through.
Preheat the oven to 400º. Put the green bean and mushroom mixture into an 8" baking dish. In a small bowl, melt the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter. Toss with the panko and spread the buttered breadcrumbs on top of the green bean mix. Bake until bubbling and golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. Serves 4-6.
|Fresh green beans were first broken into 1 1/2" to 2" pieces, and then steamed in a small amount of water until bright green.|
|See the pretty bright green color? Drain off the hot water and toss those puppies into a bowl of water and ice. This stops the cooking and retains crispness.|
|Saute some chopped mushrooms, thyme, shallots, and garlic in butter with salt and pepper. Add flour and combine thoroughly.|
|Stir in some milk and cook until thickened. Adjust seasoning and add green beans.|
|Mix together some panko bread crumbs and melted butter for a crunchy topping.|
|This is an 8" round baking dish.|
|Bake until golden and bubbly. In hindsight, a cup of panko was too much topping for this small batch. Half a cup should suffice.|
|Om nom nom nom!|