By Chef Josephine Proul
Chef Josephine Proul, chef at Local 111 in Philmont, New York, is young and adventurous. She enjoys combining fresh, seasonal ingredients from local sources, such as the Berkshire pork chop with apples and cabbage slaw, or fish with lentils and kale. She’s provided a recipe that’s a take on the classic holiday dish of green bean casserole with fried onions on top. In this recipe Jo uses sunchokes, otherwise known as Jerusalem artichokes, which are readily available at markets. They look like small potatoes and are crunchy with a slight artichoke taste.
1 medium sweet onion, prepped and fried*
¼ pound gluten-free flour (Chef uses a 50/50 blend of rice and corn flours.)
Canola oil for frying
1 pound sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)
Salt and pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
½ pound kielbasa
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
½ pound green beans
¼ pound blue cheese (Chef uses Great Hill Blue Cheese.)
1 sprig tarragon, chopped
Oregano, parsley and fresh herbs
Preheat oven to 375°.
Fry onion as described below and set aside.
Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil for blanching.
Wash and cut the sunchokes in half. Toss in a bowl with salt, pepper, 2 sprigs of chopped thyme (removed from stem) and a splash of olive oil.
Place cut side down in a 375° oven for 45 minutes.
While the sunchokes are roasting, slice the kielbasa into ½-inch pieces on bias. Once the sunchokes have roasted for 25 minutes, add the sliced kielbasa for 20 minutes to render and get crispy.
In a bowl, lightly whisk together the minced garlic, remaining thyme (chopped), cider vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. This is your dressing for the green beans; put aside.
Blanch green beans in boiling water to your preferred doneness. We like them a little toothsome over in Philmont. So al dente is perfect. Strain lightly and toss in the cider vinegar dressing.
Remove the sunchoke and kielbasa from the oven and toss with warm, dressed green beans; place into casserole dish, crumble the top with blue cheese and chopped tarragon.
Turn oven from 375° to broil and place the dish in the broiler until golden brown, about 5 minutes or so. To slow the process, open broiler door.
To season fried onions, toss with oregano, parsley, your favorite herbs, salt and pepper to taste.
When the blue cheese has broiled to golden brown on top, pull the dish out, rest for 3–4 minutes, top with fried onion salad and serve!
*TO PREP THE ONION:
Heat 1½ quarts canola oil to 250° in a 4-quart wide-bottom pot or the recommended amount in a home fryer.
Thinly shave onions in rings with a mandolin or a steady knife; toss in gluten-free flour, salt and pepper. Shake off excess flour vigorously; fry for 8-10 minutes (do not crowd in oil). Stirring or shimmying every couple of minutes. Turn out onto a sheet tray; season with salt and pepper, cool to room temperature. These onions can be made up to 2 days in advance. Caution: Remove oil and fryer from cooking area when finished.