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Green Bean Casserole


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Count me as another one who had never heard of nor had green bean casserole, until about 10 years ago, when my aunt (who never cooks anything) brought it over to a Christmas family dinner. The only "casserole" that was allowed on my immediate family's Christmas table was that Southern tradition, "macaroni casserole" (no canned cream of whatever in that, of course). I took one bite of the green bean casserole and decided to leave that part of my plate untouched...

I hated the few casseroles I had as a kid when I visited friends' houses, and my dad didn't like casseroles at all, so they weren't ever on the family table. Now I can tolerate them somewhat.

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I’ve been reading this thread with much amusement. Growing up, we only ate fresh veggies at home. I knew canned green beans existed, since that’s what they served at lunch. The only canned vegetable we had in the cupboard was canned corn, which made its appearance only when my brother and I whined about it when shopping with Mom. I find GBC to be mildly fascinating in a train-wreck type of way, mainly because the use of the pre-packaged fried onions on top.

Anyway, I had a dentist appointment today, and among the usual variety of outdated magazines was a November 2005 issue of New York Magazine, which featured a recipe for—you guessed it—Green Bean Casserole, made by Thomas Keller. Mr. Keller of course, uses cèpes in a béchamel sauce, haricots verts, and fried shallots to garnish. Not your Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom glop by a long shot. This recipe I may try.

Thomas Keller's Green Bean Casserole

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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A friend just told me about one of her favorite dishes, which I suspect is an even whiter thang than GBC.

Bologna boats.

Take one piece of bologna, put it in a heated frying pan to which butter has been added. Plunk one good-sized scoop of leftover mashed potatoes on it, and add a piece of American cheese, preferably the individually wrapped slice kind, that has been doubled over, diagonally. Put it in the potatoes on edge, so that it sticks up like the sail on a boat. Continue to fry over low heat until all elements are heated.

As frying continues, the bologna will curl up around the mashed potatoes, hence, "Bologna Boats." I don't know what, exactly, becomes of the cheese.

While I will unashamedly admit to a fondness for fried bologna sandwiches, as long as they have a nice, delicate crust on the bologna, and lots of mayo, I rather doubt I'll be trying these, anytime soon.

But I just had to share.

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Older women told the company that it's so easy to make that even young kitchen novices or the family's worst cooks can't mess it up, said Jennifer Hartley, a senior brand manager at Campbell.

This year I cooked an elaborate Christmas Eve banquet for my friends.

The next day, I went out to my parents' house for Christmas, and helped cook most of the dishes, though none of the recipes were my own. My mom is a "Southern Living" chef, meaning most of her recipes mostly involve stuff from cans.

My little sister made the green bean casserole. I don't know if she was trying to dress the dish up or what, but instead of drained canned green beans (which the recipe calls for) she used frozen snap peas or something. And by "frozen" I mean she apparently dumped a couple 1" x 1" x 6" blocks of frozen peas into the casserole, poured the mushroom soup on top, dressed with French's™ Original French Fried Onions, and cooked it. It was really bad. How about following the recipe next time, m'kay?

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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:rolleyes:

Ehh.  If I got any whiter I'd faint.  I did, in my early/mid twenties, do GBC with the mandatory Campbell's and Durkee's, along with frozen green beans.  God help me and all I served: everybody loved it.

These days, if I do anything that remotely resembles GBC, it's with fresh green beans and made-from-scratch bechamel and separately roasted mushrooms (involves EVOO, sea salt, fresh-ground pepper, and fresh thyme).  The onion component may come from sauteed shallots.  Or not.

Everybody loves that, too.  Go figure.

:unsure:

Now this is something I would try.

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i'm always amazed that something so simple as the green bean casserole can vary so wildly. i have one relative who makes it and its just awful; but sometimes a friend makes it and its as yummy as it is trashy. this year, i admit i had a bit of a looking foreward to it thing going on, cause i'd never make it myself (too many commercially prepared foods) but when i tasted it the thrill was gone. what was the difference? this year she used 'light' soup for the casserole, and it wasn't nearly salty, gloppy, or fatty enough. i was really amused to think that the salt, glop, and fat content was what gave it that compelling flavour.

Marlena :)

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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variations on the green bean casserole from two top Atlanta chefs

Holiday Haricot Vert by Richard Blais

"The challenge was how do you alter something so many people already have in their head?" explained Blais on his update of the classic dish, using mushroom ice cream. "The idea was to manipulate the standard ingredients into something fresh and different." But not too different. The classic is one of Blais' fiancée Jazmin Zepeda's favorite holiday sides. The One Midtown Kitchen chefs even surprised her with it during this year's Thanksgiving meal.

