Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

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Richard T r i m p i
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Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#1 Post by Richard T r i m p i » December 18th, 2018, 5:23 pm

A month or two late, but worth a mention IMHO.

Born and raised in Camden, NJ at a time before it’s epic demise, Ms. Dorcas Reilly pursued an undergraduate degree in Home Economics at nearby Drexel University prior to landing a job in her hometown at Campbell’s Soup in 1949. She advanced to become the supervisor of the Home Economics Dept.

In 1955, the Associated Press ran a feature contest to create an easy-to-make Campbell’s Soup side. The question came with a caveat: the recipe had to be built around green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, staples in American homes during the 1950s.

Ms. Reilly and her staff created the legendary casserole, with the recipe printed on cans of Campbell’s Mushroom Soup starting in 1960. An estimated 20 million US households serve the now traditional Thanksgiving dish.

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Green beans
Cream of mushroom soup
Milk
Soy sauce
Black pepper
French fried onions.
10 min prep, 30 minutes to bake

In 2002, Campbell’s donated Reilly’s original recipe card to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The yellow recipe card resides in the same place as Thomas Edison’s lightbulb and phonograph.

She died in Camden on October 15, 2018 at the age of 92. “Food should be fun and food should be happy.....I hope you enjoy green bean casserole forever."


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RT

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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#2 Post by Jason T » December 18th, 2018, 7:25 pm

I’ve always made it as she’s laid out in her recipe. This being my last thanksgiving in New Orleans I wanted to go out on top, so I used Kenji’s recipe on Serious Eats. Includes fresh green beans, homemade mushroom sauce, and slicing/frying two pounds of shallots.

Not sure I’d go through that effort again, that said the results were quite a bit better than I expected. Usually there’s leftovers of that dish well into the second day, and I had to set some aside just to ensure I had leftovers that night. It was damn good.
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#3 Post by Al Osterheld » December 18th, 2018, 7:40 pm

I'm sure I used many of her recipes back in the day, but never this one and it was not part of my family's repertoire. But, kudos to her and rest in peace.

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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#4 Post by Kenny H » December 18th, 2018, 7:57 pm

If interested you can see how I have updated this recipe in my IG feed (@hippieslick), from Thanksgiving this year. It involves making your own cream of mushroom and also using sous vide for the green beans. In the past I have also spent many resources doing a homemade tempura fried shallot topping.

If you do that, kiss that dish goodbye. People crush it.
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#5 Post by Richard T r i m p i » December 19th, 2018, 6:15 am

Kenny H wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 7:57 pm
If interested you can see how I have updated this recipe in my IG feed (@hippieslick), from Thanksgiving this year. It involves making your own cream of mushroom and also using sous vide for the green beans. In the past I have also spent many resources doing a homemade tempura fried shallot topping. If you do that, kiss that dish goodbye. People crush it.
The dish was never a staple at our Thanksgiving table but I remember enjoying it (The Campbell's version) the first time I tasted it. It also gets its share of ridicule.

Kenny, your version sounds terrific. Fresh ingredients and home-made cream of mushroom raise the bar. The tempura onion/shallot topping sound mouth watering. Lower effort options:

Image

The dish's popularity is about simplicity and speed of preparation. A nod and a thank you to Ms. Reilly.

RT

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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#6 Post by CJ Beazley » December 19th, 2018, 6:30 am

I’ve updated mine somewhat, Asiago cheese and fresh haricots verts. But basically the same after all these years, I love it.
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#7 Post by Brandon R » December 19th, 2018, 9:24 am

My wife's family makes it (yes, that original version) for every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Prior to our marriage, I'd never had it nor had heard of it. It's an interesting dish and I have no doubt it would be better with the extra effort and fresh ingredients. That said, it's not my place to suggest changing their family tradition that goes back to around the 1950s most likely.
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#8 Post by Bdklein » December 19th, 2018, 11:54 am

Around 10 years ago my cousin made one batch with green beans and one batch with chopped broccoli for Thanksgiving. The broccoli version was such a hit she hasn't made the green bean version since .
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#9 Post by Jason T » December 19th, 2018, 12:54 pm

