Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Church Lady Casserole Challenge

Recently, I was asked participate in a Church Lady Casserole Challenge with four other food bloggers: Mimi makes vintage Weight Watchers recipes, Retro Ruth blogs about all things mid-century, Yinzerella dishes up recipes from a plastic, guacamole-coloured box and Erica tests out retro recipes. We all dug deep into our collections and passed along a recipe for someone else to make.

I got stuck with the super-exciting-sounding “Potato Casserole,” courtesy of Mimi. Look, I’m the last one to throw stones at anyone’s culinary habits, but come on. How good could a potato, white bread and Velveeta casserole be? Besides, I’d already featured Schwartzies Hash Browns on the blog and if anyone knows cheesy potato goodness, it’s cakers. Right? 

Wrong.

Fellow cakers, we have been beaten. Potato Casserole kicks Schwartzies’ ass to the curb. This is simply the best potato casserole I’ve ever tasted. It's like I fell in love with it. When I was away from it, I couldn't wait to get back to it. I put it under my pillow at night. I even considered dating it, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Just do yourself a favour and put Potato Casserole on your bucket list. You won't regret it. So long as it's not thong season, m'kay?

Check out the other casserole recipes made by my lovely colleagues:

Lazy Bride’s Dish (made by Erica)
Anything Anytime Casserole (made by Mimi)
Sausage Apple Noodle Casserole (made by Ruth)
Cock-A-Doodle Casserole (made by Yinzerella)

Any guesses which casserole was the one I submitted? 

Just look at all the burnt cheesy goodness.
Potato Casserole
10 medium or 8 large potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked
1 large onion, chopped
4 slices fresh white bread, cubed
½ pound Velveeta cheese, diced (half the box)
1 tablespoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley flakes

Mix all together and put in 9” x 13” pan. Melt 1 cup margarine in 1 cup milk. Pour over potato mixture and cover with foil. Refrigerate overnight. Sprinkle with 1 cup crushed Corn Flakes or Ritz crackers before baking. Bake at 375° uncovered for 45 minutes. Serve hot.


Source: Our Best Home Cooking, Polish Civic Hall Association of Pittsburgh

30 comments:

  1. It really is hard to go wrong with potatoes and cheese, apparently! And now I've got TWO cheesy potato casserole dishes that I simply must try...

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    1. Erica, you need to give this one a whirl. Although I was a little dismayed at the cost of Velveeta. It was $6 on sale. I thought Velveeta was the poor, dirty, one-toothed cousin of real cheese. Apparently I was wrong. It's more like the snooty aunt.

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    2. You've got to pick up Velveeta when you're in the states. I've heard it's cheaper there.

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    3. Sigh. Everything's always cheaper in the States. Thanks for the tip, Laura.

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  2. Holy crap! A *cup* of melted margarine? My arteries are stiffening just from reading this recipe. If I served this to my hubby (and I likely will), he'd be convinced that I'm trying to kill him.
    Mmm. Margariney, cheesy goodness. Maybe I'll throw in a little bacon, too.
    Question: where does one procure pre-cooked, peeled, diced potatoes? Though I'm really on the outside looking in, I feel a true Caker should never have to peel, dice, or pre-cook anything.

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    1. Veg-o-matic, I've seen some of your recipes. You've ingested worse things than a cup of margarine. But be warned: your hubby might leave you for this casserole. Yes, it's that good. It should be renamed "Jezebel."
      Re. the potatoes: I bought them, boiled them and cubed them. It was an extra step, but I think it made it taste better. And besides, this isn't technically a "caker" recipe. It's a church lady recipe. So boil away.

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    2. Actually.. I found some really good frozen potatoes from Ore-Ida. They are the steam and mash ones (I think that's what they're called) but basically they are parboiled potatoes that you heat in the microwave to finish cooking them, then add butter and milk and mash the hell out of them. But in this case, you could skip the mashing-the-hell-out-of-them step and just let them cool and use them in this recipe. I was pleasantly surprised that they weren't gritty and gross like most frozen potatoes I have tried. And it only took like 7 minutes for them to cook.

