I like stuff.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005: The Revenge - Massacre at Potato Ridge

So the other day I confessed to making scalloped potatoes right out of a box
I'm not proud. But I can now reveal that I knew I'd be doing this, so I
figured I'd save myself some time then.

I got this recipe from Amanda's mother, and I don't know if it's ever been
written down before, so some details might be a little hazy.

First, get some potatoes. I used 4 medium russets. If you don't precook them
at all, you're going to have either very crunchy potatoes or a very crunchy
sauce. So we're going to boil them. Don't bother peeling or anything, it
just wastes time.

So, be sure to inform your potatoes of their impending fate, and see if you
can't get anything out of them.

Talk, damn you!

One of the downsides of doing all this cooking alone is that I'm starting to
lose a bit of sanity.

Once those guys are fork-tender, take them out and let them cool down. Once
they're cool enough to touch, you can get those peels right off with a
gentle rub with a clean towel. Trust me, they want to come off.

Let them keep cooling, as they'll be a bit easier to slice cleanly when they
get closer to room temperature.

I made mine go through a police-style lineup after the boiling didn't give
any results.

"Number one, step forward!"
"Give me the keys, you...."
You get the idea.

In the meantime, mix up a cup of sour cream with a can of condensed cream of
chicken soup. Slice up a mess of green onions. Grate some cheddar cheese.
The "canonical" version of this recipe says you'll need about a cup of
cheese. Everyone uses more. I get a half-pound block and just grate the
whole thing.

Slice up your potatoes in about 1/4" slices. Butter (or spray) a casserole
dish and lay down the first bed of potatoes. I then sprinkle some green
onions on top of this, cover with the sour cream/soup mix and cover with
cheese. Keep layering until you run out of potatoes.

Partway through, this is what it's looking like:

I've now covered this and stashed it in the fridge. This is going to go into
a 350 degree oven until it's good and piping hot. Before it's quite done,
this gets covered in cornflakes and some melted butter, so don't worry if it
isn't pretty right now.

Be aware that there is probably nothing healthy about this dish. It does
taste good, though. I'm tempted to submit it to Cooking Light just to see
what happens. The rejection letter could be pure comedy gold.

UPDATE: Apparently there was some crucial step I missed. I'm not sure
exactly what it was. I fixed it by pouring about a cup of milk over the mass
and stirring a bit to integrate.

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