The Perfectionist's Thanksgiving

See Also
The Feasts: Holiday Banquets to the Nth Degree
  Green-Bean Casserole—Oven-Baked Haricots Verts With Cream of California Cèpe Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots

The Chef
Thomas Keller of Per Se

8 people

8 medium cèpes, cleaned (porcini or white button mushrooms can be substituted)
1 quart plus 4 tablespoons canola oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 yellow onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, finely minced
½ cup chicken stock
1 cup cream
1 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons butter 
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Juice of 1 lemon, to taste 
2/3 cup kosher salt
2 ½ pounds haricots verts, cut into 1-inch batons
15 large shallots, peeled
1/3 cup chopped parsley

Cooking Instructions
Cut the bottom half of the stem off each cèpe and cut the base into a 1/4-inch dice. Slice the remaining cèpe into sixths from top to bottom and reserve.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan. Add the diced mushroom stems, garlic, and onions, and sweat until the onions are translucent. Add the thyme, stock, and cream, and bring to a boil. Mix 1/4 cup of flour with the butter in a small bowl to form a paste. Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly whisk in the butter-and-flour mixture until incorporated. Return the sauce to a simmer and cook gently for 15 minutes, whisking constantly to prevent the bottom from burning. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Bring 7 quarts of water to a boil, add kosher salt, and return to a fast boil. Add haricots verts and blanch until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the beans and chill in ice water. Drain again, and dry the beans on paper towels.

Add 1 quart oil to a large saucepan and heat to 325 degrees. Holding the shallots at the root end, slice very thinly on a mandoline. Place the shallots in a mixing bowl, add the flour, and toss together until the shallots have separated into rings. Add all the shallots to the saucepan at once and fry, stirring constantly, until they are lightly browned. Drain, place on paper towels, and season with salt.

To finish, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the reserved cèpes in 2 tablespoons oil until golden brown. In a large bowl, combine the cèpes, cream of cèpe, and haricots verts. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Sprinkle parsley and the crispy shallots on top. 

Best With
Suggested Menu: sunchoke soup with virginia-ham croquettes; virginia-ham croquettes; breast of four corners farm's turkey "cuit sous vide" and roasted leg "en ballotine"; giblet gravy; green-bean casserole: Oven-baked haricots verts with cream of california cepe mushroom and crispy shallots; garnet sweet-potato mille-feuille with white-truffle royale and shaved truffles from alba; Waldorf-salad stuffing; pecan pie with whipped cream; caramel popcorn.

To Drink: Weinbach 2002 Gewurztraminer Cuvee Theo; Alsace, France ($40). This dry Alsatian Gewurztraminer has a medium to full body but finishes dry and spicy. It works with the diverse flavors of the turkey and accompaniments.