Brandon R wrote:
December 19th, 2018, 9:24 am
That said, it's not my place to suggest changing their family tradition that goes back to around the 1950s most likely.
It’s all in the communication. You’re not “changing”,
You’re “refining”, “iterating”, “inspired to build upon their legacy”. [berserker.gif]
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#10 Post by PeterJ » December 19th, 2018, 2:00 pm

Made it this year, totally from scratch. Fresh green beans, mushrooms sautéed with a bit of sherry, roux from scratch for a bechamel. Only thing standard was the French’s onions.
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#11 Post by Brandon R » December 20th, 2018, 12:39 pm

Jason T wrote:
December 19th, 2018, 12:54 pm
Brandon R wrote:
December 19th, 2018, 9:24 am
That said, it's not my place to suggest changing their family tradition that goes back to around the 1950s most likely.
It’s all in the communication. You’re not “changing”,
You’re “refining”, “iterating”, “inspired to build upon their legacy”. [berserker.gif]
Haha...I like it. Most likely, they'd politely reply with, "Shut up. Keep bringing the good wine and leave the rest to us."

I really, really like that broccoli idea!
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#12 Post by MBerto » December 21st, 2018, 7:34 am

Because I'm a snob, we've upgraded to the NYT version:

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/101 ... -casserole

The bread crumbs are good there, but it you really want to take this to the moon, make your own french fried onions. One taste of those and you'll forever consider someone asking you to eat French's to be akin to asking to like a boot after a stroll through fresh horse pasture.
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#13 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 21st, 2018, 2:33 pm

Generation after generation in Massachusetts (in our family and any I knew of) never heard of this, much less served it.

Then my brother married a girl from New Jersey, and it was traditional at their house for Thanksgiving. We thanked her for introducing it to us when she joined our family, or when I joined hers. I personally think it is disgusting. Frozen French sliced green beans, canned soup, canned fried onions. What else could one ever want?
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#14 Post by Leonard Maran » December 27th, 2018, 1:50 am

Just imagine the sodium..

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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#15 Post by ClarkstonMark » December 27th, 2018, 4:15 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
December 21st, 2018, 2:33 pm
Generation after generation in Massachusetts (in our family and any I knew of) never heard of this, much less served it.

Then my brother married a girl from New Jersey, and it was traditional at their house for Thanksgiving. We thanked her for introducing it to us when she joined our family, or when I joined hers. I personally think it is disgusting. Frozen French sliced green beans, canned soup, canned fried onions. What else could one ever want?
It is disgusting. Oddly, growing up in very rural Pennsylvania, for most of my life I also didn't know this existed. But then I moved to Michigan where everyone serves it for the holidays.
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#16 Post by MitchTallan » December 28th, 2018, 5:08 pm

I personally think it is disgusting. Frozen French sliced green beans, canned soup, canned fried onions. What else could one ever want?
It is disgusting. Oddly, growing up in very rural Pennsylvania, for most of my life I also didn't know this existed. But then I moved to Michigan where everyone serves it for the holidays.
Thank God for some sanity and good taste on this Board. And yes, it is a Midwest staple. My 28 yr old son is all but engaged to a very nice Christian girl. He texted me that after a Christmas Eve dinner at his gf's mom's, consisting of ham, potatoes gratin, and green bean casserole he couldn't sleep due to being thirsty all night. I experienced the exact same thing 30 some years ago when I was still dating my now-wife. Forget about the well heeled hiring services that administer IV's to treat hangovers, there should be a service that provides IV's after eating a Midwest meal of ham and green bean casserole.

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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#17 Post by Richard T r i m p i » December 28th, 2018, 6:02 pm

This might come as a surprise, but gourmet cuisine was unknown to most American households in the 1950s and early 1960s. The availability of quality food at your average supermarket, which we now take for granted, has gone through quite a transformation over the past 50+ years. Nevertheless, 40% of Americans eat fast food at least once per day.

