A conversation with a colleague way back in November reminded me of my pledge in 2017 that I would ALWAYS make a Jack Cassidy Quicky Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving.  As I had a spare evening on my hands on the last Thursday in November, I decided to make one just for me, myself and I.  There were green beans in my fridge, a can of mushroom soup in the sideboard, and some crispy onions in the kitchen cupboard.  Singleton’s dinner, almost sorted!

Those crispy onions have a “best before” date of 2017 but no matter!  They have gone back in the cupboard until Thanksgiving rolls around again next year.  I have no truck with best befores…

Jack Cassidy’s Quickie Green Bean Casserole

2 x 15.5 oz / 400-gram cans green beans (cut or French-style) drained

2 tablespoons sweet/unsalted butter

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

One 10.5 oz / 400-gram can cream of mushroom soup

One 3.5 oz can /  100-gram French’s Crispy Fried Onions

Place beans in a large baking dish, and dot with butter.  Sprinkle evenly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spoon cream of mushroom soup evenly over beans, stirring so soup seeps into the lower part of the casserole. Top with crispy onions.

Bake uncovered in preheated 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C / gas mark 6 oven until beans are heated through (about 20 minutes).

Serves 6

I had sour cream leftover from Barry Newman’s Fillets of Sole, Russian Style, and some potatoes that needed using up so my thoughts turned to making a creamy-potatoey dish to go with the beans.  It was suddenly wintery here in the UK so creamy carby dinners were very appealing.  I considered making an Edward Woodward Cheese and Potato Pie, then I thought, oooh, I could make a David Niven’s Janssons Temptation.  Then I had a genius flash of inspiration – why not do a COMBINATION OF THE TWO?!  Hence thinly sliced potatoes, cheese, sour cream with some milk added, a sliced onion, a few anchovies

and a handful of breadcrumbs.  What a treat!

I sent a text to Mr R to tell him about my great invention and he gave it a name. The Ewar Woowoo, Nivy Nivy mash-up.

This probably only makes sense when you know that my favourite joke of all time used to be Q: “What would Edward Woodwood be called if he didn’t have any ds in his name? A: Ewar Woowoo.  BUT THEN, only in 2021 I realised that he spelled his name WoodWARD.  So the real punchline is Ewar Woowar which doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Ewar Woowoo.  No matter.  This dish will forever in my mind be called the Ewar Woowoo Nivy Nivy mash-up.  It looked like a big old mess on the plate but man, it was delicious!

Jack Cassidy was a GREAT villain in three episodes of Columbo, so this and two more of his favourite recipes are in my Cooking With Columbo book.  When I found this blog post in my drafts I was recommending that folks get a copy of this for any Columbo fans in their life as a Christmas present. Where does all the time go?!  Oh well, it will be Thanksgiving again before we know it, and maybe THIS year I can spend it with other mortals now that Covid is on the wane.  A Jack Cassidy Quicky Bean Casserole will be making an appearance!

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