Crunch Time

String Bean, Beet and Goat Cheese Casserole

Okay…were just a few days away and I’ve saved the best for last. But before we get there, don’t forget the most important part of Thanksgiving…

To Relax!

Honestly, as much as I love cooking for the Holidays, it’s because I have found a way to let the “craziness” be part of the fun. You can only plan so much and inevitably something won’t turn out the way you thought it would. But who cares? Whether you are the one who loves to cook or the person who loves to dictate, just have fun with each other. Otherwise, what’s the point!

But that being said, this first of two Thanksgiving game changers are so damn delicious. Two years ago, when I made my string bean, beet, and goat cheese casserole as a modern take on the old school cream of mushroom variety, I knew the crunchy onion topping was a must. But instead of buying that war-time bunker canister of “fried onions” I decided to make my own. Fried shallots in fact, and holy hell were they good. Honestly, these are perfect for your string bean casserole, but they are also sort of perfect for anything. I’m not quite sure where these guys will end up this year but I know one thing…I’m making them!

Fried Shallots:

Shallots (as many as you want to fry)

Milk (enough to cover the sliced shallots)

Flour (enough to toss the shallots in)

Oil (enough to fry the shallots in)

Thinly slice as many shallots as you want to fry. For a topping of a casserole 5-8 good-sized shallots will do the job. Soak the shallots in the milk for up to 45 minutes. Bring a large pot filled a few inches with oil to around 350-375 degrees over medium heat. The best way to monitor this is with a frying thermometer but if you don’t have one, the best test is a first attempt with one sliced shallot.  Just before frying, toss your sliced and soaked shallots in seasoned flour (season with paprika, salt and pepper). Drop the shallots (small batches) into the oil. The frying should be obvious but not violent. Remove the fried shallots to a paper towel when golden brown and season with a pinch of salt. Do your best not to eat them all as you make them!

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