I love having things in my pantry that I can throw together to make a tasty meal or side dish. Or pastry, or cookie – you get my drift. This is such a dish: something that can be made almost completely with items you have in your cupboards and freezer.
A few years ago, I made an effort to “upgrade” that much-maligned classic American staple, Ye Olde Campbell’s Green Bean casserole. I mean, really, if famous chefs were telling me, via print and television, that it was awful, I had to listen, didn’t I? I had to make a bechamel, and fry my own onion topping. Because they said so. So why did these high-falutin’ casseroles taste like . . . like . . . doo-doo? (This IS a family site).
So last year, I said to heck with it all. I went to Campbell’s site, and tweaked the recipe a bit. One big change I made was to use frozen haricot vert, i.e., French style green beans. I served the casserole at Christmas and it was a blowout hit. I was mightily surprised, what with the empty cans of Cream of Mushroom soup in my trash can. When you make almost everything from scratch, as I do, and one of your most popular dishes uses an ingredient that foodies love to ridicule, it can be kind of embarrassing. And those canned fried onions? I use Trader Joe’s, which are so tasty that my husband will eat them out of the can if I don’t stash it.
Recipe after the jump . . . .
Campbells’s Green Bean Casserole
Adapted from a recipe by Campbell’s Kitchen
2 cans (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or 25% Less Sodium)
1 cup milk
2 tsp. soy sauce
Dash ground black pepper
24 oz. frozen French style green beans (haricot vert – I used Trader Joe’s), blanched for 3 to 4 minutes
16 oz. sliced button or cremini mushrooms
1 cup Trader Joe’s French Fried Onions
Butter or spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°F.
SAUTE the mushrooms in a bit of olive oil, until a light golden brown.
MIX soup, milk, soy, black pepper, beans, and mushrooms and pour into baking dish.
BAKE at 350°F. for 25 minutes, or until hot.
STIR Sprinkle with the onions. Bake 5 min. Be careful not to let the onions burn!
TIP: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 oz.) frozen green beans, 2 pkg. (9 oz. each) frozen green beans, 2 cans (about 16 oz. each) green beans or about 1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans for this recipe.