Green Bean Casserole My French Way;-)

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The first time I was introduced to a casserole was about 15 years ago. My husband  and I had been invited to a dinner party/ dinner club and everyone had been invited to contribute to the meal by bringing something. I cannot recall what i brought, but what i recalled is the food that i tasted. Some was good, some average and some just below average. What i remembered is a green bean casserole. I had never seen green beans served other than steamed, sauteed in a pan, or served as a salad before that evening. I tasted it and though many people went on and on about it, i was really not impressed.

I will tell you that I never really ventured to make a green bean casserole until this week-end. In the october issue of Fine Cooking, there was a recipe that looked so yummy that I needed to try it. Except that i hardly followed the recipe because I did not have everything on hand.

Ingredients for a casserole of 8-10 people:

  • 2 lbs of green beans rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 leek 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 box of mushroom
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of broth
  • 1 cup of milk/ or cream
  • salt and pepper
  1. Rinse the leeks, chop them very thinly and set them aside.
  2. Slice the onion in half. Slice 1 half in thin 1
  3. Place them into a bowl, drizzle some flour, mix them 3
  4. Fry them a bit a time in a sauteed pan until they are golden brown. Set them aside.
  5. Chop the other half of the onion.
  6. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and cook it until it is sizzling. Add the onion and saute them until they are becoming a light yellow and are translucent. Add the leek and do the same.
  7. Then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook them until they are brown and the liquid has evaporated.
  8. Add the flour and stir well.IMG_2874
  9. Add the white wine and bring the mixture to boil.
  10. Lower the temperature, add the broth, the cream and cook until the mixture is thickening.IMG_2875
  11. Meanwhile, steam the beans for 4 minutes until they are cooked, but firm.
  12. I choose the use my round mold to steam the beans because it is much quicker: trim the green beans and place them into a large round bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Place the octogonal silpat on top to close it off and cook the beans in the microwave for 6 minutes.
  13. Drain the water, place the beans into a casserole dish. I chose my large round mold again because it is non-stick so no scrubbing;-) when it will be cleaning time.
  14. Pour the sauce over the beans, mix well and cook the “casserole” for 20-30 minutes.
  15. When it is time to serve the casserole, mix the casserole to distribute the sauce. Sprinkle the sauteed onions over the casserole and enjoy;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Grown Up Fish Sticks

We all know that fish is one of those food that should be eaten  more than once a week because of all the benefits it brings. Not only is it packed with healthful vitamins and minerals, it is also a major source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also shown to reduce the chance of heart attack, and stroke in elderly people. I eat fish 3 to 4 times a week so I should be okay. My family on the other hand does not… so I am always trying to find ways to have them eat a little more healthier…

Since both my kids and husband like fish sticks, I thought of making my own and this is how this recipe came about. I accompanied the fish stick with a red-pepper jelly sauce, but just a few drops of lemon juice would be fine. ( Ketchup would probably work also, but I am not making that suggestion;-)

Ingredients for 4: 3-4 flat fish filet such as tilapia or catfish, 2 eggs, 1tbsp of hoisin sauce, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/8 tsp of pepper, 1/4 cup of red pepper jelly, 1/8 cup of fat-free sour cream, 1 tbsp of fresh ginger grated, 1 tbsp of ginger powder.

Cut the fish filet in small strips or about 1 inch wide.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, the hoisin sauce, 1 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/8 tsp of pepper and stir. Add the cut-out fish filet and mix so that the fish filet are well coated with the egg mixture. In another bowl, mix 1 1/2 cup of panko bread crumb, and 1 tbsp of ginger powder. Scoop the fish out of the egg mixture, and place it all in the breadcrumbs. Stir to coat the fish with the breadcrumbs. Remove the fish filet one at a time and place them on a large silpat that was placed on a perforated sheet. Cook the fish sticks in the oven for 6-8 minutes at 400. Meanwhile mix the sour cream with the red-pepper jelly and the 1 tbsp of fresh grated ginger.

To serve, place the fish filet on plates and drizzle the fish sticks with the sauce, or with lemon juice. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!