Monday, April 3, 2017

Beth's Hash Brown Potato Casserole

 I decided to do another search for a hash brown potato casserole recipe. Yes, yes, I know I already have my OMG Good Hash Brown Casserole recipe (which really is OMG GOOD), but one can never have too many versions of a recipe, can one?? I think not! So, in this case, I was looking for something closer to the famous Cracker Barrel recipe. I've seen many recipes that claim to be THE Cracker Barrel recipe, but oddly, they're not all the same. Crazy, huh? With this sort of a dish, I think the recipe is more of a guideline. There's definitely some wiggle room here. So I began to do what I always do when looking for a recipe, just like I did with my other hash brown casserole recipe. Basically, I just looked at several different versions of it, and then took what I liked from each one. In many of the versions I've seen, most of the ingredients are the same, but the amounts are slightly different. Some versions add paprika, some add A LOT more butter and/or sour cream. Basically I was looking for the Goldilocks version of the recipe, which is not too much anything. It's JUST RIGHT.
 Then I happened upon Trisha Yearwood's recipe, or rather, I suppose, her sister Beth's. It uses basically the same ingredients that I had seen in other versions, but it also includes butter crackers for the top. I thought, oooo I think this is the one!  Originally, I had figured on using a buttered bread crumb topping, but the cracker topping just sounded so good, I decided that this was the one to try.
 So here it is! It's absolutely as warm and comforting as you think it would be. Potatoes and cheese...two of my favorites things! How can this not be the definition of comfort food? Yes yes, I know she pours a ton of extra butter over the top, but you weren't really planning on eating this every day, were you? It's all about moderation, people! Have a salad tomorrow, and you'll be fine! Serve it as an easy side dish with a roast beast and a green veggie, or assemble it on a Saturday night, then bake it first thing in the morning for Sunday brunch. It would be perfect with some fried eggs and a few strip of bacon. Now THAT's my idea of a fabulous Sunday brunch!

2-3 lbs large red potatoes, peeled

1 10oz can cream of mushroom soup

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9- by 13- by 2-inch casserole dish.
Use the large holes on a box grater or the grating blade of a food processor to shred the potatoes into a large bowl. Add the sour cream, Cheddar cheese, soup, onions, salt, and pepper. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the crushed crackers. Pour the melted butter over the top of the casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake until lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes more.

-Definitely bake this for as long as it says. It will take that long for the potatoes to be tender!
-When I made this, some of the onions were not as soft as I would have liked. I think, next time, maybe I'll saute the onions for a bit before I add them to the casserole. That would certainly take care of that! I think I might also choose a cheese that isn't quite as sharp. You definitely get a sharp tang from the sour cream and the mustard. So maybe I'll choose a creamier milder cheese. Any kind will work!
-If you would like it to be less saucey, cut back a little on sour cream. It'll still turn out fine!
-Not a fan of cream of mushroom soup? Use any kind of cream soup you like!
-If you choose to use frozen potatoes instead of fresh, there's no need to defrost them. Just toss 'em in, right from the freezer!
-Wanna make it more of a substantial meal by itself? Add some diced ham and/or crumbled sausage or bacon. Add some blanched asparagus or broccoli. How about some diced or pulled chicken? Add whatever you like!

No comments: