Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mashed Potato Casserole with Smoked Gouda and Bacon

One of our very first Iron Chef's was Iron Chef Bacon. Can you believe we've been doing these Iron Chefs for almost 4 years??!! Yowa!! I remember loooving this mashed potato casserole courtesy of Bon Appetit. I, of course, thought it was the winner, but my presentation was pretty lame. Oh well. I've made this recipe several times since, and most recently at a Friends-giving party. I bet it would have been voted the winner had those friends attended the Iron Chef party. ;) This recipe is filled with lots of goodness: butter, potatoes, cheese, and bacon! Mmmm. Trust me; you'll love it and your friends will thank you for it! Enjoy!  

6 slices thick-cut smoked bacon (preferably applewood-smoked)
3 large green onions (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 cups (about 8 ounces) coarsely grated smoked Gouda, divided

Take out a 13x9 baking dish and butter it. I omitted buttering the dish. I figured it wasn't needed since mashed potatoes aren't exactly sticky. Place the peeled and diced potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Throw in some salt and boil with the lid slightly ajar for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes come out fork tender.

Meanwhile;  cook bacon in a large heavy skillet until nice and crispy. I used the entire package of bacon. I mean really; 6 pieces?!  Anyway, once the bacon is sufficiently crispy; transfer to a paper towel to drain. Then take out a small bowl; and add in the chopped green onions along with the crumbled bacon. Stir and set aside.

Once the potatoes are fork tender; drain into a colander. Then place potatoes back in the same large pot, and while cooking over medium heat; stir until potatoes are dry and light film forms in the bottom of the pot. Next, add in the sour cream, milk, and butter. Use a potato masher to mash up the potatoes until almost smooth. Honestly, I used an immersion blender at this point because my masher wasn't doing a good job at smoothing the potatoes. They were quite chunky. Then, stir in 1 1/2 cups of the smoked Gouda and 1 cup of the bacon mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Next, spread the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Gouda.

Pre-heat oven to 375 and then bake the potatoes for about 30 minutes or until the cheese melts and the edges of the potatoes start boiling. Sprinkle reserved bacon mixture on top and serve.

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