Thursday, October 27, 2011

Heavenly Hash Brown Potato Casserole

It was a cool, rainy day in middle Tennessee which made me want to cook - comfort food.  "Southern style" comfort food.  Ask grandpa what was for dinner.  What's for dinner Grandpa?  We had fried ham, great northern beans, corn bread and hash brown casserole.   I might add, the hash brown casserole is heavenly.  Desert was coconut cake which is equally as heavenly.  (I will share the recipe tomorrow)  This meal may not be good for your cholesterol, but sometimes there is nothing like good country cooking.

I have been making this recipe for 20 years, long before I ever had it at a Cracker Barrel restaurant.  The Loveless Cafe here in Nashville also serves hash brown casserole.  I do believe our youngest son could eat his weight in this casserole.  As for me, I never met a potato I didn't like, so yes, I LOVE this dish.

This recipe comes from a Woman's Circle  recipe book I bought at a book outlet 20 years ago while shopping with some friends on a girl's day out.  I bought 3 of these books and have used so many recipes from them through the years.  They cost a whopping 97 cents each and were more than worth every penny I spent! (haha)   They are paperback books somewhat like a magazine instead of your standard cookbook and each book has over 600 recipes  submitted by individuals.  To me, these are usually the best recipes because whoever submits the recipe has actually made and eaten it.  Anytime  I find one I like, it goes in the "keeper" file and gets used over and over.

This recipe is comparable to the one Cracker Barrel serves.  Dan seems to think it's a little better, not sure why, but he ate plenty of it for dinner.   This makes a 9 x 13 casserole full and I know that is a lot for an evening meal unless you want it to be the mainstay of the meal or you have a growing family.  You could cut this in half easily.  It does reheat nicely, so I just make the whole recipe.  After raising four children, I needed big recipes like this in hopes there might be something left over.  Usually if there was, one of our sons would raid the refrigerator before bed and eat what was left.  So much for leftovers.  Oh well, growing boys equal huge grocery bills.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

1 32 ounce package frozen hash brown potatoes 
(because this recipe is 20 years old, I find that hash browns now come in 30 ounce packages, but it works fine.  You know how they keep reducing the package size but not the price?)
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup onions, chopped fine
1 pint sour cream (2 cups)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon salt
fresh cracked black pepper

Partially defrost hash browns.  Thoroughly mix potatoes, 1/2 cup melted butter, cheese, onions, sour cream, soup, salt and pepper.  Put into greased 9 x 13 inch casserole.  I sprinkle a little more grated cheese over the top and crack black pepper over the cheese.  Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Not only does this smell heavenly while it is baking, it tastes even better!  This can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  It is sooooooo good.  Makes a great "pot luck" dish when you need one, or is excellent to serve during the holidays or anytime you have dinner guests.  It is worth the time it takes to make it.  Deeee-licious!

We have company coming for the weekend and we will be having left over hash brown casserole for breakfast.  They are going to love it!  Wish you were here to join us.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

‎"Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time." 
Rabbinical Saying

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