green bean casserole

The classic version of this side dish appears above. In this version, however you fix the green beans, you have to use salt pork. Everything else is usually optional, and added for sake of variety. You also have to fix green beans for every Thanksgiving’s Day dinner, it’s in the Thanksgiving Charter. All the other foods you have to prepare take a lot of time and some serious effort. You need something simple in relief. The following recipe, one of the classics, is simple, effortless, and mostly makes use of prepackaged condiments.

  • 2 oz salt pork, cut in ¼” dice
  • ½ small onion, cut in ½” dice
  • 1 (10 ¾-oz) can 99% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp pepper, fresh ground, or to taste
  • 4 cups frozen cut green beans, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1¼ cups packaged French fried onions

In a 2-quart saucepan, sauté the salt pork until its fat has been rendered and the pork is browned. Add onions and sauté until limp. Add soup, milk, soy, pepper, and half the French fried onions, then mix until beans are coated. Place in a 1½-quart casserole and bake in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes, or until hot. Sprinkle remaining French fried onions on top and then bake another 5 minutes.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

green bean, red pepper & piñon casserole

This dish was served at the Family Thanksgiving Day Feast of 1988. It is a Southwestern replacement for the classic Green Bean Casserole usually served at Thanksgiving’s Day dinners.

  • 1 pound green beans, finely French cut
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in 1” × ¼”strips
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
Soubise sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1½ tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp whipping cream

Make the soubise sauce ahead of time: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a double boiler, stir in the flour, and blend. Add gradually the chicken stock and bouillon cube and stir over low heat until well combined and thickened.

In a skillet, sauté the onions in the other 2 tablespoons butter until transparent. Add the onions to the double boiler and simmer over boiling water about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Rub the sauce through a fine sieve, or place the unstrained residue in the blender with some of the liquid, and process at high speed until smooth. Transfer back into the saucepan, add the whipping cream and white pepper.

Cook the beans in boiling water or microwave until nearly done, add the red peppers, and complete the cooking until tender. Drain, add the pine nuts, add the soubise to glaze, and mix well.

Serves 6 to 8 people: