Friday, August 22, 2008

A Family Favorite Indulgence!

I've mentioned before that we are eating healthier these days. This recipe no way no how fits into healthy eating. If you ever watched Paula Deen, you would think this is her recipe. It has two sticks of butter in it! Definitely not a low fat recipe! It is a family favorite but we only have it for family get togethers. This way there is not much left over if any at all. Thank goodness! This casserole has a way of playing with my mind. It calls my name from the refrigerator!

Let's get started making the "Hash Brown Casserole."
There are a ton of versions of this recipe out there. I have seen it with different kind of potatoes and different kind of toppings. This is the version that I use. Although I like onions, I don't like them in this casserole so I've omitted them. If you want to add one small onion chopped feel free.
The participants: 1 bag of hash browns (I usually use the store brand but they didn't have any that day so I had to buy the name brand), 16 oz. sour cream, 2 sticks of butter, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, pepper and corn flakes.

Now go and find yourself a BIG bowl and I mean big! This is my Tupperware fix-n-mix bowl. I think it's 26 cups.

Put the whole container of sour cream into the bowl.

Add the can of cream of chicken soup.

I can't find my recipe right now. I looked. I promise. It is no where to be found. It's odd because I keep them all in the same place! Anyway, it's time to add the pepper but I can't remember how much. I'm pretty sure it's 1/4 teaspoon. Honestly, I never measure it. I just shake away.
Now dump the two cups of shredded cheddar cheese in to the bowl. Mild? Sharp? It doesn't matter. Pick your favorite!
Now it's time to melt your butter or butta as Paula would say. I use my Pampered Chef small micro-cooker. It's the only thing I use it for. I'm strange. I know.
Now add the melted butta to the bowl. I'm sorry. I meant to say butter. I think I just channeled Paula Deen there for a second!
Now get in there and stir it all together.
This is what it should look like. If yours doesn't look like this, you better check the recipe. You might have missed something.
Now add the bag of frozen hash browns. Yes, I said frozen. I've seen some recipes that said to thaw them before. Not that I am a chef or anything but I would think that they would break down a little when you stir them. Anyway, when you add the hash browns, stir it fast. Since they are frozen they will make your mixture very cold very fast. This in turn makes it hard to stir so work fast. Your bicep will thank you.

See. I worked fast!
Now dump the mixture into a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Smooth it out flat. I like to press it down too. By the way, make sure you have sprayed your dish with a non-stick spray. I have forgotten once and the pan was hard to clean. Please learn from my mistake and spray away!
Now it's time for the topping. My family likes the crunch so I've double the topping. Feel free to cut it in half if you like but the crunch on the top is the best. Trust me on this.
Measure out 4 cups of corn flakes.
Throw it in a gallon Ziploc bag. A freezer bag works well. This double guard works REALLY well. Curtis picked them up when I asked him to pick up a few groceries for me. I usually buy the Target brand bags so this was a real treat. I hoard them! I don't want the box to come to an end! Anyway, my point here is that the corn flakes will puncture little holes in the bag. So you want to make sure you use a strong bag. Go ahead and crush them. I use my baker's roller but a can of soup works fine too.

Melt the other stick of butter and add it to the crushed corn flakes. This is why I told you to use a strong bag. Those little puncture holes would be big puncture holes and you would have a mess here. Some butter will still seep through the little holes but work fast. You'll be fine. Make sure all the corn flakes are coated or they will burn in the oven.
Now dump all the corn flake mixture onto the top of the potato mixture.
Ta Da! You are ready to bake! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
The finished product!
This is also a great do ahead casserole. Make it the day before and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it for your get together.

Hash Brown Casserole
2 lbs. frozen hash browns
16 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 t. pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 sticks of melted butter (1 stick for base and 1 for topping so keep them separate)
4 cups corn flakes
~Mix the first 4 ingredients and 1 stick of melted butter together well.
~Add the hash browns to the mixture.
~Put the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
~Crush the corn flakes in a Ziploc bag.
~Add 1 stick of melted butter to the crushed corn flakes.
~Put corn flake mixture on top of base.
~Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr. 15 min.
Have Fun!
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1 comment:

Kim said...

I am sitting here "salivating" over that. YUM. I could eat that as a meal and nothing else. Thanks for sharing that recipe. I am definately going to make that.


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