Tag Archives: side dish

My Holiday Dinner Must-Have

Several years ago I tried out Tyler Florence’s Green Bean Casserole and have made it during the holidays every year since.  The cremini mushrooms are sauteed with minced shallot and garlic, then made into a cream sauce, the blanched green beans are added to it and it’s all poured into a baking dish, which is then topped with parmesan and homemade croutons and it’s all baked and ready for indulging.

If you’re still making Green Bean Casserole with a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and a can of green beans, shame on you I’m here to help.  Although I think that classic casserole is enjoyable because it takes me back to my childhood, reminds me of my grandma, is so easy to make, and pretty good with lots of those crunchy french onions on top, I thought I’d share my ‘MUST-have’ for the holiday dinner.

This year for turkey day we will be out of town, but I’m still going to make my favorite casserole, and a dessert (of course!).  I’m pretty excited for all of the holiday fun, so I cooked this up for part of our dinner last weekend.

The recipe is here, I make it pretty much the same.  I do love to use creminis and one big portabella for this, and simply using just fresh thyme to herb it up works well.  I add in a few minced garlic cloves when sauteing the shallots.  The cream sauce can sometimes be a bit thin, so be sure to simmer for 5-7 min. once the cream is poured in.  Only bake the croutons for ten minutes, or just until they’re starting to turn golden since they’ll toast up more later when baking.

My food photography really doesn’t do this delicious dish justice as the pics were taken indoors and at night, but (in my opinion) the holiday dinner table just isn’t complete without it. =)


It was great with the Elk Steak that Will grilled up and the acorn squash that I baked with butter and brown sugar.

The only bad thing about this casserole– it is very likely that you will already be filled up on half of a pan of warm yummy croutons before the dish ever hits the table!

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Courgette Favorites :: Fried Zucchini

Can I think of any more not-so-nourishing ways to eat this vegetable??  Well probably, but we won’t go there for now.  My mom always made fried zucchini when I was growing up and I love it.  I don’t deep fry it, and neither did she, but we do a bread crumb coating and pan fry it.  They’re so good as a part of dinner or a little appetizer.  I made a lot of them last night and they’re pretty darn good the next day as a leftover snack too.

::Fried Zucchini::
1 c. flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. bread crumbs
1 or 2 large zucchini, 1/2″ thick slices
optional:
1/4 c. grated parmesan

With three bowls set out, fill one with the flour, one with two eggs, and one with bread crumbs (and parm if using).  Season the flour or the bread crumbs with s + p.

Roll each slice in flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs, and set on a baking sheet or plate.  Heat a large saute pan (non-stick, cast iron, or stainless) over medium heat, coating the pan with about 1/4″ of olive oil/vegetable oil.  When oil is hot and a pinch of bread crumbs gives a good sizzle, set the coated zucchini in the pan.  Don’t over crowd the pan, cook them in two batches if you have a lot.  Let sizzle and brown, about 5-ish min. on each side.  Only turn over once.  Line the same baking sheet or plate with paper towels and set fried zucchini on it to cool.  Each slice is done when it’s golden brown on each side, and if you press on the center a little and it’ll give.

Tips:
–Use one hand for rolling the slices in the dry ingredients and the other for the wet egg layer, to minimize fingertip clumpage.
–1/2″ thick slices work best, firm on the outside and tender in the middle.
–When removing from pan and setting on paper towels, set the recently-cooked-side down, rather than turning over, so that the oil doesn’t soak back into the zucchini, but runs down into the paper towel.

These are served best with a little marinara or some aioli, but also just right without any dressing.  Cheers!