Bad Bean Recipe

Gak! French style green beans are easy enough to make, but I was poking around, looking for that magical tip that would elevate them to a higher level. That’s when I came upon this:

Gak! Ugh!

Oh, yes, dear readers, that’s a real recipe from Cooks.com. A 32 word recipe in which the word “can” appears three times. Bleh!

15 thoughts on “Bad Bean Recipe

  1. recipezaar.com has a ton of “recipes” like this one, they drive me crazy.

    Almost as crazy as the comments on decent recipes that say things like “I loved this! I replaced the aioli with miracle whip and substituted dried thyme for the fresh basil and left out the chicken because I’m vegetarian and used canned mushroom soup instead of the shiitake mushrooms and put it in the slow cooker instead of baking it…”

  2. That recipe is truly an achievement in terms of salt and additives.

    Here is a better one:

    Roast green beans tossed with some olive oil in the oven (about 350 degrees) until they start to brown a little (maybe 10 minutes). Remove from oven, squeeze some lemon juice on them. (Optional: sprinkle with crushed/slivered roasted almonds.) I find these so addictive I often eat them all straight out of the pan.

  3. I think I threw up in my mouth a little. Anyone who needs to look that up has NO IMAGINATION and deserves to eat dog food. Because seriously anyone could have come up with something thi simple. How about coming with something FRESH?

    EPIC SIGH

  4. A friend of mine used to mix a can of cream of mushroom soup with a can of mushrooms and then bake it. (No noodles or anything else). I think he called it “mushroom delight.” >:-P

  5. @Carl that looks a whole lot better than 2 cans of something thrown together :P Plus crispy onions always a WIN

  6. I prefer to steam quickly, cool in ice water quickly, then a quick trio of sea salt, ground pepper and butter.

    As for green beans, I have no idea.

  7. I certainly prefer the clean & simple approach. But I was considering a bit of shallots and such, maybe a touch of finely slivered sweet red pepper (just for color), but I think I’ll keep it simple.

    At this point it’s a toss-up between steaming and roasting. I’ll probably go with roasting.

  8. Went for the roasting. It was actually a 2/3 green, 1/3 yellow mix, so I gave the green beans a few minutes lead time (they take longer to cook). French cut, rolled in olive oil, roasted hot and fast, tossed with lemon juice and a bit of zest (to make it *pop*) and a sprinkle of pink Peruvian coarse salt. Nom nom nom.

  9. Hi there – have been lurking but not responding – and thanks for the tip about San Marzana tomatoes, btw – but I could not let this one pass without a comment. I wish I didn’t have to date myself, but I guess I should start embracing my age. OK. I am 58 years old, and when I was a kid this dish was IT! Cool mums made it. (My mum did not!) Cool mums brought it and other such “casseroles” to family/friend events. I’m sure the recipe was on the can of beans. Wasn’t the 50’s all about convenience (and the post-war obsessions with fridges, foods, television sets with rabbit ears and oh-so-much more)? For a second there, I had an image of myself actually looking for a can on the grocery shelf. Although I love all the updates (roasting! perhaps not what the corporation had in mind but…), I think I will just savour the flavour that I can still recall. Happy Holidays!

  10. Martha, thank you for that different perspective. (Here at the Blork Blog we’re all about diversity.) It’s very true that the 1950s were a time of great optimism towards the future. “Convenience foods,” (canned, frozen, etc.) were considered then to be a great advance in technology, the way of the future, and the “in” thing (not unlike the way anything “web 2.0” is now considered to be unequivocally and undeniably an improvement and the way of the future).

    “Futurism” was big business and big culture back then. Not only was that kind of food “modern” and “convenient,” it was also one of the early tools in the emancipation of women; by freeing up kitchen time, they made it easier for women to justify going out in the world and taking “real” jobs outside of the home.

    There’s a whole generation of people (including myself — I’m not that much younger than you) who grew up on this kind of fare. It still dings us in the nostalgia lobes of our memories.

    That said, I’ve been a critic of this kind of food — which I call “factory food” — for some time. There are several reasons why. For one thing, factory food has evolved over the years. There’s more salt, more corn starch, more preservatives, and more non-food items in general. Plus, the bloom is off the rose; any “way of the future” business is long gone. Canned and frozen food is now all about bulk purchasing and profit margins by the manufacturers. We’ve learned that much of this stuff isn’t very healthy, and when compared with fresh food, not very tasty.

    So we’ve come full circle. With things like the “slow food” movement, plus countless TV shows and magazine articles going on about “real” food, many people are rejecting “factory food” as a relic of a bygone era.

    I’m the first to admit that I love to tuck into a good ol’ KD now and then, and when I’m really sick with a cold or the flu, the only thing I want to eat is Campbell’s tomato soup (it has to be Campbell’s, made with water, not milk) and old fashioned Premium Plus saltine crackers. I will also confess to not minding the odd old style tuna casserole, made with canned cream of whatever soup (although I haven’t made one of those in years).

    That said, the “supreme” recipe cited above does sound pretty awful. If it used fresh beans instead of canned (or even frozen ones), I might have simply dismissed it as another dull recipe from the past. But canned vegetables are awful and always have been. This is particularly true for delicate things like green beans.

    And Dave (above) is right to question how a recipe this plain ends up on the web, and to wonder who would seek it out. It’s one thing to make the occasional goopy thing out of nostalgia, but it’s a bit surprising to find it on cooks.com! (Although I admit that cooks.com generally doesn’t have very high standards.)

    Now we should look to the future, and the future is fresh! ;-)

  11. Thanks for this! Great stuff… very insightful …. Mad Men also succeeds in bringing it all “home”… Your point about “fresh” reminds me of my late father (born in 1916, such a “traditional” man) who, in his 80’s, rejoiced in his new-found ability to choose good fruits and vegetables, made a mean fruit salad and loved a good tomato to slice onto his bagel sandwiches!

  12. Yes, I was going to mention “Mad Men.” That show does a very good job of showing the values of that era. It’s discordant with current times, but they let the times and the values speak for themselves without resorting to mockery. (I really love that show!)

  13. Green bean casserole!

    Wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it!

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