Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easy Cheesy

Those of you who know me know that potatoes and I don't have a very good track record. I don't know what potato spirit I offended or how I offended it, but long have I been cursed when it comes to potatoes. Monday was no exception. I'll offer you my tale of woe, for your amusement and entertainment, after I tell you of my fleeting success.

First, what I found that Works for Me:

On Monday, I made these delicious barbeque ham slices.  I really wanted some cheesy hash browns to go with them, but since I have a potato curse, haven't found a recipe that I can cook. So, feeling confident and adventurous, I decided to invent my own recipe.

What resulted was incontestably the worst kitchen failure I have ever had.

With the barbeque ham slices now ready to come out of the oven, I had no side dish. But, I did have a small sauce pan of delicious cheese sauce, so.....

I scrubbed and pricked five potatoes and started them in the microwave. I put some green beans on the stove. I turned off the oven so the ham didn't burn. I set the table, and tried to hide the evidence of my earlier failure.

About 20 minutes later, we were sitting down to a delicious dinner of bbq ham slices, baked potatoes with cheese sauce, green beans, and homemade biscuits (which just happened to be leftover from Sunday's cooking project.) Sweet, sweet success.

The Cheese Sauce that Worked:

3 or 4 thick slices of Velveeta cheese
2 or 3 tablespoons milk
couple dashes of paprika
seasoning salt to taste (or Mrs Dash for a low-sodium alternative)

Place the cheese and the milk in a small sauce pan. Cook on low heat while stirring to melt the cheese. Add seasonings and continue to stir. When sauce is smooth and warm, pour into pitcher for serving over baked potatoes.


That's really the end of the useful information. For those of you who are wondering, no, the Jedi didn't eat the green beans. Neither did Sweetling. In fact, I asked Sweetling if I could give her some "delicious green beans." She gave me a look. The Jedi said, "Well, you could....if such a thing existed."

The potatoes that didn't work:

Notice this section doesn't get the large font size.

Potatoes have this terrible habit of refusing to cook for me. I mean it. I'm not making this up. Thus, I can't make shredded hash browns, because no matter what I do, I have shredded raw potatoes in a sauce that browning and scorching. I've tried oodles of recipes.

Over the weekend, Telephone took me to a wonderful bed and breakfast in Amish country. She bought a cookbook full of the recipes they serve and was reading it to me on our drive home. (Obviously, I was driving.) We had delicious cheesy hash brown potatoes for breakfast on Saturday, and lo, there was the recipe.

Of course, come Monday night, I didn't have the recipe, but I thought it called for so many cups of *cooked* shredded potatoes. I decided, I would beat my potato curse by shredding the raw potatoes and THEN boil them. Then, surely, it would just be a matter of dumping them into a colander before putting them back into a pot with some cheese sauce.

The resultant gray sludge of starch which I dumped into my colander was by far one of the grossest items ever to come off my stove.

But, I did have nice little saucepan of cheese sauce from the experiment.

I would say that I'm never ever trying to make hash browns again, but we all know that would be a lie.

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