Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hash brown Casserole

Many years ago I was Trout fishing the Chattahoochee River with a friend who suggested we should stop for breakfast on our way home. The waters we fished just below the Buford Dam are around 30°F so after sitting in it for a few hours I was ready to put away the float tube and eat. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for a big breakfast of Chicken Fried Steak, Biscuits & Gravy, and a side of Hash brown casserole. This is still my favorite breakfast after a morning of fishing, and the hash brown casserole is famous. I've shared my breakfast spot with many friend and family members over the years, but I don't think I've shared the recipe for the hash brown casserole. These potatoes are not just great for breakfast, but should be tried with a Blackened Pork Tenderloin, or even some grilled Chicken breast.

2 pounds shredded hash brown potatoes
1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 additional cups of extra sharp cheddar are recommended to sprinkle on the casserole prior to baking, but this is optional.

Preheat oven to 350°F

1. Sauté onions in butter until just soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. Mix potatoes, chicken soup, milk and cooked onions in a big bowl until well blended. 

3. Add cheese and mix well. Pour contents into a 9 x 13 baking dish. 

4. Bake about 45 minutes or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted.

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