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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

cheesy hashbrown casserole



Back in the fall, I stumbled upon this basic recipe in one of my Kraft recipe weekly emails. It's no matter that I've misplaced it (or that it is most likely lost in my huge folder of recipes that sits on top of my fridge), as it is simple, basic, and a nice change up for a quick morning breakfast.

Even though we are a muffin household, I like tossing this recipe, as well as my pumpkin roll recipe, into the weekday mix.

Here's the recipe:

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole


What You Need:
1/2 package of frozen hash brown potatoes (16 oz, as a typical bag is 32 oz) or 7-8 peeled, shredded
     russet potatoes (which I used in this recipe to make my own hashbrowns)
4 oz of cooked, diced ham (you can find packages of already cooked, diced ham packaged up near the
     sliced meat section of your grocery store) or bacon pieces
1 can of condensed cream of potato soup
1/2 container of light sour cream (8 oz of a typical 16 oz container)
1/2 cup of diced onion 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

*This recipe made a 8 x 11 baking dish. If you are feeding more than 2 during the week, I'd easily double the recipe.*


Directions: 
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Grab all those ingredients! I didn't have diced ham on hand (which I usually use), so instead I substituted it for easy, Oscar Mayer fully cooked bacon.


3. Now if you use frozen hashbrowns---great. This cuts the time immensely! You would use half of a typically sized bag. I would use the handle of the knife to break off the chunks and I would just approximate.

But I went the slightly more time consuming route--making my own. I took 7-8 russet potatoes, scrubbed them like crazy, and then peeled them. I filled a big bowl with cold water and plopped that next to my work station. Then you shred those potatoes with a box cutter. As you shred, toss your potatoes in the cold water to prevent them from changing colors. As you're shredding, fill a pot about half way with water. Put it on the stove over medium-high heat to boil. Once you've shredded all your potatoes and you have a pot of boiling water, toss all the shredded potatoes into the pot. You will only cook them for about 3 minutes---this quick cooking is called blanching them. I did mine in two batches, and set the done hashbrowns on a cookie sheet on top of some paper towel for drainage. 

From here, you can go ahead and use the hashbrowns in the recipe. If you were going to freeze them for future use, you could divide them out into small freezer bags and pull them out when necessary.

I did my own as I had huge amounts of russet potatoes. I've been shopping around a lot more---usually looking at 4 or 5 weekly ads every week. Aldi's had a 10 lb. bag for $1.89. Usually the average price is $2.99, so I grabbed some. 

Now, moving on.



4. Now it's just adding all the ingredients really. Add your 1 can of cream of potato soup, 1/2 container of light sour cream, 1/2 cup diced onion, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and 3/4 cup of parmesean cheese. (I only had an Italian blend, so I used that instead). 



5. Add those beautiful hashbrowns in (either frozen or fresh). And mix. 



6. Fry up some bacon, microwave some, chop it, grab that diced ham, whatever, and add that in. Or skip it all together. And mix that in. 



7. Place it all in a 8 x 11 cooking dish. And top with cheese if you wish. I wish. Pop it in the 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes. 


And voila! 


Seriously, so good. It reheats wonderfully and their is happiness in every last bite. 



2 comments:

  1. I love taking the recipes you make (which are beautiful and certainly delicious) and figuring out what swaps can be made to make them different for different occasions or healthier or whatever!

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  2. Thank you for the neat tip for using russets! I think I might add a little sage just for kicks.

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