“The use of French green beans is such a traditional holiday favorite, but I always love to add a few simple adjustments to add extra layers of texture and nuances to the flavor profile of most traditional dishes,“Poon says. Mushrooms “add grounding, earthly flavors to the vibrancy of the crispness of the green beans,” she adds.
“In my experience, you can almost never go wrong with a wine-based sauce when entertaining a dinner party, so the addition of the Madeira sauce serves as an excellent, decadent complement to any wine pairings a dinner host may include with the menu,” Poon says.
French Green Beans with Mushroom Wine Sauce & Leeks (Courtesy of the Serenaloves.com website)
French Green Beans with Mushroom Wine Sauce & Leeks
Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
(Use organic ingredients if you can)
3 tbsp. butter (vegan butter is a healthy alternative)
1 lb. fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned, sliced and stemmed (shiitake mushrooms, oysters, criminis, chanterelles, porcinis)
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 tbsp. chopped shallots
½ cup Madeira wine (Marsala, sherry, sweet dry rice wine also okay to use)
1 cup whipping cream (coconut cream or cashew cream as vegan options)
1 lb. fresh French green beans, trimmed
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste,
Himalayan or sea salt, to taste
Avocado oil, for deep-frying
2 large leeks, thinly sliced crosswise (white parts only)
1. Over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet or sauté pan. Add all the mushrooms and thyme sprigs and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add 2 tbsp. of shallots and continue to sauté until mushrooms are tender, about another 2-3 minutes.
2. Add Madeira and simmer until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Set sauce aside.
3. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add a bit of salt. Par-cook green beans in the large pot of boiling salted water until just tender (al dente), about 3-5 minutes. Drain. Transfer beans to a bowl of ice water; allow them to cool, about 3-4 minutes. Drain.
4. Pour enough avocado oil into a large, deep saucepan to reach a depth of about 1.5″. Heat oil to 350 °F. Place ¼ of sliced leeks in a small metal strainer. Lower strainer into oil; fry until golden, about 20-30 seconds. Lift strainer from oil. Drain leeks on paper towels. Repeat with remaining leeks in 3-4 more batches, or until finished. Season leeks lightly with salt.
5. Melt the remaining tbsp. of butter in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add green beans and remaining tbsp. of shallots. Lightly toss green beans to heat through, but not cook further. Season beans with salt and pepper, to taste. Place beans on platter.
6. Bring sauce to simmer. Spoon sauce over beans. Sprinkle the dish with the fried leeks as garnish
Note: Sauce and beans can be made six hours ahead. Cover separately; chill until use.