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Green Bean Casserole

Every year at Thanksgiving, my extended family gets together for dinner, and everybody brings a dish to share. There are some staples that we always like to have, and one of them, the traditional Green Bean Casserole, has been assigned to me this year.

If you don't know what Green Bean Casserole is, count yourself lucky. It's apparently a traditional Southern dish, made as follows: Take two cans of French-cut green beans. Mix them with one can of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup. Sprinkle a package of French's French-Fried Onions on top, and bake until hot. It has, I guess, been made this way for thousands of years, since the first sentient creatures in North America saw the French-cut green bean bushes growing near the Condensed Mushroom Soup swamp and thought, "Hmm, I wonder..."

However, I'm not happy with this dish. Pre-made ingredients from cans don't please me much, and while it would certainly be easier to make it the traditional way, I'm not one to embrace tradition for its own sake. That's why I am making a potentially foolish executive decision to make the Green Bean Casserole (da da da dum!) from scratch.

I tried out a miniature version last night. I used frozen French-cut green beans, much better quality than canned ones, and then made a bechamel/alfredo with onions, butter, flour, rice milk, salt & pepper, parsley, lemon zest, nutmeg, cheddar and parmesan cheese, and mixed that with the green beans. Instead of French-fried onions I crushed crackers on the top, and baked it. The result, if I do say so myself, was truly excellent, far better than the old style. Today I'm going to make a much larger version to bring to dinner tomorrow. I'm eager to find out if anyone notices the difference, and if so, what they think about it.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC)
trashley made that for our friendsgiving and it was surprisingly tasty for looking like creepy bean vomit. i dug it.

i have a feeling i would like your version more. i'm also wondering how you could concievably veganize green bean vomit... hmm...
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
Well, the only non-vegan things in mine are the butter and the cheese. You could replace the butter with Earth Balance canola butter (which tastes and acts just like dairy butter but is made entirely from canola) and probably just get rid of the cheese. Adding sautéed mushrooms to the bechamel would add a lot of flavour.

I'd guess you'd have to make sure you used vegan crackers for the topping, too.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC)
please report back on the results of this experiment :) your version sounds awesome!
Nov. 22nd, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
I fondly remember our family trips down to the Condensed Mushroom Soup swamp, buckets in hand, gathering for Thanksgiving. I don't know if anybody else's family did it too, but we had a tradition where the first piece of pumpkin pie at dessert always went to the person who first spotted a French-Fried Onion meadow on our way to the swamp.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
I hope at some point you've had the opportunity to gaze out over the majestic Cranberry Sauce Bogs, with their magenta can-shaped blobs floating on the water as far as the eye can see.
Nov. 23rd, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC)
i love green bean casserole. it is one of my guilty pleasures when it comes to crap food. except we make it with frozen green beans too.

have a lovely time experimenting, and let me know how it goes! happy turkey day.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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