Tag: ramsey hash browns

Cheesy Potato Casserole

This recipe right here is a potluck classic. Easy to make, perfect to transport, and a certain crowd pleaser. It is a basic concoction of frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, chopped onions, and a cheesy sauce. Sometimes with a topping, other times without.

Personally, I had never made it before but I had the opportunity to try it on occasion at different gatherings. My neighbor back in Alabama used to make something similar to this, but even simpler- thrown together in the crockpot. It’s been on my “to-do” list for awhile now. I wanted to make a casserole that was baked with a crunchy topping though, and preferably one without canned condensed soups.

Well, once again Mel’s Kitchen came to my rescue! I’ve been using her blog for a lot of things lately and she has proved herself pretty dependable. I’m a fan. Anyways, she wanted the same thing from this casserole. Her Mother used to prepare the canned soup version often during her youth and she wanted to create the same great taste but without all the processed products. Success!

I wanted to take this to one of my church group luncheons (where I take most of my blogging goods). I had never transported a hot dish before though so I was a little nervous. How would it stay warm for an hour and a half before it’s served?? There is no way it could. And although this dish might be okay, just barely warm, I wanted it to still be so warm that it was still gooey and hadn’t solidified from cooling yet. Ya know? Well, I found the coolest product to solve that problem! It’s a 13-by-9-inch transportable pyrex set with a hot/cold pack. I just LOVE it! And it worked fantastic. My dish was still right-out-of-the-oven-hot by the time it was finally served. And it was a complete hit. The whole casserole disappeared before the luncheon was over. My favorite part of bringing food to gatherings is when I overhear people asking each other, “Who mad this??? It was great!”.

And you don’t even have to wait for a gathering/potluck to make this. You can make cheesy potatoes for a dinner side-dish or at a Holiday meal- why not? I know of lots of people who do : )

  • Potatoes:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
  • 26-ounce bag frozen shredded hash browns
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • Topping:
  • 3 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is softened and translucent,a bout 5-6 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. Combine the chicken broth and milk in a liquid measure and slowly whisk in the mixture. Add the salt, pepper and thyme. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the cheese until smooth. Mix in the frozen hash browns, lifting and folding the mixture until well combined. Finally, stir in the sour cream.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the lightly crushed cornflakes with the butter until evenly combined. Scoop out the potato mixture into a 9X13-inch baking dish and top with the buttered cornflakes. If baking the potatoes by themselves, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly around the edges.

adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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sour cream

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Pimento Cheese, Bacon and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Of all the sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches are my favorite. There’s something comforting about taking everything that’s great about breakfast and putting it in between two pieces of buttered bread. It’s also possible I find it comforting because I grew up eating breakfast sandwiches on Sunday after church. My mom is the queen of the fried egg sandwich. I guess I have her to thank for the fact that I find plain eggs and bacon boring and unsatisfying. At least these things are acceptable in North Carolina.

You can really do whatever you’d like with a breakfast sandwich. Be as creative or as simple as you’d like. Change up the choice of bread. Use ham instead of bacon. Spread cream cheese on the bread instead of adding a slice of regular cheese (I promise this is amazing). This seems like a pointless recipe to put up because it’s so simple, but I’ve realized that a shockingly large number of people haven’t been clued in on the sheer joy that comes from a good breakfast sandwich. So, I am posting two variations.

The variation I want to explain first is the Pimento Cheese, Egg and Bacon Breakfast sandwich. There are few, and I mean very few, things in the world that are better than a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. If you’re not from the south, I’m sure this is a completely foreign concept to you and that’s ok.

You may know that the trick to a great, gooey grilled cheese sandwich is hand shredded the cheese and adding a small layer of mayo to the inside of the bread.  Well, the same thing goes for using homemade pimento cheese in your egg sandwich. I combined this with soft scrambled eggs and bacon which results in a blending of flavors that is seriously out of this world. You start out with spreading the pimento cheese to the unbuttered side of a slice of bread, and once your eggs are done, you spread them over the pimento cheese, add a few slices of bacon on top and then sandwich it with the other piece of bread and grill it in the pan. Putting it back in the pan is essential, as it gives you the good buttery crunch and it also melts the ingredients together.

The second sandwich I’ve shown is much simpler, and it’s my go to since sadly I do not always have homemade pimento cheese around. I sometimes leave out the bacon or the ham if I’m out of those ingredients. The pan I used was pretty bad, so the egg stuck too much to make it a perfect over medium fried egg, but my suggestion is to do it over easy if you’re up for the mess or over medium. You can either use egg, mustard and cheese (with or without meat), or do egg and cream cheese (with or without bacon). I’m always rushing in the mornings, so if I have time to fry up a quick egg sandwich I promise you do too!


Homemade Pimento Cheese*
Makes a full serving, feel free to cut this amount in half

2-ounce blocks Cracker Barrel Cheese, one Sharp White Cheddar, one Sharp Cheddar, grated
1 4oz jar diced (not sliced!) pimentos
2 ounces cream cheese
3-4 tablespoons mayo (I use Dukes)
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Grate the sharp white cheddar and sharp yellow cheddar cheeses together in a bowl. Do not buy pre-grated cheese, as these cheeses come with a waxy coating on the outside and will not melt as well (or taste as good). Throw remaining ingredients into bowl, and blend gently with a spatula, forks, spoons, or whatever you have on hand. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Leftover pimento cheese is delicious on crackers, veggies, burgers, sandwiches, pretzels, etc.

Grilled Pimento Cheese, Bacon and Egg Sandwich
Makes 1 sandwich (double, triple, quadruple as needed)

2 pieces cooked bacon
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
2 slices sourdough bread
1/8 cup pimento cheese
Salt and pepper for taste
Butter for the bread

Cook bacon in pan or in oven until crispy. Spread one side of each piece of bread lightly with softened butter. On the non-buttered side of one slide, spread a generous layer of pimento cheese, it should be about a 1/2-inch thick. Break bacon slices in half an set on top of pimento cheese. You can also crumble the bacon on top if you want to make sure to have it in every bite (or bacon lattice it if it’s that kind of a day!).

In a nonstick skillet, melt a small amount of butter. Whisk eggs and milk with a fork until combined, then add a dash of pepper. Pour into pan over medium heat. Stir with a heatproof spatula until small curds begin to form, then increase heat to medium-high. Begin to slowly fold the eggs over themselves for 30 seconds until eggs are still soft, but fully cooked and no liquid remains. Remove eggs immediately and place on top of the pimento cheese and bacon slice of bread. The key is to start with a pan that is the right temperature and not take your eyes off of the eggs while cooking. This will give you a flavorful, soft scrambled egg.

Place the remaining slice of bread on top, butter side up, and add to the pan over medium heat. Slightly press down to make sure the ingredients come together without compressing them too much. Flip once sides are lightly brown. Cut in half and enjoy! Keep napkins nearby.

*Note: To make a fried egg sandwhich, everything is the same except for you spread a thin layer of mustard on the bread instead of pimento cheese. Then you can top with your choice of cheese, bacon or ham, and a fried egg. Throw in a pan and lightly brown on each side. This works well with the soft scrambled eggs, too, but I wouldn’t recommend swapping fried for scrambled on the pimento cheese version.

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