Monday, October 24, 2011

Awesome Au Gratin Potatoes

I love piling these onto green beans! SO good!  You can make this ahead of time, just save the french fried onion topper until the potatoes are in the oven and almost done so they don't get soggy.

Keep peeled potatoes in water to keep them from turning brown while you peel and slice the rest!

You can choose to just slice the onions, instead of dicing, I just dice them due to the preferences of others I cook for.
The amount of cheese, salt and pepper in this dish is up to you and your tastes too.
Also, if you like some zip to your dishes, try adding one seeded & deveined minced jalapeno to this, and pepperjack cheese instead of cheddar. Fantastic!
  • 4-5 cups of peeled (your choice) and thin sliced potatoes, about 5-6 small/medium.
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 can cream of celery soup (undiluted)
  • 2-3 cups cheddar cheese, grated. Try not to get the pre-grated, not only do you get LESS cheese (they add cornstarch and such so the cheese doesn't stick together, and since it's sold by weight- you get less), but grating your own results in much creamier texture.
  • fresh grated parmesan cheese, maybe 1/2 cup
  • small (2.8 oz) can french fried onions
  • dried rosemary
  • dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • butter or margarine
  • dried or fresh parsley for garnish
Spray a 2.5 quart round casserole dish with spray oil.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, onion and undiluted soup.Try to separate as many of the slices as possible, when mixing, so they all get coated and they cook better.
Sprinkle with couple good pinches of salt and pepper.
Take a good pinch of rosemary, maybe about 1/8 teaspoon, and rub it between your fingertips, crushing so not have big twigs of rosemary and to get the flavor out. Do the same for the thyme.

Put a layer of potato mixture in the bottom of casserole dish, about 5 pea-sized dots of butter or margarine, sprinkle a handful of cheddar cheese, and grate some parmesan cheese down over it; maybe a tablespoon or two.
Repeat twice, for a total of 3 layers, ending the top layer with cheese and parmesan.
Cover and cook at 350 degrees for about 1.5-2 hours, depending on how soft you want your potatoes. Test with fork in the center.
When the potatoes are your desired doneness, uncover and add the French's onions, more pepper and parsley. 

Cook uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Be careful because the onions can burn fast.
Serve over green beans! YUMM!

If you wish, you can instead, top the potatoes with a mixture of breadcrumbs, butter and parmesan.

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