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Cook the Book: Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Casserole with Shallot Topping 

The traditional green bean casserole is a casserole classic and a great example of "dump method" cooking—simply dump a bag of frozen beans in a casserole dish, dump in a can of cream of mushroom soup, dump a can of fried onions on top, and bake. It's certainly not elegant, requires no more skill than operating a can opener.

We thought this classic casserole would be a great way to get started on our week of casserole cooking from Faith Durand's Not Your Mother's Casseroles. Instead of cans, this recipe calls for fresh ingredients—green beans, mushrooms (both fresh white ones and dried wild mushrooms), shallots, and chicken stock. Sure, it requires a little more time than the gloopy, canned original but the butter-sautéed mushrooms, sweet fried shallots, and still-snappy green beans make it worth it.

Trying out this recipes at home immediately had me thinking about Adam's 7-Layer Dip Showdown, wondering if it was worth all of the extra time and effort to replicate something that was created to be a quick and easy, can-based recipe.

But in the end, results were almost identical to the 7-Layer Dip Showdown, the made from scratch Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Casserole with Shallot Topping trumped the Campbell's version.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Not Your Mother's Casseroles to give away this week.

Adapted from Not Your Mother's Casseroles. Copyright © 2011. Published by Harvard Common Press. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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