Prep: 1. Dice/chop/cut: onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, green beans and shallots. Make: 1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and sauté until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. 2. Add bell pepper and mushrooms; cook until softened and liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside to cool. 3. Prepare an ice bath: Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. 4. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans, and cook until bright green and just tender, 4-5 minutes. Drain, and plunge into ice bath. When cooled, toss drained beans with mushroom mixture; set aside. 5. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup flour and whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. 6. Pour in milk, and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, 3 minutes. 7. Stir in cayenne, nutmeg, remaining teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally. Pour over beans and toss to combine. 8. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking pan. Spread half green-bean mixture over bottom. 9. Sprinkle on half of grated parmesan and spread with remaining green beans. 10. Combine remaining parmesan and breadcrumbs; sprinkle over casserole. Cover with foil, and refrigerate until just before serving. 11. Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Toss shallot rings with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Fry shallots until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Place in an airtight container and set aside until ready to serve. Serve: 1. Heat broiler, positioning rack about 8 inches from heat. Cook casserole, covered, until mixture is bubbly and heated through, about 10 minutes. 2. Uncover, and cook until top is golden brown, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle fried shallots over top, and serve immediately.
This recipe is really hands-on, but worth every minute!