Taking a break from “What’s in the Lunchbox Wednesday” this week because, seriously, do you really care about packing lunches the day before Thanksgiving. Plus, it is #Recipe Redux Day! Let’s talk holiday side dishes.
As a reminder, since I haven’t participated in a few months, due to the pregnancy-induced blogging break, the Recipe Redux is a recipe challenge and blog hop started by registered dietitians, with a focus on DELICIOUS and nutritional foods. Yes, eating healthy can be tasty! And that is what all of the participants are here to show you. Each month there is a theme, and we all post our takes on the theme on the 21st of each month. This month, we were challenged to ReDux a vintage holiday side dish.
Do you remember the commercial where everybody shows up at the door, ceramic baking dish in have, and says, “I brought the green bean casserole!”? I don’t remember if it was for the Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, Green Giant Green Beans, or French’s French Fried Onions (and a You Tube search is not helping me out), but the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season always reminds me of this commercial, whether I actually see it on TV or not. And this commercial reminds me of my grandmother. Honestly, I cannot remember if she thought it was funny or annoying. All I remember is her imitating the commercial the second we walked into whatever house was the location of that year’s Thanksgiving dinner.
You see, as my family grew larger (in size and number), and my grandparents got older, we started having most holidays at other family members’ houses. And really, all she wanted to do was get there, eat the meal, have dessert, then leave. She loved us, no question, but I truly think the reason is that it was a lot easier to sneak her cigarettes at home than at one of her disapproving children’s houses. But there really was a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding her smoking – we all knew what was going on (well, except my one cousin, and we love her dearly for her beautiful combination of optimism and naiveté), but at her age, there was nothing we were going to do about it. So she came, mocked the green bean casserole commercial, happily ate the green bean casserole (made from the aforementioned Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, Green Giant Green Beans, or French’s French Fried Onions), and the rest of the meal (but no turkey. She hated turkey), spent some time with the family until she began to request her coffee and pie, and then headed home. God rest her soul, I miss her more than you can imagine.
Well, my family loves that green bean casserole. My sister could make a meal of the stuff for several days. Over the years, I have begun to like it less and less. Too salty, too gloppy. I suppose my palate has gotten more used to fresher ingredients than the processed stuff that we were all raised on. So I have actually made this green bean dish at home several times, and am happy to share it with the Recipe Redux. Gonna be honest – I don’t think this will ever replace the green bean casserole on out Thanksgiving table, but it is delicious. Even The Hubby, who claims to thoroughly dislike green beans, like it quite a bit. And I am sure the rest of the family would, too – just not on Thanksgiving.
The onion flavor that before had come from the fried onions now comes from the balsamic caramelized shallots. And, though for the photos I sprinkled the goat cheese over the top, once you start mixing it around, it brings that creaminess to the dish, without being gloppy, like when you use canned beans and soup. I love the sweetness of the balsamic and dried cranberries and crunch of the brand against the creamy, subtly saltiness of the goat cheese. Heck, I love anything with goat cheese. But we won’t go there right now.
So pair this up with my Cinnamon & Orange Cranberry Sauce, and bring some new, fresh, season flavors to your holiday table, or even just to your weeknight dinner table. And for more ReDuxed Vintage Side Dishes, check out the links at the bottom of this post!
What is your favorite holiday side dish? (Links welcome)
- 1 lb green beans
- 2 t olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 t kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- ¼ c balsamic vinegar
- 1 T dijon mustard
- ¼ c dried cranberries
- ½ c crumbled goat cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add the beans to the pot, and boil for 10-12 minutes, or until just slightly firmer than you like to eat them.
- Remove the beans from the pot and run under cold water.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil, shallot, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until shallots are tender and starting to caramelize.
- Add balsamic vinegar, mustard, and dried cranberries.
- Bring to a simmer, and reduce and caramelize for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add the beans to the pan and stir to coat and heat the beans through.
- Remove the beans from the heat, and top with or toss with the goat cheese.