Funeral Potatoes

In women’s Olympic bobsledding yesterday, history was made at the Sochi Winter Games when Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams won silver and Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans took bronze.  This is the first time two U.S. women’s bobsleds have won medals in an Olympics.  Additionally, Williams is now the fifth Olympic athlete to medal in different events at both a Summer Olympics and a Winter Olympics, having won gold in the 4×100 meter relay at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.  Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen became the most decorated Winter Olympian ever after winning his thirteenth medal, a gold in the mixed biathalon.

We’re nearing the end of the Winter Olympics, and today’s installment brings us to the 2012 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Skeleton was an Olympic event for the first time since 1948, as was the women’s bobsled competition. The U.S. men’s bobsleigh team won two medals, the first U.S. men’s bobsleigh team to win medals in the event since 1956.  In figure skating at the Salt Lake City Games, two gold medals were issued following a judging scandal.  Figure skating pair Sale and Pelletier from Canada and Russian pair Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze  were both awarded gold medals in the event. 

Our Salt Lake City food connection is a dish that is affectionately called funeral potatoes.  This cheesy, creamy potato dish is frequently prepared by LDS Relief Societies to either be served at a post-funeral luncheon or sent over to the grieving family.  The dish is frequently served at plenty of other gatherings as well but many of the recipes I found also included an expression of gratitude for the multiple pans of funeral potatoes that someone had prepared for such an occasion.  It’s very easy to see how this is incredibly comforting, and because they are simple to prepare, it’s easy to see how these would be popular for any pot-luck occasion.  Recipes for these potatoes often include canned condensed soup (cream of chicken or the like), and I’m not a fan of that ingredient.  This variation has all of the creamy “guilty pleasure” quality without any of the icky canned soup.

funeral potatoes

Funeral Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C. flour
  • 1 1/2 C. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 C. milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 26 oz. bag frozen hash brown potatoes
  •  1/2 C. sour cream
  • 2 C. corn flakes, lightly crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.

Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes until it softens and is translucent.

Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about a minute.

Combine the chicken broth and milk in a liquid measuring cup and slowly whisk into the flour mixture.

Add the salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese until smooth.

Mix in the frozen potatoes, folding to completely combine with the cheese mixture.

Stir in the sour cream.

Combine the corn flakes with the melted butter.

Spread the potato mixure evenly into a glass 9×13 inch baking dish and top with the cornflake mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly around the edges.

Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Source: slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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