French Green Bean Casserole Griddle Cakes with French Onion Sour Cream by Kevin Rathbun

"Being from Kansas City, I grew up with the original," Rathbun says. "My mom would make green bean casserole, broccoli casserole and probably anything else that contained green vegetables. Classics are classics."

Originally, Rathbun toyed with the idea of creating green bean casserole fritters, but they "absorbed too much oil" when he tried the idea. Thus, the idea evolved into "more of a pancake."

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been mostly lurking eGullet for the last few months, but I felt that I had to respond to this. I've read many threads here, but this has been one of the most amusing.

I'm a very white 30-year-old boy (raised atheist, but my family has a Methodist background) from a very white part of the country (mid-west Oregon), and I hadn't ever seen or heard of, let alone tasted, green bean casserole until, while in college, I went home with a girlfriend to her Jewish family for Thanksgiving. (I think I might have just set a record for commas in a sentence.) That also was my first exposure to french-fried onions. It was OK, but nothing inspiring.

However, this thread has inspired me to attempt a serious go at bad-ass, from-scratch green bean casserole. Who's with me?

I don't want to necessarily appease the GBC purists (I read in this thread that others have tried and failed), but to make something that would appeal to those who haven't had it and don't want to because it sounds appalling.

I'm thinking of the following:

FRESH green beans

From-scratch cream of mushroom soup (quick saute of cremini & shiitakes with some onions, with a little balsamic & perhaps soy sauce, then add cream and/or milk?)

Fresh deep fried onions for topping (problem here is that these don't keep well; they're best consumed within minutes of frying)

Thoughts?

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I never had GBC until I shared a holiday meal with some very midwestern white folks (OK).

I should have been prepared..... The dinner meal on non-holidays was always the same: a piece of protein (sometimes defrosted sometimes not) panfried, a can of some kind of veggie (God, I hate canned veggies - if not fresh, then please frozen!) and a can of poppin' fresh biscuits. Every night- except on take out pizza nights.

What is more white trash than that meal? :wink:

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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We're whiter than white, english heritage, and we love this stuff, although, in our defense, we use only fresh beans, and as Phatj mentions, we also do an upscale version as well as the regular type.

It's a recipe I modified from an episode of Alton's Good Eats.

To the blanched, fresh beans, I add butter, sauted mushrooms, mayo, sour cream mixed with enough milk to make it soupy, baked and topped with both fresh onions and the canned rings. No canned soup. The real trick is baking it just until the beans are tender and the mixture is bubbling, no more.

Delish, btw. You may convert people with the above!

Oh, and diced almonds are a great topper also.

---------------------------------------

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Wandering back through this thread, I noticed this:

*My family's official canned soup for tuna casserole was cream of mushroom.  My college roommate's family's official canned soup for tuna casserole was cream of celery.  After much argument, we decided to alternate.  Unless we were broke, when we used whatever we had or could borrow.

A piece of advice for the both of you:

Next time you make this dish, go wild--really let your hair down--get adventurous!

Use canned cream of broccoli soup instead.

Or if you are really feeling flush, cream of asparagus.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I haven't read every message on this thread, so forgive me if I repeat what others have said.

I am white, was raised Southern and middle class, & am 46 years old. We had GBC at most holiday meals at my house. If we went to my grandparents house in rual Georgia, that was not the case, but in our house it was always there. I'm wondering if this might be a regional thing in addition to a race thing. Maybe us Southern and Mid-West white folks kept it to ourselves.

For the past couple of years, I have developed my own recipe for GBC. This came about when I made the mistake of reading the ingredient label on the Durkee French Fried Onion Rings. First ingredient: Partially Hydrogenated Oil. So now I make my own - blanch fresh green beans, saute mushrooms, saute onions, put them in a baking dish and whip up a white sauce to pore over it all. Leaves the recipe on the can in the dust.

I may not be waiting until Easter for this to show up on the dinner table.

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:rolleyes:

Ehh.  If I got any whiter I'd faint.  I did, in my early/mid twenties, do GBC with the mandatory Campbell's and Durkee's, along with frozen green beans.  God help me and all I served: everybody loved it.

