Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Au Gratin Potatoes...the ultimate comfort food.

It's frigid and cold outside.  So cold your breath freezes before your face.  Time for some warm, gooey, comfort food.   In my "neck of the woods" these are commonly referred to as "funeral potatoes" because they are often served after funerals to the grieving family.  You would know these as a version of Au Gratin potatoes. 
It's the time of year for parties and this recipe is a winner.  It's rich and creamy...just like your grandma made for Christmas dinner (if you were lucky).  Now we don't indulge in this kind of food very often but it's Christmas, so here we go.

We threw a church party for 150 of our closest Young Single Adult friends so I made a roasting pan full.  Every bit got eaten, no surprise.  Here it is prior to baking.
And here's the pan I made for my freezer. 
I like to line a glass baking pan with foil, fill it with a ready to bake casserole, freeze the pan until the contents are solid, and then remove the packet from the glass pan.  Next, I wrap the whole frozen block with several layers of plastic and foil to avoid "freezer burn" and I store the labeled frozen block in my freezer.  When I need the item for a surprise dinner, I just unwrap the outer layers and pop the foil into the same pan and bake.
 The block takes up less room in my freezer and frees up my glass pan for using in the interim.  I often double a recipe and freeze half so I have a frozen item on hand for a busy day.
 Just look at the golden brown, crunchy, buttery topping after baking.  Yummmmmmmmmmmm.
Go on...indulge after all it's the holidays.

Au Gratin Potatoes
 6 cups of diced potatoes
1-10 ounce can of cream of chicken soup
4 ounces of butter, melted
½ cup of milk
1 cup of sour cream
2 cups of cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup of sweet onion, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup of Panko (Japanese bread flakes) bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons of melted butter for topping

Wash and peel potatoes.  Bake at 350º F. for 45-60 minutes until they are cooked through.  Cool and dice them.  You may substitute frozen diced potatoes if desired. 

Combine the soup, 4 ounces of butter, sour cream, milk, cheese, and onion.  Season if needed.
Mix well.  Add the potatoes and stir to combine.

Place the mixture in a 9x13-inch baking pan or a 2-3 quart casserole dish.

Mix the 2 Tablespoons of melted butter and the Panko bread crumbs.  Sprinkle the crumbs over the potatoes.

Heat the oven to 350º F.  Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and browned. 


  1. Yes, I am not at all surprised that it all got eaten!!

  2. YOU are such a fine cook, Bonnie! I'm not surprised that the group relished your warm and loving dish!

  3. YUM! Those look delicious -- and you're right -- perfect for this cold weather (which finally hit us BRRRR!) You're a genius -- I love the idea of freezing the casserole in the foil -- without the pan. I've always just used foil pans, but they take up so much room in the freezer. Stay Warm and thanks for a great recipe!!!

  4. I'm not sure about the "local" name for these, but as gratin potatoes, they sound divine. Not at all surprised that they all got eaten, just as well that you have a batch at home to enjoy yourselves. Hope that you are not too snowbound where you are. xx

  5. I made these for Thanksgiving:) A family favorite for decades! We don't put in milk or onions and top ours with corn flakes, but I want to try the Panko bread crumbs.

  6. I am always on the look out for new potato recipes. This is a winner Bonnie. Happy New Year.