Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Thanksgiving Made Easy—This Recipe is a Must-Try!
If you’re a 20-something preparing for the holiday season, it’s important to be ready for all the pot lucks and dinner parties with college and work friends. After years of helping my mother and grandmother prepare Thanksgiving dinner, I may not be the most skilled in the kitchen, but I know that having a staple recipe or two up your sleeve comes in handy for hosting or attending any of these holiday fetes. I’ve made the recipe below more times than I can count, so I can assure you it is not only the easiest holiday dish to make yourself, it is also delicious. Save yourself the embarrassment of bringing something sub-par from the grocery store (although that is perfectly acceptable if you’re completely without prep time), and venture into the kitchen!
From Thanksgiving to Christmas to every wintry dinner in between, bring this easy to make green bean casserole along. In just 30 to 40 minutes, it’s done. And believe it or not, the recipe isn’t something passed down through generations—it’s from the French’s French Fried Onions can. You’ll need a can of the onions for the casserole, so when you pick it up check out the recipe on the back. I usually follow it exactly, and if you’d like to see a step by step from the site click here. If you’re like me, you probably don’t have the time to watch an instructional video, so trust me: you can do this.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for a six-serving dish:
· 1 (10 ¾ oz.) can of Cream of Mushroom Soup—the recipe recommends Campbell’s but it doesn’t need to be.
· 1/8 teaspoon black pepper—if you’re like me and not a huge fan of pepper, you don’t need to worry about this ingredient. To be honest, I don’t notice the difference.
· ¾ cup milk—be sure you don’t put too much in!
· 2 (9 oz. each) pkgs, frozen cut green beans, thawed—you can use frozen, fresh or canned green beans. Just make sure it’s about the same amount.
· 1 1/3 cups French’s French Fried Onions—there are Original and Cheddar varieties, but I recommend the original kind.
Next you’re going to mix the soup, milk and pepper in a big bowl. Add in the green beans and half the onions. It’s not a science, you really can estimate how many beans or onions you need. My friends and I especially enjoy fresh green beans and lots of onions, but adjust as needed. Even an easy dish can become your own if you put the time into it. At this point, you should have the oven heating up to 350 degrees, and once everything is mixed and poured into your casserole dish, you can throw it in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes. After time’s up, pull the casserole out, do a quick stir, then top with the rest of the onions (or even more if you’re like me and love crispy onions on top). Cook for another five minutes or so. When you’re done, all you need to do is make a cover of tin foil and bring it along to the party. Or, if you’re hosting, the casserole can be one of the last few things in the oven, since it’s such a quick thing to make.
You might have to delegate what everyone else will bring to this event, and that's a huge plus. Remember that you can always do your cooking in the week leading up to the event and heat everything up in the oven beforehand. In addition, there’s nothing wrong with having a couple homemade dishes and then asking friends or family to bring the rest. After all, you probably have friends who love to bake and can do a far better apple pie than you or makes a better pumpkin pie than anyone you know. If it’s a get together of friends with equal level of cooking experience, why not invite people to bring supplies for some holiday-themed drinks? Eggnog is a Christmastime staple, but try something new this winter: the Manhattan cocktail. See the recipe below for a great complement to your holiday party. Who doesn’t love a good cocktail...
· 2 oz. rye whiskey
· ½ oz. sweet vermouth
· 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
· Maraschino cherry for garnish
· Pour ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubs
· Stir well
· Strain into cocktail glass
· Add cherry
· And… you’re done!
The finished product (source)
What easy recipes do you enjoy making? Send them our way! And for more easy-to-make holiday recipes, check out Paula Deen and other Food Network stars, as well as 'foodie' recipe mecca @TheFoodieTrap on Twitter. I wish you a happy holiday season with good food, drink and friends. Cheers!
Natalie Marks, IMC Undergraduate, @npmarks