Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cheesy Taters 101

I love potatoes. I especially love cheesy potato casserole. You know what I am talking about. We call them crack potatoes or my husband's family calls them funeral potatoes because that is what you always take to a family for a meal. Cracker Barrel was probably the first place I ever had cheesy potato casserole but I had them once when I was younger in South Texas and someone had used crinkle fries in the place of hash-browns. It blew my mind. I loved them. They also used cream of mushroom in place of cream of chicken and I loved that too. Really...I love them all!! So, I have decided to put together a basic cheesy potato casserole 101 for those of you out there who are afraid to live a little and step outside of your cooking box. A potato is a potato, you can't mess it up. No matter how much cheese and cream you add to it, it will always love you back! We will be making these in a few weeks for Christmas since this is typically the potato on Christmas day along with a spiral ham and southern green beans. So, pick your potato, pick your cream, pick your topping and get to work!

Cracker Barrel/Funeral/Crack/Cheesy Potato Casserole

Type of frozen potatoes that will always work:
Crinkle Cut Fries
Shoe String Fries
Shredded Hash-browns
Cubed hash-browns

Pick your soup- 1 can per bag of potatoes:
Cream of Chicken
Cream of Mushroom
Cream of Celery

Pick your Cheese- you need 2-3 cups:
Extra Sharp Cheddar
Colby Jack
Pepper Jack

Toppings - need at least 1 cup and you will add 2 Tbsp melted butter:
Crushed potato chips
Crushed butter crackers like Ritz
Crushed corn flakes
Crush gold fish
3/4 cup cheese (DON'T drizzle the 2 Tbsp of butter on this. Come on people!)


1-8 oz container of Sour Cream
1/4 cup milk
1 stick of butter melted
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Additional Add Ins:
1/2 cup crumbled bacon
2 fresh diced jalapenos
1 small onion diced - can add either raw or saute in 2 tsp olive oil for 5-8 minutes then add in
1/3 cup green onion diced
1/2 cup red or green bell pepper diced

To assemble, pick your potato, pick your soup, pick your cheese (if you want cheese on the top then reserve back 3/4 cup) add the Must Have list. Top with your desired topping and drizzle over 2 Tbsp of melted butter(except if using cheese)

Few of my favorites:
Traditional: Crinkle cut fries, cream of mushroom, Colby jack cheese, sauteed onion and cheese topping
Texas Style: Shoe string potatoes, cream of chicken, add in bacon and jalapeno,pepper-jack cheese, potato chip topping
Kathy's: Shredded Hash-browns, cream of celery, cheddar, corn flakes
Caroline: Cubed hash-browns, cream of chicken, add in onion and red bell pepper, sharp cheddar and Ritz topping

Enjoy Y'all!

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