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Green Bean & Potato Casserole



This side dish I am sharing today, is one from out of my Big Blue Binder that I was given by a Mennonite friend many years ago.  I will tell you one thing about  the Mennonites, they sure know how to cook delicious food!  

My Big Blue Binder is filled to overflowing with little gems like this recipe. Tried and trues, family favourites, shared with me by friends and family over the span of the last 45 or so years. (Yes, I am that old!)



My big blue binder is an old binder that I have been lugging around with me all through my life since I was about 9 or 10 years old.  I have been collecting recipes in it from friends, and magazines and library books, etc. for all of that time. 

It is old now, and falling apart, but it is a treasure to me.  Filled to over-flowing with love. I did write a book about it a few years back, which you can buy on Lulu, which only a small sampling of what is actually in the Binder. Maybe I need to do a second volume.



In the original recipe my friend used home canned green beans.  I don't can my own green beans (I don't expect many do these days) so I use well drained tinned from the shops. 

I like to buy the mixed yellow and green beans if I can get them.  Yellow beans, or waxed beans as my mother called them are very hard to find over here. You could also cook an equivalent in fresh beans to use in their place if you wanted to. 


Along with the beans there is a quantity of cooked potatoes, cubed.  I confess I have also used tinned new potatoes in the past with great success.  Just drain well, rinse them off and then cube them.  They work great. 

I also am a person who, when I am boiling potatoes for one reason or another, always boils more than I know I am going to use on the day. Leftover boiled potatoes always come in handy for one thing or another. We absolutely love pan fried leftover potatoes in this house!


These are combined with a homemade cheese sauce.  My friend always used undiluted evaporated milk, but I just use regular whole milk (whole fat) which works perfectly.  

I am sure skim milk would also work, although you might not have quite as rich a sauce. A bit of extra fat always adds a special flavour to things.   Admittedly it also adds to your hips and girth, but we won't go there!


There is a quanitity of sauteed onion and celery in the sauce and some seasoning.  When you are sauting your vegetables don't let them brown if possible. Keep an eye on them. 

You mix the vegetables and the sauce together until well combined.  This mixture then gets poured  into a nicely buttered casserole dish. I favour a somewhat shallow one myself.


I like to top it with crushed cracker crumbs and crumbled cooked streaky bacon.  You could butter the cracker crumbs and leave out the bacon if you wanted to.  

I am from the school however with the motto that everything tastes better with bacon. You could even also mix the cracker crumbs with some additional grated cheese.In for a penny, in for a pound.


I like to use a whole wheat buttery crumbly cracker for this.  More fibre and GI friendly.  Whole wheat ingredients are much better for you if you can possibly use them instead of others. 

I choose to use whole wheat breads, crackers and pasta these days over white things.  They are filled with fibre and are a lot more nutritious and are much easier for your body to metabolise.


I think you could also add some cubes of cooked meat to this if you wanted to.  Leftover cooked ham, or pork, chicken/turkey would work very well, as would leftover roast been or browned ground meat. 

It realy is quite an adaptable dish which works well with many flavours.

It is one of those dishes that you can play with a bit and turn into  your own, without a lot of extra effort.  Its also a great way to use up some of the leftovers in your refrigerator after Sunday lunch.

Its not much to look at  . . .  ie. not the most attractive crayon in the box, but I can promise you that what it lacks in appearance it more than makes up for in taste.



I really love these fabulous old recipes.  They are thrifty and delicious.  They use simple ingredients. There is nothing fancy here.  

They are solid, trustworthy and reliable, which were pretty much the values that people lived by in days gone past.  Oh, I sometimes long for simpler times, don't you?

I really hope you will make this and that, if you do,  you will enjoy it.  Come back and let me know how you get on!  Lets share!   

Oh I do so love to share and I really love it when you make what I have shared with you and enjoy it also. I also really love it when you take the time to come back and let me know.


Yield: 6

Green Bean & Potato Casserole

prep time: 15 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 50 mins
This is a delicious side dish will have your family clamouring for seconds.

ingredients:


1 (400g) tin of cooked green beans, drained well (14 oz tin)
(1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
2 medium potatoes, cooked and cubed (1 cup)
1 stalk celery diced (1/2 cup)
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
4 slices streaky bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 TBS butter
1 1/2 TBS flour
240ml whole milk (1 cup)
120g grated strong cheddar cheese (1 cup)
salt and black pepper to taste
10  buttery crackers

instructions:


Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F./gas mark 4.  Butter a 1 litre/1 Qt casserole dish and set aside.

Put
 the potatoes and beans into a bowl.  Melt the butter over medium heat.
 Add the onion and celery and cook for several minutes until softened
without browning.  Stir in the flour and cook for a further minute. 
Slowly stir in the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until bubbling and
 thickened.  Stir in the cheese to melt.  Season to taste with salt and
black pepper.  Pour over the potatoes and beans.  Mix to combine well
and pour into the prepared casserole dish.  Crumble the crackers over
top.  Crumble the bacon over the crackers.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until well heated through, bubbly and golden brown.  Serve hot.
Created using The Recipes Generator


This content (written and photography) is the sole property of  The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: theenglishkitchen@mail.com




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Marie Rayner
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