Season’s Eatings: Green Bean Casserole

French Green Bean and Chanterelle Casserole

Courtesy of The Fresh Market

You can go ahead and cross the cream of mushroom soup off your shopping list. This modern take on the classic green bean casserole walks you through making your own fresh version.


  • 2 ½ pounds French green beans
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 5 cipollini onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound chanterelle mushrooms, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 (4-ounce) packages Lars Crispy Onions


In a large pot of salted boiling water, add green beans and blanch until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain beans immediately and rinse with cold water, then pat dry. Cut beans in half and set aside.

In a large, deep sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, sauté for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add paprika, cayenne pepper, pepper and salt; stir until combined. Add mushrooms, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover mushroom mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually add flour to mushroom mixture, stirring to combine. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring constantly until all stock has been added and mixture is smooth. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Once thickened, stir in crème fraîche, lemon juice and French beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally until beans are heated through, about 8 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Transfer French bean mixture to a 9 x 13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Bake casserole for 20 minutes or until bubbling. Remove from oven and top with 1 ½ containers Lars Crispy Onions, covering the top completely. Serve warm with additional crispy onions for adding to individual servings.


Lobster Mashed Potatoes

Courtesy of Ocean Prime

Add some decadence to your holiday spread by spicing up one of your typical sides. The lobster in this dish puts a surf-and-turf spin on your turkey dinner.  


For Ocean Prime Whipped Potatoes

  • 8 cups Idaho potatoes  
  • 12 cups cold water  
  • ½ cup cream or milk  
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter  
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt  
  • 1/8 tablespoon white pepper

For Lobster Topping

  • 3 ounces lobster meat  
  • 3 tablespoons paprika butter (1 stick butter whipped in mixer with ½ tablespoon


  • 1 ounce cream or milk  
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter  
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt  
  • ¼ teaspoon chives  
  • 1 pinch paprika


Peel and halve the potatoes, then place them in a pot with water, bringing to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender throughout. Immediately drain the potatoes and allow to steam for 3 minutes. While potatoes are steaming, heat the butter and cream in a small sauce pan until butter has melted. Whip the potatoes in a mixer for 30 seconds alone then add about ¾ of the butter and cream mixture and continue mixing slowly. Increase speed as you go, whipping air into the potatoes and giving them volume. Add the remaining liquid as you mix, only if needed.

Sauté the lobster meat in 2 tablespoons of paprika butter. In a separate pan, mix mashed potatoes, 1 tablespoon paprika butter and cream. Serve mashed potatoes in a dish with lobster meat and extra butter on top. Garnish with chives and paprika.


Cranberry-Orange Holiday Tart

Courtesy of Lucia Davila Champeaux, Tapa Toro

Yield: 6 tarts

Pumpkin pie will always have a place on the holiday table, but this year, let cranberries take center stage with these individual desserts.


For cranberry filling

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, pitted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of one whole orange
  • Zest of one whole orange
  • 2 ounces corn starch

For tart shell

  • 6.5 ounces butter
  • 4 ounces powdered (10x) sugar
  • ⅓ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Vanilla puree or extract, to taste
  • 3 ounces eggs, beaten
  • 12 ounces pastry flour, sifted

For chantilly cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 100 grams powdered (10x) sugar


In a small saucepan, warm the cranberries, sugar and orange zest. Reduce to syrup consistency. Combine the juice of 1 orange and cornstarch to make a slurry. Add slurry to cranberry sauce and stir until it thickens slightly (should have the consistency of jam). Allow to cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar and salt. Mix on low speed, scraping the sides every couple of seconds. Add the vanilla. Add in ⅓ of the eggs and bring speed up to medium. Add the remaining eggs in two stages at high speed. Mix until incorporated well, lower to slow. Add the flour in four stages until evenly incorporated, making sure to scrape the sides. Take the dough and wrap in plastic wrap or cellophane, and form into a disk. Refrigerate for one hour. Form dough into 5-inch round tart shells by hand, or by using an oven-safe ramekin large enough to accommodate, making sure to mold sides at about 1-inch deep (similar to a pizza crust). Bake at 300°F, checking every 6-10 minutes or until shell is golden brown, semi-sturdy and dry. Allow to cool.

Add heavy cream into mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, whip at high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag with a rose tip.

Fill tart shell ¾ of the way up with the cranberry jam and allow to set. Garnish with chantilly, a sprinkle of powdered sugar and sprig of mint.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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