Posted in Meal of the Week, World of Warcraft

Pilgrim’s Bounty Week: Lakeshire Green Bean Casserole

green bean final

Sweet Green Thrall at the Maelstrom. This… This. 

Full disclosure – this recipe was time consuming but it was absolutely worth it. I mean it, this is one that you really can’t miss. It was worth every bit of effort. It was time consuming, but it was not hard.  Let me remind you as to what I’m all about. I am a relative cooking noob. I am learning as I go, and a big part of that is not being afraid of the kitchen. This recipe calls for three things I’d never done before: parboiling (which is essentially boiling something until just where you want it, then shocking it so that it stops cooking instantly), deep frying, and flambé-ing.

None of this was hard or scary, and I’m going to show you how to do it without it being hard or scary either. This recipe is from scratch. And when I say ‘from scratch’ I mean FROM. SCRATCH.

I did it. So can you.

I got this recipe from an awesome Human food-mage, Babbish of Binging With Babbish so credit where credit is due, check out the original recipe I worked from here. After this recipe, I no longer have an excuse not to support him on Patreon.

Now for our cast of characters! Like I said, some of these are a bit consuming, and he is working with more Human-centric foods, so I’ll tell you where you can skimp and what can be replaced along the way.

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For this, I have about 4 lbs (~2kg) of green beans, untrimmed, about 1lb (500g) of Darkshire mushrooms, two large onions, about a cup (150g) of flour for coating, plus a heaped tablespoon for a roux. 3 tablespoons of butter (about 50g), a cup of heavy cow cream (240 ml), and 2 cups  (500 ml) of talbuk buttermilk. You can sub the milks for kodo, elekk or bison, but be warned if you use yak it’s going to be a lot thicker to work with. And for the flambé, about two finger’s worth of cognac.

Let’s get started.

green beans 16

Start by cutting the onions in half and slicing them into half-moon rings. We’re going to make some fried onions. I’m not joking that this was from scratch.

Jax’s Tip #1: When slicing the onions, cut off the stem part but NOT the root. This will keep it from making your eyes burn, as well as give you something handy to hold onto while chopping!

Get a pan with high walls and fill it with about an inch of oil. I used vegetable oil. Heat it up low and slow, you want it only to hit about 300F or 149C. Get a thermometer. Frying things is something I’ve never done and it scares the shit out of me, so get a thermometer. You want these to fry low and slow so as not to scorch.

While that’s heating up, put the onions in a bowl and pour the buttermilk over them to coat. You’re going to let them sit in this delicious tangy bath for about 15 minutes.

green beans 12

While that’s soaking, let’s start on the green beans. There are a few ways you can do this and 4 lbs is a lot of green beans to get through so here’s

Jax’s Tip #2: If you’re short on time or energy, get frozen green beans. NOT ration-canned. Frozen are presliced, you can probably use two standard sized mage-bags. You want about four cups total. I’m sorry I don’t have precise measurements for this change, I just realized halfway through preparing these that that might work as a shortcut.

To prep the beans, snap off about a quarter inch from either end, and then snap it in the middle to make it around an inch long. I wasn’t super picky. You can also cut them but I found snapping to be easier and also gave me better range of quality control. It DID take a while though.

This was my view for the better half of an hour.

green beans 17.jpg

Am I complaining? Little bit. Was it worth it? Thrall’s balls yes.

I recruited Seratoph when he was dumb enough to stumble into the Keg while I was doing this.

“Wait so it’s a physical job…”
“Yes.”
“Th-that lets me work in a social setting…”
“Yes.”
“And I get to vent frustrations through the green beans”
“Sure why not.”
“And I get to sit?”
“Yes. Also I’m paying you in food.”

It was not a hard sell.

green beans 13

In between doing this, your onions will be done soaking and ready to coat in flour. I totally screwed this part up, but that’s okay because they were still amazing! Basically, put them one small handful at a time into the flour, then move them into a sieve to knock the excess off. Do not, like I did, put the wet onions in the sieve and flour them that way. That is the easiest way to gunk up the sieve and make Colin mad at you.

Gently add the onions to the oil. I separated them slightly with each batch and used about a quarter at a time.

green beans 11.jpg

A few rules for cooking these: Make sure your oil isn’t too hot, but also that it’s not too cold. I’m not joking, if you’re not familiar with frying, like I wasn’t, get an engineer to make you a thermometer, it will make all the difference.

And secondly: Don’t touch them!!! Not while they’re frying, it will make it harder to cook them evenly. I know that sounds counter intuitive but trust me on this one.

green beans 9

Once they’re golden brown, remove them to a plate to drain. Sprinkle them with salt. Taste one. ONLY ONE.

My mindset leading up to this moment was along the lines of:

Fuck this is a lot of work for something I could just buy in a ration-can.
Seriously, this can’t be that good.
Well, I’ll try one and —
Oh.
Oh dear.
Oh excuse me while I add hand-battered onion rings to the permanent menu.

green beans 5.jpg

DON’T. TOUCH THEM. No you didn’t make enough. No you can’t have ‘just another taste’. It tastes amazing. Leave it alone, you need this for the recipe. For Light’s sake make another batch later!

…are all things I yelled at myself. Out loud. In the kitchen. Where people could hear me.

So by now the onions are done and the green beans should be ready. Wash them off and drain them, then get a large pot of water boiling. Also prepare a large bowl of ice water for shocking.

