Hamburger And Potato Casserole…

Recently my husband has been having some issues with his mouth that prevents him from doing a lot of chewing. That presented a challenge for me in terms of thinking about meals where he can still get some protein into his system, have something that basically can be “gummed” when eating and still tastes good. And voila, this recipe fit the bill to a tee. The best thing is this is a great recipe all on its own, and it’s so easy to prepare you may find you’ll be making it often.

So let’s talk hamburger and potato casserole…

Lesson Learned 1: If at all possible use a mandolin slicer to cut your potatoes: Perhaps the trickiest part of this whole recipe is cutting the potatoes correctly. Cut them too thin and they will turn into mush in your casserole. Cut them too thick and they will never cook through. The best way to ensure you’ve cut the potatoes to the correct thickness is to use a mandolin slicer (as seen in the picture). A mandolin slicer can be a cook’s best friend if used appropriately. It can also be one of the easiest ways to chop off one of your fingers if used incorrectly. If you’re careful and use the safety features of your slicer you can slice just about anything quickly and consistently.

I cut my potatoes in 1/8 inch slices. I also used Yukon Gold potatoes in this recipe although you can use red or russet potatoes. I even peeled my potatoes but it isn’t necessary. When making the recipe, I prepped my potatoes first. In order to prevent them from oxidizing and turning dark while I was prepping the rest I soaked them in cold water. I left them there until I was ready to use them. Before I put them in the casserole I dried them off with paper towels to remove any excess liquid. Following this method the potatoes cooked perfectly.

This is probably the first recipe that included only one lesson learned. The reason being, I guess, is how simple this recipe is to prepare. Even the novice cook can be successful with this one. It does not require a lot of technique but it will score high marks in the comfort food arena. Enjoy this super easy recipe and let me know what you think after you’ve made it.

Hamburger And Potato Casserole

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. 93% lean ground beef

3 cups thinly sliced potatoes, peeled or unpeeled

1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs. garlic infused extra virgin olive oil (you can also use plain olive oil)

1 12 oz. can Cream of Mushroom soup

3/4 cup milk

2 cups shredded cheese, (I used Jarlsberg and Mild Cheddar)

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat olive oil and cook the onions until they are translucent. Add the ground beef and cook until only a little pink remains. Add the garlic, stir into the meat and onions and cook for another minute. Take off the heat and set aside.

Mix together the soup, milk, salt and pepper.

Layer half the potatoes on the bottom of the casserole dish. Salt and pepper the potatoes. Spread half the soup mixture on top of the potatoes. Add half the cheese and top with half the ground beef mixture.

For the second layer, add the potatoes, salt and pepper them, then the soup and ground beef and lastly top with the remaining cheese.

Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours or until the potatoes are done. Uncover the dish and place under the broiler for a couple of minutes to get the cheese golden brown. Serve immediately.

Layer the potatoes on the bottom of the dish

Layer with the ingredients

Right out of the oven

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Loaded Baked Potato Casserole…

I LOVE potatoes. As a friend of mine once said, “I never met a carb I did’t like.” That’s so true, but these days we know you need to balance your carb intake in order to stay healthy. Not an easy task for someone who was raised on meat and potatoes. But I’m trying.

I wanted to try a recipe like this for a while, so I justified it by serving it with baked cod and oven roasted asparagus. It turned out great and I was careful not to over indulge. So for all of my carb lovin’ friends out there, here’s one that you can add to your arsenal of recipes.

IMG_3125Lesson Learned 1 – Give the potatoes a head start: I know this and I still didn’t do it. It’s always best when making a potato casserole to cook the potatoes for about five minutes in boiling water. That takes the edge off of them. Because you cook this casserole for an hour and three quarters I didn’t think I would need to do that. Wrong. The potatoes were done but not as tender as I would have liked. So remember, give your sliced potatoes a bath in boiling water just until they start to soften slightly (no more than 5 minutes). Then drain them, being careful not to break them, and then put together your casserole. You’ll get great results.

IMG_3116Lesson Learned 2 – There can never be too much cheese: Originally I though this recipe would need two cups of cheese (1 of each type). Once I began to put together the layers I added even more (1/2 cup each). Make sure you get a good melting cheese like gruyere, havarti or monterey jack and generously cover the potatoes. You can combine that with some sort of cheddar or better yet be your own chef and experiment. I used a white cheddar gruyere blend combined with a marbled cheddar. It was delish.  I am writing the recipe from what I used, but you can certainly make substitutions.

This recipe is so easy and so good. It’s a great way to get the flavors of a loaded backed potato in casserole form. The leftovers are great as well. Just heat them in the microwave and serve. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole 2

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole…

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:

All natural cooking spray for the dish

2 large russet potatoes, sliced

1 large clove of garlic minced

3 green onions sliced diagonally

1 1/2 cup gruyer/cheddar blend, shredded

1 1/2 cup marbled cheddar cheese, shredded

6 slices hickory smoked bacon – cooked, drained and crumbled

1 cup whole milk

1 large egg

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp. fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook, drain and crumble the bacon. Slice the potatoes to 1/4 inch thick (use a mandolin slicer for the best results). But potatoes in a pan with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for no longer than 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes immediately being careful not to break them.

Spray a stoneware tart pan with all natural cooking spray. Layer the potatoes in the dish, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle half the onions and garlic on top and season with salt and pepper. Cover the potatoes with half the cheese and sprinkle the top with half the bacon. Repeat with another layer.

In a separate bowl whisk the milk and egg. Add some salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle with parsley.

Cover and back for 75- 90 minutes or until the custard is cooked. Uncover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

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