Wednesday, November 16, 2016

And Now - Coming in 4th in the Annual Thanksgiving Day Meal Parade ... Green Beans!

At first, I was a bit loathe to tackle this subject because I've been making the tacky green bean "casserole" for years.  A referral, of course to:

2 cans semi-drained French-trimmed green beans
1 can undiluted Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup - the leftover green bean water thins it
  Mix together, lash on the black pepper, heat and serve with a dish of French's onion straws. The recipe calls for heating them tossed across the dish, but they get soggy.  Served separately, they are the real deal.  Crunch when it's needed and not just a soggy memory.

My sister, conversely, has taken this dish well above the bar - steamed green beans, sautéed almonds ...she is refined, I am not.  She is also a better cook - if you can swing it, go to her house for T-Day dinner!

This dish was invented in the Campbell (soup) Kitchens back in 1955, 21 years ago.  Today their recipe includes a bop of the soy sauce jar over the dish, but be warned - their cream of mushroom soup is plenty salty and the onion straws are as well.  Still and all, to its fans it  is justifiably the top green bean dish served on Thanksgiving. 

If any of you ae suffering from Green Bean Shame, here are 15 alternate ways to prepare a green bean dish for the table. 

Add pickled mushrooms to the soup or supermarket balsamic-marinated mushrooms

Bacon bundles

Sesame ginger salad - you read it right - "salad"  Frankly, that's an offense.

Cashews and béchamel with pesto casserole

Parmesan coated and baked

With pimento cheese and corn in a casserole

Lemon vinaigrette

With garlic and Portobello mushrooms and parmesan

With gremolata (a mix of garlic, lemon and parsley) and panko crumbs

Make Chinese green beans

Fried with sausage - American or Italian

Fried in panko crumbs with ranch dipping sauce, served as an appetizer

Au gratin with maple syrup, bacon chunks and pecans

Many of these proposed substitutions sound good.  Make note of the ones that appeal (or not) and do make them -- just not for Thanksgiving dinner?  Stick to what you know!  And given some 207,000 references to it on Google, a helluva lot of us know it! 

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