A Potato Casserole for a Cold Rainy Day!
Yesterday was one of those reluctant days… when you are reluctant to step out of the house, go to work, and sit glued to the computer looking out at an ominous sky hunkering down with dark clouds and this unending drizzle-drizzle-drizzle of cold clammy rain. In fact, reluctant even to get out of bed. Though winter is not yet here, it was like we were being given an early taste of what is to come; it was that bad with temperatures plunging into the low 50s! Not that I did not consider working from home, but a scheduled meeting that I needed to attend personally, prevented that. So off I went, reluctantly!
By the time I got back home, again stepping through that icy freezing rain, I was seriously craving some comfort food. Something piping hot and full of the gooey goodness of cheese! And fast…
The first thought that came into my mind was mac & cheese. Alas, no suitably shaped macaroni in the house. What then? Potatoes! Have I ever mentioned my love of anything potatoes? I believe I have! So a quick potato casserole with a crispy top… the perfect food for a cold wintry day!
This is something I have done many times, each time with minor variations. Here I had to go with the quickest possible version.
Main ingredients… potatoes, breadcrumbs and cheese. In the 10 minutes that it took the potatoes to boil, I got everything else prepped.
Did not have time to chop much; my hunger was getting to me. So it had to be just onions. Sauté them with butter and some whole grain mustard, to be added to the breadcrumbs for a crispy top.
When all that is mixed together, with some chopped parsley, the breadcrumb top is ready. If you want the top to be not too crumbly, you can use equal quantities of bread crumbs and all-purpose flour.
Once the potatoes are boiled, all you have to do is, mash them with some butter and milk and fold in some shaved cheddar cheese.
It doesn’t have to be cheddar, you can use any soft melting cheese like Monterey Jack or Asiago.
First set the mashed potato mix at the bottom of the casserole.
Then, spread the crispy top mix evenly on top, pushing down a bit. For a minute, I thought of some bacon on top, but then decided it will be too much.
20 minutes of baking and you are ready to eat. My friend, the Good Witch Galora, stopped by and we enjoyed it thoroughly with some lovely red sangria. For something that was whipped up in less than an hour, it was awesome!
Does the photo above remind you of an insect? If so, here’s the disclaimer: Any resemblance to real insects, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
- 2 large mealy potatoes
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- ½ cup shaved cheddar or similar cheese
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 red onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- A few sprigs parsley
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ cup shredded cheese
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degree farenheit.
- Peel, and cut the potatoes into large pieces.
- Boil the potato pieces.
- When boiled, drain the potato pieces and mash them along with 2 tablespoon of butter and milk.
- Fold in the shaved cheese.
- Season with salt and black pepper.
- Evenly spread the potato mix in the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Chop the onion into large pieces.
- Crush the garlic roughly.
- In a pan over medium heat, melt the 4 tablespoon of butter.
- Add the onion, garlic and mustard to the melted butter and cook till brown around the edges.
- Remove from heat and keep aside.
- In a bowl, mix together, the breadcrumbs, flour, minced parsley and the sautéed onion mix.
- Season with salt and black pepper.
- Mix together with your fingertips thoroughly.
- Spread the mix evenly, over the potato mash in the casserole, and press down.
- Place in the heated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Cut into wedges and serve with chilli sauce. A simple green salad will go very well with this casserole.