I remember frozen blocks of green beans tossed in to a pan of boiling water....to emerge flavorless and overcooked. Between 1965 and 1985, my mother's cooking (every day) improved dramatically. Simple, easy to prepare recipes were a stepping stone in that evolution.

RT

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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#18 Post by Merrill Lindquist » December 28th, 2018, 6:16 pm

I never eat fast food - if your are referring to the burger joints. The rolls all have added gluten ingredients, and that is what makes me pretty ill. Can't buy packaged breads or hamburger/hot dog rolls, because they all have that additive. Fresh pizza with dough made at that pizzeria? No problem. Pasta? No issue. Bakery items prepared fresh daily - they have no reason to add that shelf-life or pliability of the breads. But I had to become very careful.
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#19 Post by Richard T r i m p i » December 28th, 2018, 6:25 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 6:16 pm
I never eat fast food - if your are referring to the burger joints.
Time Magazine - October 2018 - Almost 40% of Americans Eat Fast Food on Any Given Day


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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#20 Post by Al Osterheld » December 28th, 2018, 7:47 pm

To me, this is more nostalgia food than comfort food. As mentioned, I don't think my mom ever made it. Like a lot of 1950s/1960s middle-American dishes, I knew about it from potluck meals at our rural community church. Mom used some of the recipes, but there were a whole lot she didn't use. Not sure whether to thank her tastes or Dad's preferences (probably some of both).

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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#21 Post by Gray G » December 29th, 2018, 10:52 am

thank you Richard for the this post

no need to be snobby here, and some nostalgia is fun

the beauty of the recipe is it's flexibility, low cost and ease to make

it also tastes good, particularly at gatherings with other comfort style foods

throw in a great bottle of wine and you are all set

cheers
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#22 Post by MitchTallan » December 29th, 2018, 3:12 pm

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 6:02 pm
This might come as a surprise, but gourmet cuisine was unknown to most American households in the 1950s and early 1960s. The availability of quality food at your average supermarket, which we now take for granted, has gone through quite a transformation over the past 50+ years. Nevertheless, 40% of Americans eat fast food at least once per day.

I remember frozen blocks of green beans tossed in to a pan of boiling water....to emerge flavorless and overcooked. Between 1965 and 1985, my mother's cooking (every day) improved dramatically. Simple, easy to prepare recipes were a stepping stone in that evolution.

RT
I agree RT. Growing up in the 70's with both parents working (my mom taught at a local urban high school), it was something along the lines of Monday; chicken sections baked with paprika sprinkled on top, those frozen green beans cooked as you described, Tuesday; frozen cod that came in a cardboard rectangle package thawed, baked with Paprika sprinkled on top, frozen lima beans cooked as you described, Wednesday; pork chops broiled in the oven with paprika sprinkled on top, frozen succotash cooked as you described; Thursday; meatloaf with instant mashed potatoes, frozen Brussel sprouts cooked as you described, etc. Every weekday night the beverage accompanying dinner was orange juice made by adding water to the frozen concentrate in the cardboard cylinder. In order to cope with the blandness, I would get home from school a few hours before my mom did and cook a frozen Tony's Pizza or sometimes if I was lucky, a pair of Stouffers frozen French bread pizza to get me by.

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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#23 Post by Nola Palomar » December 29th, 2018, 4:37 pm

Personally, never a staple, comfort food or on my list of recipes. I love green beans, mushrooms, onions just not that blend. But to those that do, great! To those that found a way to make it better, bravo!!
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Re: Green Bean Casserole - “The mother of all comfort foods”

#24 Post by Michae1 P0wers » January 3rd, 2019, 7:22 am

I agree with those saying it's disgusting. I have considered doing a "from scratch" version on several occasions to please those who expect it at a family holiday, but always opted for other green vegetable options (usually Brussels which tend to be my favorite). From what Jason says there's a Serious Eats recipe for it, but I can't imagine it really takes much in the way of a recipe to figure out how to make that dish from fresh ingredients.

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