Green Bean Casserole
Cook green beans in boiling salted water until tender, about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain well.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add brandy or cognac, red wine and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Simmer to blend flavors and reduce sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add green beans to mushroom sauce and toss to coat. Place on a large serving dish, season again with salt and pepper, to taste.
Top with fried onions before serving.Fried Onions:
2 quarts peanut oil, for frying
2 large red onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups arborio rice coating, recipe follows
Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 375 degrees F.
Put onion rings in a large bowl. Pour buttermilk over onions and toss to coat. Shake off the excess liquid.
Fry the onions in small batches until crispy, about 2 minutes per batch. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Season with salt, to taste.Arborio Rice Coating:
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina
2 tablespoons fine salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grind the rice in a blender or spice grinder to a very fine powder. Put it in a bowl and add the flour, semolina, salt and pepper. Toss until well blended. Store in a sealed container in the freezer for maximum freshness.