Saturday, November 24, 2012

Big Batch Green Bean Casserole

This popular Thanksgiving side dish in the US was created in 1955 by a staff member in the home economics department of Campbell Soup Company.  Dorcas Reilly - the team leader - said their objective was to “create a quick & easy recipe around two things most Americans always had on hand in the 1950’s: green beans & Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup."

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had my kids call home needing to know the “exact” recipe for Green Bean Casserole.  It’s usually around Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter.  This year on Thanksgiving eve, two of my daughters reminded me that “Mom... it’s NOT on the blog!”  

So this is a mandatory post.  I know it’s not rocket science, or food snobbery.  It’s just good old fashioned comfort food - what I grew up hearing wise cooks refer to as a “hotdish”.  At my sister’s home this year - the younger group made their own fresh green beans.  We in the (wise) older generation preferred the comfort version of good old Green Bean Casserole.  (Healthy cooking returns after the holidays...)

Of course, this would not be the same without the addition of French Fried Onions.  These are smaller than fried onion rings you would find in a fast food drive through.  Instead, they are smaller and irregular in shape.  This makes them perfect as a garnish for this great comfort food casserole.  It used to be that they were sold in a paper canister, but this year I noticed they have switched to an airtight plastic can.  

Since I usually only make this in MASS for a large group gathering - I’ve listed amounts for a DOUBLE batch.  You can halve it for a standard 9” x 13” deep dripper pan.  When I make a large amount like this, I buy a #10 can of green beans from Costco or Sam’s.  The warehouse stores during the holiday season often carry a foodservice size bag of french fried onions - which makes it more economical.  

Everyone seems to make their green bean casserole differently.  The original recipe directed that you stir half the french onions INTO the soup & beans.  The remaining half are then to be sprinkled over the top before baking.  We like them ALL on top - so they stay crunchy.  Some families add water chestnuts for a little crunch... again, we are purists and like them without.

So kids... here you go.  The really HARD recipe for Green Bean Casserole.

"Our" (family size) recipe can be found at:

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