Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Glory of Green Bean Casserole

Yeah, I know everyone is thinking "I already know how to make this!" and "Didn't we already eat Green Bean Casserole over the holidays? She's kinda late on this post, isn't she???" But one of my favorite foods ever is Green Bean Casserole, and I ate it for dinner -- not with dinner, but for dinner -- recently. And so, I had to honor the lowly dish because we all know we adore it!

My mother never made it, so I'm a latecomer to its charms. But I have actually been known to make a batch of it all for myself, since Jeremy has never liked it (gasp!), just so I could have portions of it to take to work each day to treat myself for lunch.

I consider this to be one of the glories of the White Trash culinary world, like fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches. There is nothing glamorous or nutritious about it, and it has no sophistication whatsoever. And yet, it is a thing of true beauty.

Now, I have to clarify that I say "White Trash" with great affection here -- I am not willfully insulting any group of people; in fact, I'm heralding the cuisine! I've tried to improve the health quotient of Green Bean Casserole by using fresh green beans and even soy-based mushroom soup. And I am here to attest that these are not acceptable substitutions! You lose the creaminess, the saltiness, the "je ne sais quoi" that is inherent to Green Bean Casserole if you tinker with it. Do the "dump 'n' stir"! Watch that soup come out of the can in a gigantic glop! Feel the grease of those canned onions! And wallow in comfort food extraordinaire!!!

The history of Green Bean Casserole is very simple: it was created in the Home Ec division of the Campbell's Soup Company. And we all know it sells lots of green beans, condensed soup and fried onions at the holidays! But it's also a perfect meal for a cold Winter evening, served as the main attraction with simple cornbread muffins on the side.

I don't think a recipe is required for this -- God knows it's easy enough to find 1000 posts about it in any search engine. But I add a generous splash of Worcestshire sauce to the mushroom soup, and I use the entire large can of fried onions -- mix some in with the green beans, then use the rest to cover the top of the dish. If you're going to go slumming, go for the gusto!!!


Jenn said...

I'm with bean casserole is the bomb!! I could definitely eat it all by itself! And I, too, have tried making it different ways and the only acceptable way is to make a cheese sauce instead of using the soup...but come on, it's cheese!!! :)

Ms Bibi said...

I must admit I never made green bean casserole. I guess because I am not a big fan of beans, but I do make fresh green or yellow beans with creamy sauce and I do love that a lot.

Miriam said...

I adore green bean casserole too!!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Keri said...

LOL, well, once again you've taken the mundane and spun it into 'something to read about' right down to the greasy, gloppy, discriptives. A lowly dish, elevated!!

Leanne said...

Yes, I am a MAJOR FAN of Green Bean casserole! America's Test Kitchen has an absolutely AMAZING version of it (home-made mushroom sauce in place of the creamy soup) and it is to DIE for! But, there really is nothing like the campbells version! (Hey, I tagged you in my post today - if you have time to answer some questions, feel free to stop by!) Have a great day, dear!

Candace said...

I absolutely adore green bean casserole! It graced our Thanksgiving table every year for as far back as I can remember and often on other days during the year as well. I can't imagine that it's good any other way than with good old cream of mushroom soup and the entire can of french fried onion rings. Those are the best part to me! My husband hates it so I rarely get it. I'm struggling with making good choices today so I absolutely loved this reminder of comfort food at its finest. Thanks, Mary!

Robin said...

I do love green bean casserole. Never thought to put the extras in it. Then again, I am not usually the one who makes it for the family gatherings. Hmmmm.

Robin said...

You don't need to publish this one... but I thought of you so hard yesterday (Monday) around 4:30pm or so that I was almost frightened for you. I white lighted you and surrounded you with an outward facing mirror for protection. I still waasn't happy with it, so I asked for as many angels to protect you as possible. I also prayed for calming influences to surround you and for other people to have clarity of mind. Anyway, I hope that you are well and I will continue to pray for you. Hope all is well.

Karen Harris said...

I figured that my daughter was cheating on me with another mother at college when she came home and out of the blue request green bean casserole. Come to find out she got so tired of the same old thing at the dining hall and decided to try "healthy" food and discovered this. Well, now it is a regular on our table during her weekends home. If something should happen to me suddenly, I'll make sure she has your e-mail so you can talk her through making some of her own.

Dan said...


Funny facts from my life:
- My mom makes this once a month.
- On a trip to Israel, I met someone who works for Frank's and hocks the canned onions.
- During the holidays, I saw a Campbell's TV commercial advertising the casserole as the classic dish.

Cranberry Morning said...

I love that stuff!!!! I always use the larger can of French fried onions and I use yogurt instead of the soup, but there's nothing like this yummy comfort food.

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