Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homemade Cheese Potato Casserole

This dish goes by a lot of names: funeral potatoes, cheese potato casserole, au gratin potatoes.  Growing up, they were just called "cheese potatoes," and they were my most requested dish.

I've made cheese potatoes several times over the years, but had never found a recipe that didn't require a can of condensed cream-of-something soup.  Finally, I had the tremendously bright idea of emailing Mel from Mel's Kitchen Cafe (and supplier of Homemade Hawaiian Haystacks) whether she had a good recipe for cheese potatoes that didn't require canned soup.  She promptly wrote back saying she would soon be trying such a recipe, and was kind enough to email it to me. 

Over time, I altered the recipe a bit to taste more like the cheese potatoes I remember growing up.  Let me tell you, it is pretty dang close to what mama used to make.  And definitely worth not opening that can of soup.

Homemade Cheese Potato Casserole
(adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
Printable Recipe
Serves 6-8

3 tablespoons butter
2-3 green onions, diced
1/4 cup flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 cups frozen hash brown potatoes, shredded or cubed
1/2 cup sour cream

Optional Topping:
3 cups crushed cornflakes combined with 2 tablespoons melted butter

1) Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add green onion and cook until tender.  Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. 
2) Slowly whisk in salt, pepper, broth, and milk, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in cheddar until smooth. 
3) Fold potatoes into sauce until combined; stir in sour cream until well mixed. 
4) Scrape mixture into 9x13 dish; add topping, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Make ahead: Prepared potato mixture can be refrigerated in baking dish, covered with foil, for up to 2 days. To finish, bake potatoes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover; add topping, if using, and bake 40 to 50 minutes, until golden. 

1 comment:

  1. Whoa - I made those just yesterday! I'll be leaving out the thyme when I make them next as well I think...



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