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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cheesy Potato Hotdish

Tonight for the potluck I went to, I made a Cheesy Potato Hotdish. I make this from time to time, and it is based off of - but not actually - the Hotdish of the same name my aunt Sheila used to make for practically every family gathering. I wasn't going to blog about it, but I had one friend ask me for the recipe, and so I am blogging about it after all, lol!

I took two 3-lb bags of organic red russet potatoes, 1 bulb of organic garlic plus a few cloves, and 2 medium organic yellow onions. I chopped all of the potatoes into chunks, and tossed them in my steamer. I liberally salted the potatoes with Real Salt and peeled the cloves of garlic. I cut the cloves up, but I was not concerned with how big they were, and tossed them on top of the potatoes. Then I sliced the onions and tossed them on top of the potatoes as well.

My steamer has two baskets, and I put the garlic and onions on the bigger basket, as I only need them on half of the potatoes, but I could have easily put them on top of both baskets, or if I had boiled the potatoes, tossed them right into the water. I added a little more salt, turned my steamer on, and let that do it's thing while I started on the rest of the dish. NOTE: If steaming anything, make SURE you put water in the steamer before you turn it on, lol, as I forgot, and it delayed me by a full 1/2 hour!

As the potatoes were steaming, I cut up into small chunks about half of a 2-lb brick of Land-O-Lakes American Cheese, because it melts well and is a much better choice than Velveeta. I could have used cheddar or a blend if I had wanted, and buying shredded cheese can save time cutting it up, lol! I tossed the cheese into my Roaster Oven with about 2 cups of cream and 2 sticks of generic organic unsalted butter. I turned the roaster on low to let it melt and meld together, and should have added some salt, but didn't because I figured I had put plenty on the potatoes. I could have added seasonings at this point to.

I took two "ring bologna." One was actually a smoked sausage, and the other a mildly spicy Kielbasa. I cut both into small chunks, and set aside.

When the potatoes were done steaming - which I did because it is quicker (provided you remember to add water when turning it on!) and slightly more nutritious - I took the half with the garlic and onions on top, and tossed them in the roaster with the cheese/cream/butter mix, and using my handheld mixer, made something very like mashed potatoes out of it. This is the "sauce" and can be as thick or as thin as you want it.

I added the sausage and other half of the potatoes, and stirred them up, and decided that it was a bit on the thick side, so the last thing I did was use some of the water from the steamer's "drip pan" to thin the hotdish out a bit. I used the water from the drip pan because that is basically juice from the garlic and onions plus salt and whatnot that has dripped off of the steaming vegetables. It gives the hotdish flavor without having to add more seasonings, and prevents me from wasting the seasonings I already used.

Once it was all stirred together, I unplugged it, and brought it to the pot luck. I purposely made a lot because I knew that there could be a lot of people, but if I had used just half of the ingredients - 1 bag of potatoes, 1 cup of cream, 1 stick of butter, etc. - it would have been perfect for a family dinner.

Have a happy day, and if you try my recipe, please let me know how it turns out, thanks!

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