These days, if I do anything that remotely resembles GBC, it's with fresh green beans and made-from-scratch bechamel and separately roasted mushrooms (involves EVOO, sea salt, fresh-ground pepper, and fresh thyme).  The onion component may come from sauteed shallots.  Or not.

Everybody loves that, too.  Go figure.

:unsure:

Now this is something I would try.

:biggrin:

Well, then. This is how the last attempt went...

Shallots: Wash and slice thinly, tossing to create miniature 'onion rings'. Dry. Saute in EVOO or by other preferred method, watching carefully, to crispness. Drain on paper towels and hold.

Mushrooms: Medium-size fresh criminis, washed/trimmed/marinated 15-20 minutes in EVOO in a Ziploc bag, turned into Pyrex, Corning Ware or other glass-derived casserole (better for conserving juices released by 'shrooms); add salt and pepper liberally, lay a sprig or three of fresh thyme over rows of stems-up mushrooms, seal casserole with double layers of aluminum foil plus lid of casserole, and bake at 375 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes. Discard sprigs of thyme once done, quarter mushrooms, and hold. Also hold aside any juices in casserole, for use in preparing sauce. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F.

Beans: Wash, tip and string if needful, and steam lightly for no more than 4 -5 minutes. Remove beans from steamer with tongs.

Sauce: Prepare rich bechamel to taste, incorporating juices of mushrooms. I really can't be more specific than that, since seasoning and quantity seriously depend on the tastes and numbers of the crowd.

Assemble: Toss beans, sauce, and mushrooms in appropriate sized bowl until mixed and coated with sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn into presentation/baking dish (oval au gratin dish works superbly), dot with butter if desired for extra richness, and top with sauteed shallots. Bake at 350 degrees F until irresistible (12 -20 minutes). Serve.

Should work. I've never had leftovers.

:raz:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Disclaimer: This post contains explicit content that may be objectionable to some. Viewer discretion is advised. You have been warned.

Green Bean Casserole: a step-by-step recipe with photos

Start with the ingredients:

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Two 14 1/2 oz. cans of green beans, one 10 3/4 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup, one 6 oz. can of fried onions, milk

Have some of these kitchen tools and equipment ready to be used:

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One 13 x 9 x 2 in. baking pan

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A choice of one can opener

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A choice of one wooden stirring utensil

Follow these instructions:

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

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With a slightly wet paper towel, clean the tops of the can of cream of mushroom soup and the two cans of green beans. If you wish, you can clean the bottoms of the cans as well.

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Use one of the can openers to open the can of cream of mushroom soup.

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Pour the entire contents of the can of cream of mushroom soup directly into the baking pan.

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With the now empty can of cream of mushroom soup, fill the can with about 10 oz. of milk.

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Pour the milk that's in the cream of mushroom soup can into the baking pan.

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With one of the wooden stirring utensils, mix the contents of the baking pan until they are blended together.

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Open the two cans of green beans, one can at a time. Some cans of green beans have a pull-off lid, as shown above.

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If the cans of green beans you're using does not have that pull-off lid, open the can of green beans with a can opener, just like you opened the can of cream of mushroom soup, as shown above.

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Pour out the water that's inside the two cans without spilling the beans.

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After the water has been poured out, empty the two cans of green beans into the baking pan.

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Pour one-half amount of the fried onions into the baking pan.

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Make certain that all of the ingredients that should be in the baking pan are in the baking pan before mixing: cream of mushroom soup, milk, green beans, and fried onions.

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Mix ingredients in the baking pan with a wooden stirring utensil.

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Add pepper into the baking pan mixture, as much ...

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or as little as you want.

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Open the oven door, and without spilling the baking pan, put the baking pan into the 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. Close the oven door. Let the casserole bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

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After about 30 minutes of baking, open the oven door and pull out the baking pan halfway out of the oven, and with the can of fried onions, pour the rest of the fried onions evenly over the casserole. Be careful not to burn yourself and/or anything else with the 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. Put the baking pan back into the oven. Close the oven door. Let the casserole bake in the oven for five more minutes.

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Open the oven door and take the baking pan out of the oven. Place the casserole on top of the oven and/or stove to let it cool for a few minutes. Close the oven door. Serve, if and when you're ready.

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Green Bean Casserole

This is just one way of making green bean casserole. Your results may vary.

Edited by rjwong (log)

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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OhMyHolyOats, I had NO idea there was so much ,um ,'sauce' in that dish! I have been envisioning something COMPLETELY different. I thought that this casserole was actually string beans with a light coating of a 'gravy' made from that soup! Urp. That almost looks like soup with a soupcon of green beans! rjwong, you rock! :cool:

I'm really not going to eat that stuff, though.

