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Friday, March 18, 2016

Cheesy Potato Casserole (Soy, Egg, Fish and Nut-Free, Can Be Wheat-Free)

I think my favorite combination of all time is probably cheese and potatoes.  My Aunt Lisa gave me a recipe for Cheesy Potato Casserole, and it was and is divine!  However, it wasn't very allergy friendly.  I made it my mission to change that.  This is the result.  It is delicious!  Cheesy, potato-y and just the right amount of crunch on top.  Oh, yah!  Heaven!  This recipe is also soy (if you use all soy-free ingredients), egg, fish and nut-free, and can be wheat-free (see variations).  (Note: You could probably also try making this milk-free, but it would be a bit tricky as the majority of the ingredients are dairy-based.  If you want to try it, feel free to sub dairy-free butter and dairy-free plain yogurt for the butter and sour cream in this recipe and let me know how it turns out!)

Cheesy Potato Casserole
1/2 Cup plus 3 Tablespoons full-fat, salted butter

3 Tablespoons soy-free flour (unbleached white or white whole wheat would work well)

1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

1 teaspoon onion salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2 Cups soy-free chicken stock

1 Cup sour cream

1 bag (32 oz.) southern-style hash browns or 4 cups small cubed raw potatoes (you want about 1/2 inch dice at largest) 

1 (16 oz.) bag soy-free shredded cheese or 2 to 3 Cups of soy-free cheese, shredded (American, Cheddar, Mexican blend, CoJack - use your favorite or a mix of 2 or 3)

Topping:
1/4 Cup full-fat, salted butter, melted

1 Cup soy-free cornflakes, crushed (That's 1 Cup AFTER crushing, not before)

  1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
      
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt 3 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
      
  3. Add flour and spices to the melted butter; stir and cook for 1 minute.
      
  4. Add the chicken stock to the butter mixture in the sauce pan, mix well, and heat the mixture until bubbly; remove from heat.
      
  5. When the bubbling stops, add the mixture to a large bowl with the sour cream and mix well.
     
  6. Add the remaining 1 stick of butter, hash browns and cheese to the bowl and mix well. (Note: How much cheese you use if you shred your own is up to you.)
      
  7. Pour mixture into a 9x13 glass pan and bake in the prepared oven for 45 minutes.
     
  8. While the potatoes are baking, mix the crushed cornflakes with the 1/4 Cup melted butter in a small bowl and set aside until the 45 minutes is up and then top the potatoes evenly with the cornflakes mixture.
     
  9. Return the potatoes back to the oven and bake until the potatoes are to desired tenderness.  This can range from 15 minutes to another 45 minutes depending how tender you like your potatoes.
Makes 12 generous servings or up to 24 smaller servings.  Serve hot or warm.  Store leftovers in the fridge.




Variations (Please keep your individual dietary needs in mind when making variations.):
  • Wheat-Free: Use a gluten-free baking mix in place of the flour.  I recommend using either King Arthur Flour's Gluten Free Baking Mix or Krusteaz Gluten Free Flour.  Both can replace the flour at a 1:1 ratio (i.e. 1 Cup mix = 1 Cup flour), and taste great!  You can also use cornstarch in place of the flour if you wish.
      
  • Other topping ideas: You can use wheat flakes, potato chips, corn chips, Ritz crackers, saltine crackers or anything similar to that in place of the cornflakes.  You can also leave the topping off, but I highly recommend keeping it as it gives the potatoes a nice crunch. 



This is definitely a crowd pleaser!  It's perfect for potlucks and get-togethers!
 

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