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Green Bean Casserole


Chris Hennes
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In my family, and in my wife's, Thanksgiving dinner just isn't Thanksgiving dinner without the green bean casserole (previous discussion here). You probably know the one: Campbell's and French's flog it pretty heavily this time of year. How prevalent is this stuff really, though? Especially among eGulleters, who sometimes have slightly... different... ideas about what makes a Thanksgiving meal. And, do you make it the "old fashioned" way, with Campbell's and French's, or do you go from scratch?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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My ex's mom could NOT believe I made that( knowing how well I cook). She thought it was slop( the one with canned soup). Last year and the year before I made one from scratch which was much, much better. This year, I'm trying a recipe from Cook's Country where in you make it in the crock part and part of the onions is ground and used to thicken the homemade sauce. I'll report back.

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I make one with fresh green beans, a bechamel made with sour cream and topped with crushed corn flakes and very sharp cheddar - would not be thanksgiving without it.

I have never tried the Campbell's version...

www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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It was not part of our usual Thanksgiving (or any other) dinner, but I had it at relatives' houses when we were away for Thanksgiving. I always thought it was okay, but not great. However, green beans and mushrooms are a great combination, and a little cream never hurts the dish either. So I've made a "homemade" version, I guess. The one element that I've always really liked, though, was the canned "onion rings" or whatever they're called. Everything in my experience tells me I should be able to make something "better," and should want to, but the thing is, I don't even want to try.

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We always entertain international university students on Thanksgiving and they get the original soup and fried onion version. I got a HUGE bag of those French's? onions at Sam's Club.....so cheap I couldn't resist. Other stuff from scratch, but the bean casserole with Aldi's tiny green beans (frozen) and the rest.

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Like JAZ, I don't even want to try. The Durkee's onion rings are brilliant, and I'm happy to let a sister-in-law or a guest do the dirty with the canned beans, the Campbell's and the Durkees.

Then I eat a lot of it.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I never knew this existed until I was almost 40 and have made it only a couple of times, to see what the fuss is all about. I love the french fried onions and keep them around as a snack but I don't care for the casserole.

I'm sure it was never on the holiday table when I was growing up; actually, can't remember for sure if there were any green vegetables involved in those big spreads.

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I never knew this existed until I was almost 40 and have made it only a couple of times, to see what the fuss is all about. I love the french fried onions and keep them around as a snack but I don't care for the casserole.

I'm sure it was never on the holiday table when I was growing up; actually, can't remember for sure if there were any green vegetables involved in those big spreads.

We had one green vegetable -- Brussel Sprouts, and one orange: mashed carrots and rutabagas. Like you, I'd never eaten this casserole until I was forty.

Lord, check out the Internet: everyone from Alton Brown, Martha Stewart, Emeril and Paula D. has some kinda fresh green bean/excellent mushroom veloute variation. Bah. The casserole isn't worth making if you actually have to cook! I suck up the sodium, canned green beans and Durkees -- it's a guilty pleasure. But a pleasure nonetheless.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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We normally make plain green beans, but this year's Thanksgiving is with different friends and one of them, a non-cook, is tasked with the green beans and wants to make The Casserole - but not the Campbell's version. Go figure. I sent her the Cook's Illustrated classic recipe with beans, mushrooms, cream, butter, sure, fine, can't miss. It's even topped with homemade toasted bread crumbs. And...wait for it... 3 cups of "canned fried onions". Since I'll be helping her make it, get over here, you crunchy oniony Durkees that I loved as a kid when I would never eat a real onion. (That was a long time ago.)

edited because ,,, is not the same as ...

Edited by hsm (log)
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For some reason my mom started making this dish the last couple of Thanksgivings. We asked her why it suddenly appeared on the home menu and she said she thought she had always made it before. :blink:

Think again, Ma! :laugh:

We figured she bought into the advertising and thought she just had to make it for Thanksgiving. We've finally convinced her that we have enough to eat without that dish. Go figure...

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I'm going to try to make a homemade version this year; for the sauce, I'm going to make something similar to Keller's Beef Stroganoff sauce in ad hoc at home; that's probably one of my favorite things out of that book and I think it will work well with the casserole.

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We always had creamed baby peas and mushrooms. Never once had green beans prepared any way at all. In fact, our menu never varied: turkey, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, Waldorf salad, creamed baby peas and mushrooms, sweet potato casserole, dinner rolls, relish tray. Christmas dinner is identical, except I add a baked ham and cheesy creamed onions dusted with chopped peanuts.

I now have two daughters-in-law and one son-in-law around my holiday table, so have to take their preferences into account.

It's changed my menu in two ways.

First, we never had mashed potatoes, and I mean never. With cornbread dressing, rolls, sweet potatoes, I thought three starches were more than enough.

So now I have to mash potatoes.

And they want green beans.

But I've never made that casserole and see no reason to start now. I just make green beans the old-fashioned Southern way. In the bottom of a Dutch oven or large saucepan, fry up some chopped bacon. Add a pat or two of butter, whatever herbs you like with green beans (for me it's either basil or oregano), one chopped onion and a little garlic. Saute. Put in your freshly-snapped beans. Cover with chicken broth. Simmer til the green beans are as done as you and your family like them to be, depending upon whether you're feeding Southerners or Yankees.

Sometimes for the holiday meal, I do add sliced mushrooms, because I want mushrooms somewhere on the holiday table, and if I'm not doing the creamed peas and mushroom thing, I have to work them in somewhere.

__________________________

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Once in sixty years I think I ate the real thing: traditional green bean casserole made with nothing but canned products. Where did this thing come from? Is it a conspiracy cooked up by Campbell's and Sunset Magazine? My husband's family luckily doesn't eat this, although they do cling to another tried and truly awful tradition: cranberry mold made with canned cranberries and served with a glacier of sour cream on top. It takes my FIL hours to put it together (yes, he still has the original Sunset recipe from 50 yrs ago) and it is one of the most awesomely bad creations on the planet. And so complicated. I always bring my own alternative.

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The green bean casserole doesn't have to be the nasty mess it has sometimes turned into. I have a relative that has made it with canned green beans along with the canned cream of mushroom soup. The beans still had the tinny taste and the dish was disgusting. I think with good ingredients this can be elevated to something that is quite eatable.

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