Once the water is boiling, add the green beans and we’re going to parboil them. You want to boil them just until they are bright green, then immediately move them into the cold water to keep them from cooking. You don’t want these cooked through, the later bake will finish it up.

As soon as those are done, we can work on the final piece – the mushroom soup. I used Darkshire brown button mushrooms, but you can also use Tirisfal brown if you still happen to have some. I’ve also seen people use Dalaran crimini or baby bella, but in all honesty, I think these all might be the same thing. So check around, talk to a druid, don’t be afraid to use a different (edible) mushroom.

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Stem, then clean the mushrooms by wiping the caps with a dishtowel. After they’re ready, start chopping. You want to really finely chop these, so I recommend lightly smashing the cap, then slicing into lengths and then chopping  up those lengths until they’re pretty little.

green beans 8

Once they’re all chopped, get out a high-walled sauce pan and melt the butter. Get it nice and bubbly, then toss in your mushrooms with a good pinch of salt.

green beans 7

The salt is going to draw out a lot of moisture and that’s okay. Keep cooking these until the moisture mostly evaporates. Then we’re going to add the flour. This makes what’s called a ‘roux’ and is going to act as our base for the soup.

Once the flour is mixed in, it’s gonna look kinda like a dough or a paste. Let it cook about a minute before adding two cloves of crushed garlic and cooking for another half minute.

At this point we’re going to deglaze the pan which basically means putting a liquid in it to get the delicious bits off the bottom of the pan. In this case, the liquid is cognac.

Pour your cognac in and kinda scrape along the bottom with a non-metal utensil to get everything up. I decided to flambe it to burn off the excess alcohol and give it a new flavor profile. In Babish’s video, I laughed because he stupidly left a wooden spoon in the pan while flambeing.

…I then proceeded to stupidly leave my wooden spoon in the pan while flambeing.

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Whoops.

So, this is something I’ve never done before. What you do is pour in the alcohol, give it a second, then using a long match (and after removing all flamable objects from the pan) touch the flame to the pan. There’s a quick burst of fire and then it slowly burns itself out. It only take a few seconds.

Keep a metal lid on hand in case the fire flares too large or something happens. If you want to put it out before it burns out, just cover the pan and the flame will be smothered. Easy peasy. Just be prepared.

OK, now that we have our roux just how we like it, add in the liquids – one and half cups of broth (300ml) and the heavy cream. I used garlic broth for this, because Pryn doesn’t eat meat and I wanted her to be able to enjoy this.

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We’re almost done. I promise. While this simmers, get your oven preheating to 375F/190C. Simmer the soup down, we’re looking for it to become thicker and darker in color. I don’t remember how long it took for me, maybe about 7 minutes? You’re looking for it to boil down to about ration-can soup thickness, since we’re just making an insanely buffed up version of this.

Go ahead and taste it. You’ll thank me.

green beans 2.jpg

Ok stop tasting it. Stop tasting it!

But we want it to look about like this. Ignore my dirty dishes in the background. The ingredients gotta come from somewhere!

Now we’re in the final stretch! All the hard part is done except the waiting. The horrible, horrible waiting.

Mix the soup, beans and half of the fried onions together into a casserole dish. Bake it covered for about 20 minutes. This will make the mixture fragrant and bubbly.

Then top it with the last of the fried onions and bake for another 15 minutes to give it a nice brown top.

green bean final dish

Allow it to cool so you don’t scorch your mouth. Congratulate yourself on the hard work, you did a lot of pretty advanced things and you have some amazing food to show for it. This turned out absolutely spectacular, and a big big BIG thanks to Babish for posting this recipe for me to follow along to.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs (2 kg) green beans (maybe 2 bags frozen?)

Fried onions:

  • Two large onions, cut into half moon slices
  • 2 cups (500 ml) buttermilk (I used talbuk)
  • 1 cup (150g) flour for coating
  • Vegetable oil as needed for frying

Mushroom soup:

  • 1 lb (500g) brown button mushrooms (crimini, baby bella, Tirisfal button, Darkshire button, whatever)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream (I used cow)
  • 1.5 cup (300 ml) broth (chicken traditionally, I had access to garlic broth)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 heaped Tbsp flour
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Big pinch of salt to sweat the mushrooms
  • About a shot of cognac

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375/190C
  2. Cut the onions and coat them in buttermilk. Let them sit for 15 minutes
  3. Heat a pan full of oil to 300F/149C
  4. Coat onions in flour and shake of excess in a sieve.
  5. Add onions to oil about a quarter at a time and allow to turn golden brown.
  6. Drain onto a plate, sprinkle with salt. Do not eat them all. You need these.
  7. Trim and snap the green beans into about 1 inch pieces. Recruit a friend to help you.
  8. Rinse the green beans, then bring a pot of water to boiling and add them in.
  9. Boil for about 5 minutes, then immediately move to an ice bath.
  10. Destem and slice the mushrooms
  11. Melt the butter in a pan
  12. Add mushrooms to the pan with a healthy sprinkle of salt
  13. Evaporate out the liquid that comes from the mushrooms
  14. Add the flour and mix for about a minute
  15. Add the garlic and mix for half a minute
  16. Add the broth and cream and bring to a simmer
  17. Simmer until thickened and slightly darker
  18. In a casserole dish, combine the soup, half of the onions and the green beans. Mix to incorporate
  19. Bake covered for 20 minutes
  20. Top with the remaining onions and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes until brown and bubbly
  21. Try not to burn your mouth.

Author:

Just you're basic -cough-'dorei tryin' to make it in Azeroth.

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