Ahhh, Birthday Potatoes, the perfect culinary fix when you need to feel loved and comforted. These special potatoes are very cheesy, very gooey and very satisfying. Our family has been requesting them for their special birthday dinners since forever. They also appear at holidays and anytime someone wants to feel the loving arms of home.
Almost everyone in our family has chosen to be born in one of three months. Sometimes it
seems like Christmas around here with all the gift buying and menu planning. All have a favorite birthday dessert - cake or pie - and they're also pretty darn particular about what is served for their special dinner. The main course may vary among them but Birthday Potatoes always grace the table.
This is what you will need:
Potatoes, butter, milk, onions, bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Optional: chives and crushed garlic buttered herb croutons.
The amount of potatoes you use will depend on the number of spud lovers dining at your table. I used 4 pounds for 8 people.
First, you'll want to peel and cut the potatoes into uniform sized cubes. Drop them into a large stock pot, add cold water to cover and salt. Cover, and cook just until fork tender.
Drain thoroughly. I use a potato masher-lots of butter, milk, a dash of garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. (I use a masher as apposed to whipping- it provides more texture).
The best thing about these potatoes, besides the bacon, is the caramelized onions. Delicious! You'll want to slice the onions 1/4" thick. Sauté in olive oil and butter - very slowly - until a sweet golden brown. Yum.
They will look like this after 12 minutes.
This is what I call a 'sweet golden brown' after 25 minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
Next, fry 5 slices of bacon until crisp, then crumble. Shred the sharp cheddar cheese. Spread half of the seasoned mashed potatoes in a pretty buttered casserole dish. Now we're ready to assemble.
Spread 6 oz of the sour cream over the potatoes.
Next, spread all the caramelized onions on top of the sour cream, then drop on the crumbled bacon. Did you just smack your lips?
Spread on half of the cheddar cheese.
Now, pile on the remaining potatoes and smooth out. Top with the rest of the sour cream and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
Oh boy, I can hardly wait. Cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes and you too can be enjoying Birthday Potatoes - birthday or not!
Garnish with optional crushed garlic buttered herb croutons and chives-grab a spoon-dive in!
Here is the recipe:
4 pounds of potatoes, (not Yukon Gold) peeled and cut in uniform sized cubes
2 large yellow onions, sliced 1/4" thick
5 slices of bacon, fried crisp then crumbled
16 oz of sour cream
8 oz of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 T olive oil
6 T butter
1 cup of milk, more or less depending on the amount of potatoes
1 t garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 T snipped chives and 1/2 cup garlic buttered herb croutons, crushed
Fry bacon slices until crisp, then crumble. Set aside.
Peel potatoes, cut into cubes. Cook in boiling salt water, covered, until fork tender-about 20 minutes. Drain well. Mash potatoes with a potato masher. Add 4 T of butter, about 1 cup of milk, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Peel and slice 2 large yellow onions about 1/4" thick. Drop them into a large saute' pan along with 2T of olive oil and 2 T of butter. Toss to coat. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes to sweat the onions. Remove the lid and continue to cook for at least 20-25 minutes or until the onions become a golden brown. Set aside.
Spread half of the mashed potatoes in a buttered casserole dish. Smooth out and cover potatoes with about 6 ounces of the sour cream. Spread all the caramelized onions over the
sour cream and top with the crumbled bacon. Sprinkle on half of the cheddar cheese.
Layer the remaining potatoes on top of the cheese, and smooth on the rest of the sour cream. Top with the rest of the cheddar cheese. Cover with foil, and bake in a 350℉ oven for 40 minutes.
Optional: Sprinkle the finished Birthday Potatoes with crushed croutons and snipped chives if desired.