Why Not Green Bean Casserole?
Many of the fancy--and not so fancy--cooking magazines, TV shows, and websites denigrate the multitude of green bean casseroles served at thousands of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners--too much fat, too much salt, too many calories, not fresh tasting, not complex enough, not enough work, whatever. Apparently the cooking gurus want you to remake your green bean casserole or ditch it entirely. I understand that some people don't, in fact, like green bean casserole. Those people don't live in my household or eat at my Thanksgiving or Christmas tables. My family and guests all like green bean casserole--the old fashioned kind that uses canned mushroom soup and French-fried onions. No froufrou stuff for my family and guests. They don't care about shallots, porcini mushrooms, a cream reduction sauce, or a special cooking broth. My family and friends certainly don't want anchovies included for umami. So, I go for plain old green bean casserole that takes only minutes to prepare and bakes in 20-25 minutes alongside other dinner dishes. I get no complaints, only happy people. Yes, the recipe does use canned soup, which is quite salty, and French-fried onions, which are loaded with fat. Nonetheless, what makes the recipe special is that you aren't indulging in it very often. So, I've tossed all those cooking show and magazine recipes for revised versions of green bean casserole. It seems that simple, low fuss options sometimes really are best.
Green Bean Casserole -- Serves 6
16 ounce bag of of frozen green beans, preferably French cut or baby
1 can of mushroom soup
1/2 can of milk
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
2 - 2 1/2 cups of French-fried onions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the frozen beans in the casserole with a tablespoon or two of water and cover them with plastic wrap. Microwave the beans for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add in the soup, milk, pepper, and half of the onions and stir everything well. Top the green bean mixture with the remaining French fried onions and bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top. Don't eat all the onions off the top before serving the casserole.