The canned-soup-with-stuff casserole in general became an American classic in the early part of the twentieth century, thanks to the recipes created and publicized by the Campbell Soup Company. In 1955 Campbell hit the jackpot—creating the most popular casserole of all time, the classic Green Bean Bake, made with Campbell's cream of mushroom soup and topped with fried onions from a can. Things don't become classics because they're bad—and the combination of ingredients in this dish is really quite delicious. That's not to say that a tweak or two can't improve it. Try the following version with fresh-fried shallots and dried tarragon thrown into the mix. It's irresistible! This version respects the fifties taste but is so much brighter and more layered in flavor. The soy sauce, by the way, was part of the original recipe.
This is a pretty winter antipasto requiring almost no work.
A tricky dish to do in volume, and hence, I tend to forget to make it at the restaurant, but it is easy for the home cook. An obvious friend to bacon and eggs, these lacy cakes are also good with almost any roasted meat or bird. The sweet-salty flavor and crispy texture is irresistible and appeals to those not usually fond of sweet potatoes. These hash browns are also very pretty made with a combination of starchy, yellow sweet potatoes and a little bit of orange yam. (Don't use all yams; by themselves they form a wet, dense mass, not a lacy cake. They don't have enough starch to stick together and form a crust. They do, on the other hand, try to stick to the pan.)
If desired, just before serving, drizzle a few drops of fine aged balsamic vinegar on the pears.
Adapted from A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider (Artisan, 2001). Copyright 2001, Sally Schneider.
With this stuffing you could skip the turkey. Yes, it's a long list of ingredients, but this is a winner. Our old friend Herman Merkin mastered this mix. He brought it to our first married Thanksgiving. We've been making it ever since.
This combination of sorrel, smoked salmon, and eggs makes one of the best brunch dishes I've ever eaten. When sorrel leaves are shredded and cooked in butter, they wilt dramatically and quickly turn into a puree, almost as if they melted. Add some cream, and you have a lemony sauce that complements the smoked salmon more keenly than a rich hollandaise. Just remember it takes a lot of sorrel leaves to make a little bit of sauce, so make this dish when you have plenty to harvest or can buy big bunches at the market, usually in the spring or early fall.
Slide vegetables in a food processor to make the soup come together quickly.
Whole fried turkey is the best illustration I know of just how delicious and greaseless fried food can be.