More Than Salt

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Thanks for the great pictorial, rjwong. hzrt8w will be proud. I think. It almost looks like a crusty mac n' cheese. So did you dare taste this lovely creation?

One question, though. What happens if I skip this step? :raz:

gallery_24802_2434_20630.jpg

With a slightly wet paper towel, clean the tops of the can of cream of mushroom soup and the two cans of green beans.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Wandering back through this thread, I noticed this:
*My family's official canned soup for tuna casserole was cream of mushroom.  My college roommate's family's official canned soup for tuna casserole was cream of celery.  After much argument, we decided to alternate.  Unless we were broke, when we used whatever we had or could borrow.

A piece of advice for the both of you:

Next time you make this dish, go wild--really let your hair down--get adventurous!

Use canned cream of broccoli soup instead.

Or if you are really feeling flush, cream of asparagus.

Um, well Sandy, I don't know how to break this to you all, but none of you got this right: :rolleyes: the only "proper" Campbells soup flavor for tuna casserole (cassoulet?) is Cream of Chicken. Cream of Mushroom may be used but only if the other is not available. Never, ever Cream of either, Celery, Broccoli, or Asparagus :shock:(too green). Also, one must add diced onions, green peas, and cheese, with a few drops of Tabasco blended in for the truly adventurous and, for a crispy crust, some bread crumbs or crushed potato chips on top.

I mean, let's keep it real people! :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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RJ: The pictorial is one of the funniest things I have seen here at eGullet!

It reminds me of a standard assignment that is supposed to teach you the importance of being both specific and explicit while writing good, clear prose. The instructor brings a loaf of bread, a jar each of PB & J to class along with a plate and a knife. S/he asks students to provide instructions for assembling a PBJ sandwich, then demonstrates what would happen were you to follow the directions they provide.

This is not quite the same thing, I know, but you should include this post in your book proposal for The Idiot's Guide to the Hot Dish and Casserole.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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P.S. Of course you should use a container of ground black pepper instead of grinding your own peppercorns when making this dish. But aren't you supposed to use a GLASS baking dish?

Oops, edited to add: Corning Ware is good, too.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Does the tutorial mean that this thread now gets moved to the eGullet Culinary Institute?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I can safely say that my mother (who is half Greek but spent at least half her life in Iowa) has never, ever made green bean casserole. Of if she did, she never put it in front of us!

But when I was in 8th grade, my father came home one day and announced that we would all be Lutherans, and for some reason my mother didn't object and I couldn't. There were lots of church potlucks, and this thing always was there. I always thought of it as a potluck dish because it was easy to throw together; it never occurred to me (until much later) that people actually made this to eat at home. The sight of the milk pouring over that blob of condensed mushroom soup is good enough reason not to for me.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I Found a Wonderful vintage cookbook today called "Favorite Recipes of Home Economics teachers: Casseroles, Including Breads." Published in 1965 by Favorite Recipes Press Inc. it has no less that 38 recipes for Green Bean Casserole! They are almost all the same basic recipe (can of green bean, can of mushroom soup, can of onion rings) with variations such as the addition of things such as bacon fat, dill seed, MSG, caraway seed and Swiss Cheese, Velveeta, water chestnuts, Tabasco, slivered almonds, Ritz crackers, canned Cheddar soup, soy sauce, bean sprouts, Cheese Whiz, packaged dressing mix, cornflakes, lemon peel, canned pimento, bacon slices, canned cream of chicken soup, can of mixed Chinese vegetables, can of chow mein noodles, hard cooked eggs, canned cream of celery soup, can of Parmesan, bread crumbs, and Croutettes (?).

Recipes hail almost exclusively from the Southern States. Titles include: French Beans A L'Orient, Green Bean lemon Supreme, and of course, String Bean-Croutette Casserole (from Flora Ward of Newville, Alabama). Bless her sweet Croutettes!

There are only 11 Green Pea Casseroles, 31 Eggplant Casseroles, and 19 Broccoli. I think I have to go back and get the other book they had in the series :"Favorite Recipes of Home Economic Teachers: Foreign Foods." Actually there is a section in the book in the index called "Foreign Casseroles".

I think I have successfully repressed my memories of green bean casseroles at prairie potlucks, but am still traumatized by Chef BRD pizza in a can.

Zuke

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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