Green Bean Casserole & Other Side Dishes

Whether you like green beans or not, this is a side dish that’s expected to make an appearance at your Thanksgiving feast.  Terry John Zila stopped by Twin Cities Live with a tasty Green Bean Casserole recipe that has the ultimate wow factor.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole


Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons butter
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
1 recipe Onion Rings

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, season with 2 tablespoons salt, and blanch the green beans for 5 minutes. Shock the green beans in a bowl filled with ice water, then remove and set aside to dry.
  3. Melt butter in a large cast-iron pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until lightly browned. Remove and set aside
  4. Add the mushrooms and some salt and pepper, and cook, without turning to ensure the mushrooms brown on one side. Use a slotted spatula to remove the mushrooms. Leave the butter in the pan.
  5. Reduce the temperature to medium and add the flour and whisk to incorporate with the butter. When the roux has cooked for 5 minutes, add the chicken stock in small increments, whisking constantly to ensure a smooth sauce. Whisk in the cream and bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper as needed. Add the green beans, then pour the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Top with fried Onion Rings and serve.

Cranberry Sauce


One 12-ounce bag cranberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier (Optional)

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat until the cranberries start to pop and become soft.
  2. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from burning approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature.
  3. The cranberry sauce can we served warm or chilled.

Creamy Paprika Cauliflower with Wild Mushrooms

Serves 8
Special equipment: Enameled Cast Iron 2 quart baking dish


8 tablespoons unsalted butter separated into two-4 tablespoon portions
¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One-2 pound head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1 inch long florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces fresh sliced wild mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup flour
2 to 3 tablespoons Agave syrup
3 tablespoons paprika (Not smoked paprika)
3 cup low sodium vegetable broth

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter baking dish with 4 tablespoons of the unsalted butter.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter over high heat. Add the breadcrumbs, thyme, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and sauté until breadcrumbs are golden and crisp. With a heat-proof silicon spatula, scrape the sautéed breadcrumbs into a small bowl and wipe out the skillet.
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the same skillet until the butter begins to brown. Add half of the cauliflower and sauté until well browned. Transfer the browned cauliflower to a bowl and melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the second half of the cauliflower and sauté until browned. Return the first batch of cauliflower to the pan and add the broth. Cook cauliflower until tender-crisp, then remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  1. In the same pan, heat the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until all the moisture they release has evaporated. Remove from pan and set aside.
  1. Again in the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour and, stirring constantly, cook until the flour mixture is golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  1. Whisk in the Agave syrup and paprika.
  2. Slowly add the stock over medium heat and whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Place the cauliflower and mushrooms in a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss gently to coat.
  4. Spread the mixture into the buttered baking dish and sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Onion Rings


1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups buttermilk
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
6 large Spanish or Vidalia onions, peeled
6 cup peanut oil

Dredging Flour

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

  1. Cut the onions crosswise into ¾ inch slices, then separate the slices into rings.
  2. In a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, whisk together the 1 cup flour, buttermilk Cayenneand salt to make the batter. Place the onion rings in the batter and soak for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  1. To fry the onion rings, heat the peanut oil in a deep fryer or in a heavy saucepan to 375°F.
  2. In a glass bowl, Whisk together 2 cups flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the soaked onion rings in the flour and fry the onion rings, turning them in the oil to ensure even cooking, until the onion rings are golden brown. About 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on rimmed baking sheets lined with paper towels.
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