Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Creamy Loaded Potato Casserole

What happens if you layer all the elements of a loaded baked potato, and then some, and bake it up in a nice deep dish? It turns out better than the loaded potato and that is putting it mildly. And what if I tell you it’s a Paul Deen recipe, well then I won’t have to give you the butter warning now will I? Now that Ree Drummond is ranching it up on the Food Network I’m going to just quit apologizing for butter altogether, because she is giving Paula a run for her money in that department and if two of the best cooks in the food galaxy are doing it then I can too. SO. Get out your butter and start your engines.

We’re going to take off with 3-4 tablespoons of that butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and as soon as it starts to foam drop in 1 sweet white onion, julienned. That’s just cut in half and sliced thin. Also add about ½ a good sized red bell pepper, or yellow like this one if you don’t have red, also sliced very thin. While that is sauté-ing along until soft and translucent, peel 3 medium sized Idaho potatoes and slice ¼” thick, rinse well and move them to a glass pie pan or other dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave 3-5 minutes or until they just become tender enough to slip a knife into them easily. If they go any longer they’ll fall apart when you move them over to top the casserole. 

The bottom layer of the dish is mashed potatoes which you can certainly do yourself, but I cheated and used a good brand of ready to serve real mashed potatoes, about 2 cups worth. First rub the dish with broken garlic clove half to get just enough of that good garlicky flavor all around and follow that with a rub down of butter, no apologies. So, the first layer is mashed potato followed by 1 cup of sour cream.  

Salt and pepper it before adding the onion and red pepper and really spatula out that pan for every drop of the oniony flavored butter too. 

Next sprinkle on a cup of grated cheddar, preferably Sharp.  

Last two layers will be the sliced potatoes (more salt and pepper) and another cup of grated cheddar. Voila. That means you’re done put it in the oven. 350 for 30-40 or until the cheese is bubbly and just browning up a little.  

 Now one last thing: while that’s cooking fix 6 slices of bacon to crumble on top when it comes out of the oven. You know how I love a shortcut, as long as it doesn’t cut on flavor, so microwaved bacon is my standby and I start with the partially cooked kind already. Not a fan of the bacon fat pools from the real kind unless it’s necessary, as in Candied Bacon, when the real thing is every bit worth fooling with.

So, here’s the real Voila. Dish it up by digging all the way through to the bottom so each bite has a mix of creamy mashed and cheesy bite sized potato and a salty crunch of bacon. 

½ lb Bacon (6 slices)
8 oz Sour Cream
1 Med Sweet Onion
1 Small Red Bell Pepper
5 Tbs Butter
2 cups Sharp Cheddar
2 cups Mashed Potatoes
3-4 Medium Idaho Potatoes
1 garlic clove

It's FallFest at the Food Network website and you'll find me there for the next twelve weeks! Every week we'll be sharing great recipes for fall and early winter vegetables. Check out these other mouth-watering recipes for Potatoes:

Taste With The Eyes: Poached Salmon, Lobster Mash, Lentil Gumbo “Gravy”
And Love It Too: Twice Baked Potato - Paleo Style
What's Gaby Cooking: Smashed Potatoes
From My Corner of Saratoga: Potato Canapes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chorizo and Potato Tacos
Cooking Channel: Cozy Up With In Season Potatoes
FN Dish: Best Potato Casserole Recipes
Cooking With Elise: The Irish Boxty
CIA Dropout: Potato and Leek Soup
The Sensitive Epicure: Potatoes Anna With Fresh Thyme and Truffle Salt
Glory Foods: Chicken Smashed Potatoes

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That is one crazy rich dish. It would be great on the Thanksgiving table! Excellent contribution to Fall Fest...


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