Green bean casserole is a staple on many holiday tables and though the traditional version is always delicious, we wanted to change it up a bit. This battered and fried variation comes together quickly thanks to the use of prepared pancake mix. We also cook up an addictively creamy gravy to drizzle over the crispy vegetables after they come out of the fryer.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until the flour is lightly toasted and smells nutty, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, stock and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a strong simmer, whisking constantly. Cook until the gravy is thickened and deeply flavorful, about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. The gravy will thicken quickly but by cooking it further, the flavors concentrate and the gravy becomes extra savory. Season with additional salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm while you prepare the fried vegetables.
Fill a large Dutch oven halfway with oil and heat to 375 degrees F over medium-high heat. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet.
Thin the prepared pancake mix with additional milk until the consistency of thick pancake syrup (4 to 8 tablespoons of milk depending on the brand you use). Separate the sliced shallots into individual rings. Combine the vegetables in a large bowl, and then add 1/3 of the vegetables to the batter. Stir to coat. Use a slotted spoon to lift the vegetables out of the batter, allowing any excess batter to fall away, then add to the hot oil. Fry until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes, using a clean slotted spoon to break up the vegetables as they fry. Remove the fried vegetables the cooling rack; do not stack the vegetables on top of each other. Season liberally with salt. Repeat with the remaining vegetables in two batches.
Transfer the fried vegetables to a large platter. Drizzle with half of the hot gravy. If the gravy gets too thick at any point, thin it out with a little more milk. Serve the fried vegetables immediately alongside the remaining gravy.
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