Photo by Stacey Ballis

Even better the second time around

Stacey Ballis
October 04, 2018

I’m already making plans for leftovers. The only thing better than Thanksgiving dinner is Thanksgiving leftovers. And sure, I like a turkey sandwich as much as the next person, but I find these leftovers particularly inspiring. Whether it is a classic turkey tetrazzini like my mom used to make, or cranberry sauce muffins, or mashed potato croquettes, those tubs and containers in the fridge get my culinary gears turning like nothing else.

Often, I am converting the leftovers into breakfast or brunch items, and this one was particularly successful: green bean casserole baked eggs. I developed this in part because for some reason, the green bean casserole does not really improve upon revisiting or reheating in its original form—but plop some into a little cocotte and break an egg on there, and it revitalizes it in the most wonderful ways. Even my husband, who is not a fan of green bean casserole (or any casserole, for that matter) appreciates the simple genius of this dish. It hits many of the same notes as a Florentine, the green beans providing that vegetal place that is endlessly improved by the presence of a just-set egg. The yolk mixes with the mushroom soup to become an enriched sauce, and those little crispy fried onions—well, they’re fried onions. They’d be good on almost anything.

I use about 2/3-3/4 cup of leftover casserole per ramekin; this has more to do with the size of your container than anything else. And I try to keep the onion bits on top if possible, sometimes sprinkling some extra around the edges if I have any lying about. Just grease up as many ramekins as you need, put about an inch of the cold leftover casserole in the bottom, making a divot in the middle, and crack an egg in there. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes until the green beans are bubbling and the egg is cooked to your preferred doneness. Let rest 5 minutes before serving so that no one burns the ever-loving crap out of their mouth on lavalike mushroom soup.

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