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  3. There’s something about baking white things with cheese that produces gestalt recipes (dishes that taste exponentially better than the sum of their parts). Bread strata casseroles are like this, too. Actually, this is like bread strata with potatoes. @Veg-o-matic, frozen hash browns.

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    1. I thought of frozen hash browns, but I've never come across a brand that isn't somehow nasty.
      What I really need, I think, is a lovable, wisecracking maid with a heart of gold to peel/dice/cook for me.

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    2. Mephyle, thank you for clarifying what "gestalt" means. You saved me a trip to the ol' Webster's Dictionary. Veg-o-matic, when you find that wisecracking maid, can you send her my way? I've got some dust bunnies the size of tumbleweeds.

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  4. I think in the freezer section you can buy diced potatoes.
    This sounds good.

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    1. It IS good. Trust me. Better than that Crap-a-Doodle Doo thing I sent you.

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  5. I would totally eat this. I guffawed at the Lazy Bride's Dish then I read the ingredients and threw up in my mouth a little. Lima Beans?? Seriously??

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    1. Clare, I've lived long enough to know that you can't judge a casserole by its cover. You simply can't knock it until you try it. Look at me. I had low expectations of this Potato Casserole and now I'm engaged to it! I'm preparing the wedding invitations tonight.

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  6. I am dying to know: did you top with Ritz or Corn Flakes? Or Both?

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    1. I used Ritz Crackers, of course. Corn Flakes would've added some completely inappropriate nutritional content.

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  7. Damn, that sounds good. Wow, I want.

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    1. You're only a block of Velveeta away from turning your desires into reality, Fifilaru.

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  8. Nice!! If I could get Tom to eat pasterized processed cheese food outside of Mid-Century Menu dishes I would totally give this one a try. Maybe I will have to make this when he is out of town...

    Wait...how boring am I?

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    1. Ruth, you're not boring. And if the worst you get up to is eating processed cheese while the hubby's away, well then, you just go for it and never look back.

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    2. It looks pretty mid-century to me.

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  9. Howdy, I'm new here and just mentioned you on my blog, after I spent an hour or so reading and laughing until I almost fell out of my chair. I had to explain to my own readers how come no big blog post tonight. Velveeta! Thanks for makin' me laugh.

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    1. You're more than welcome, MakingSpace. And thanks for the shout out on your blog!

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  10. Better serve this up with lots of fibre - half pound of fake cheese so assume a quarter pound per person for hungry people....

    That said, potatoes, cheese, I'm there.

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    1. Kate, EVERY caker dish could use a side of fibre. No wonder so many of us walk around with that pinched look on our faces.

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  11. You should make this with the canned potatoes. Peeled potatoes canned in water. Yum. They make fabulous home fries, too.

    I made a casserole the other day with boneless chicken breasts cut up, cream of chicken soup, milk, chick broth, and the spuds cut in halves. Add a few FF onions and bake at high heat until chicken is about done. Then top with FF onions and bake until onions are crispy perfect. DH about died for this.

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    1. Deb, your casserole sounds like good eats to me. I can honestly say that I've never once tried canned potatoes. Now, of course, I'll have to. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  12. If your Church Lady Casserole stands you up at the altar please consider me as a rebound relationship.

    I am a new visitor to your blog from London and from now on I will be stalking you mercilessly.

    I BEG YOU - please invite me to the next crazy cookalong challenge. I can't get Velveeta, creamed corn, Accent or lima beans (they are probably called something else in the UK)but I will do my utmost to remain as true as possible to the recipe.

    Lots of love to you from Londinium - Jenny from www.silverscreensuppers.com xx

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    1. Lya, you are are more than welcome to the next church lady party. You'll need to wear a pair of open-toed sandals and a pearl choker. I'm sure we could find a recipe for you involving marmite or even some Marks & Spencer shrimp crisps. Your website is a hoot. Any site with a post titled "Cary Grant's Tuna Fish Pie" is a-ok in my book.

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  13. That tuna fish pie was damn fine. In your honour this evening I will be cooking Cesare Danova's Cream of Broccoli Soup. For the first time in my life I have Chicken Cup-O-Soup on my shopping list.

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