Monday, December 31, 2012

[Royal Treats]: "Happy" Potatoes!

I'm not a chef or anything, but I do enjoy cooking and baking. Even when my experiments do not always work out.

I thought I'd share a few of the better experiments with everyone.

Today I'm sharing a family favorite. Here in UT, this dish is fondly known as "Funeral Potatoes", as this dish is almost always at any funeral or church gathering. But I find that name just too depressing, so I've renamed them, and in my house they're known instead as "Happy" Potatoes.

Be warned--this is NOT a healthy dish. It's comfort food, plain and simple. If you want to make it lighter, go ahead. But I'll continue to live on the edge and enjoy it with all the fat and calories. After all, I don't make it too often. But when I do? There is no such thing as leftover "Happy" Potatoes. :)

Here's what you'll need:

  • Shredded (thawed) hash brows
  • 2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Melted butter
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Garlic and Onion Powder [optional--I've done it w/o and it's still great!]
  • Cornflakes and Ritz crackers (crushed, mixed with more melted butter)

And a messy kitchen. Of course.

First, stir together the cream of chicken, sour cream, melted butter, and cheese. Season it as you want (s+p, onion, etc). Then fold in the hash browns and mix until it looks well combined. Like this:

Then grab yourself a 9 x 13 baking dish. Make sure to either spray it with some no-stick spray or butter it up, to prevent some awful sticking later. I went with the butter--again, comfort food. 'Nuff said.

Spread the (yummy) cheesy-potato mixture into the pan. Spend 10 minutes trying to make it look perfect. Then just give up and call it good. Or just plop it in. Whatever you like.

Now it's time to decide what to top this with!

In the past, I've always done crushed corn flakes mixed with melted butter. But this time I decided to try something new. Half corn flakes, half (wheat) Ritz crackers. And butter. Oh my!

I've also ate versions with just more cheese as a topping, or even panko. Go crazy, try different combinations.

Smash up the crackers and CF.
Add the melted butter and mix them around.

Spread the mixture over the potatoes. Make sure it's even--you don't want to cheat anyone out of their share of topping.

 And then forget to take a picture of said topping on the potatoes....

Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until it's nice and bubbly and yummy. Resist it for a few minutes to cool, or you will regret it. Trust me. I've burned my tongue too many times to count....

And then forget to take a picture of steamy potatoes.... What? I was too busy shoveling them in my mouth to remember to take a picture! Oops....

Oh my. I could live on this. I made a batch for Christmas dinner this year, and I think I loved it more than the turkey. There were no leftovers, though. *sigh*

Here's the recipe:

 "Happy Potatoes"

  • 1 bag (32 oz) of shredded hash browns, thawed
  • 2 (10 3/4 oz each) cans of Cream of Chicken soup [homemade would work, too, or even the "heart healthy" kind like I used]
  • 2 cups of sour cream
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese [Or be like me and dump in an extra 1/2 cup, just because....]
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp EACH of garlic and onion powder [optional--use as much or as little as you want, I've made it w/o before and it's still very tasty!]
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes and Ritz crackers
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Mix together the soups, sour cream and cheese. Fold in the potatoes and mix well.
3. Grease a 9 x 13 pan, using either butter or non-stick spray.
4. Spread the potatoes into the pan.
5. Crush up the corn flakes and crackers--don't go crazy, we don't want flour, just nicely crushed. Add the melted butter.
6. Spread the topping over the potatoes.
7. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until nice and hot and bubbly.
8. Remove the foil and let it cool for at least 5 minutes before diving in!

Do you have a recipe similar to this in your area? I'm sure that it's known by other names. If you're looking for a comforting side dish, this is it. Just watch how much you make, or you may find your pants suddenly fit a little too snug. This I know, so trust me. :)


Until Next Time,


*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Andrea said...

I made one just like this..without the topping for Christmas. Its similar to the Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole and is totally yummy :)

The_Book_Queen said...

I've never been to Cracker Barrel. I've lived a sheltered live. LOL. Of course the closest one to my small town is at least two hours away (one way, of course), so perhaps that's why...
Thanks for stopping by, Andrea!

Wickedly Delicious said...

Thanks for sharing. Someone always makes them for almost any of our neighbor get togethers. OMG I love them. We call them Cheesy Potatos. I do not think we put all that stuff in it. Maybe since I do not cook I never make them haha. I think I would likem it with the cornflakes and Cream of Chicken soup. I am trying this!

Wickedly Delicious said...

I was just about to copy and past to word and forgot my trainer boy would not be happy and would make me do extra Burpees (by the way I hate them).

The_Book_Queen said...

LOL. I warned you---it's comfort food, not health food! Though I'm sure there are endless ways to make it healthier. I've just never tried. *looks in the mirror* But I should. Ugh.
It's funny, I've been making these for years, but only within the last couple have I started to see similar frozen hashbrown casseroles show up in the store. At least what I make is *slightly* better, as who knows what all is really in the pre-boxed things!
Thanks for stopping by!

Lover Of Romance said...

I just love Funeral Potatoes....I practically was weaned on this stuff growing up!! LOL Its a guilty pleasure for me!!!

The_Book_Queen said...

I remember as a child eating this all the time. Then I asked what was in it. Uh-oh, bad idea when you're still young and picky. LOL. I heard "sour cream" and stopped eating this for, oh, maybe a year, tops, as, at the time, sour cream was "yucky". But that couldn't keep me away for long, and soon I was back to eating it at every family gathering. :) To this day I'm not fond of sour cream (ie, on baked potatoes or tacos) but I don't mind it mixed into other things. Guess in some ways we never outgrow our childhood tendencies sometimes. :)