While most of you are likely coming out of food comas the day after Thanksgiving and trying to figure out what you’ll do with the uneaten parts of your feast, I have a headstart eating my leftovers before Thanksgiving. Since most of my friends were heading home to do traditional Thanksgiving dinners, we decided to have a “mixed-up Thanksgiving” potluck last Friday where we took traditional dishes and reallocated them. The menu included a fruity cider, cranberry salsa, Turkish pumpkin soup, turkey wraps, bread pudding, chocolate chip cookies, cranberry pumpkin cookies, and Julie’s and my contribution, green bean casserole pie.
I recently discovered how much I enjoy green bean casserole. I don’t remember it ever being on the family menu, but tender beans, creamy mushroom sauce, and crispy fried onions are just perfectly delicious. Putting it in a pie may sound strange, but in retrospect, it’s similar to a very similar chicken pot pie, where you replace all of the chicken and vegetables with green beans. We ended up scrambling to get it baked in time, but Julie showed off her pie-making skills again and made a flaky crust for the casserole.
Well, most of it. Unfortunately, the recipe for casserole made far more than fit into the pie, and without another Thanksgiving dinner for me, I needed to figure out how to down the rest of it.
The first night just mixed it with leftover rice, but the next, I found some inspiration online for creative uses for leftovers. The green bean casserole pasta sounded good, so I got some water boiling for spaghetti, then took a look in the fridge for the rest.
Fortunately, I had gone to the grocery store earlier that morning and picked up a few roma tomatoes. I had intended to get a beefsteak tomato for my sandwiches, but they were in awful condition: maybe it was a sign. I chopped one of those, a large garlic clove, and some onions as the extra kick for the casserole.
From there, it all kind of came together. Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil with some red pepper flakes, toss in the casserole and tomato to warm it up, and top it with some parmesan.
In retrospect, this also should’ve been a pretty easy call. Lots of casseroles have egg noodles or pasta, and pasta is delicious with cream sauces.
I mentioned earlier that my friends had left town while I didn’t, and you might be wondering how my Thanksgiving went. It went very well, thanks. I sat here on my couch, watching Texas-Texas A&M and eating macaroni and cheese from a box with peas, carrots, and avocado, just like my Thanksgiving last year.
You make your own traditions.