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10 May 2008 @ 10:47 am
Cheesy Potatoes without "cream of" soup  
Hey all!

My mother in law requested that we bring a cheesy potato casserole tomorrow.  You know the one, it has cornflakes on top and lots of cheesy and potato-ey goodness inside?  Well, my mom never made it, and I never learned how.  I'd also hate to call my MIL, who probably thinks I starve my husband with my "hippy" food, and confess that I don't know how to make a staple of the midwestern diet!  :-)

I googled and checked out all recipes.  All of the recipes involve "cream of _____" soup and "processed cheese food".  I'm trying to avoid both.  Do any of you guys have recipes that involve neither.  

I'm willing to make it with Velveeta or whatever if all the recipes contain it.  I just see no reason to add extra condensed soup to my diet.  Yuck.  

*By hippy food, I mean I feed him lots of fresh food and I use actual spices and I made him try cous cous once.  ;-)

Thanks a bunch! 


Thanks for all the suggestions!  I combined a few and came up with something I hope works.  Here's what i did:
Keep in mind that this is for like 8 people, so it's a bunch

I used the "white sauce" base (I think it's a roux?)
3T Butter
3T Flour
1 Cup Milk

Melted butter, "fried" the flour in the butter.  Added the milk a little at a time.  I actually added a little extra milk to thin it a bit.  

Then I added 8oz of Medium Cheddar; 4oz of Sharp Cheddar, and 4oz of Monteray Jack.  Then I added some crushed pepper, parsley, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

I diced and cooked about 3 pounds of potatoes, put them in a casserole dish, and added the cheese mix.  It went into the fridge tonight.  

Tomorrow I intend to cook it at 350 for ten minutes, mix it, then top with some shredded cheese and crushed Corn Flakes, and put it back in the oven for 5 or so more minutes.  

I'll let you all know how it turned out!
Current Mood: busybusy
MamaCheshirecheshire23 on May 10th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
According to the More With Less cookbook, which I don't have in front of me right this second, a "medium-thick" white sauce is an acceptable substitute for a "cream of..." soup.

For that thickness, IIRC, you need 3 T each of butter and flour to 1 c of milk. Melt the butter, "fry" the flour in the butter till it's golden, then very very slowly add the milk while stirring. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for about a minute - it should thicken up into about what you need. Salt and other such can be added to taste.

The Velveeta part I'm not so sure how to handle.
uniqueME!: me-gingerbread mannotlikeyourmom on May 11th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
I love more with less!!
Queen Mom Catqueenmomcat on May 10th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
How about substituting this plus frozen ____ vegetable for the 'cream of ____' soup? (I'm not keen on the casseroles that include 'cream of X' soup either...)
oatmeal doomcookie: Sweedish Chefgeminigirl on May 10th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how similar to the recipe you're talking about this is, but this is the recipe for "cheesy potatoes" that we use in my family on the rare occasions we make something like this. No cream soup...just american cheese, from the deli counter. Beware the look you'll get when you ask the deli counter for a 4 inch chunk of cheese.

Aunt Joy's Cheesy Potatoes

5 lbs spuds
1 stick of butter (no margarine, no low-fat stuff either)
1 chunk old fashioned American cheese/ have them cut about 4 inches off the log
small amount of milk

Preheat oven to 400-450 degrees

Peel spuds and cut into chunks about 3/4 inch square
Simmer until barely fork tender

Use 9x12 glass baking dish and spray with PAM
Put 1/2 the butter and cheese chunks (cut to almost any chunk size, they melt)
Pour the hot, drained spuds on top
Add remainder of cheese and butter
Add enough milk to cover the bottom of the dish to about 1/4-1/2 inch
Sprinkle with salt and pepper (I add a tiny amount of cayenne pepper also)
Cover with tin foil tightly to hold steam

Bake one half hour

Uncover, stir and leave uncovered (still baking in oven)

Check every 10 minutes or so until brown at edges and bubbling.
empressmiakaempressmiaka on May 10th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
lol I'm from the midwest and I'd never even heard of that.

Of course, my parents fed me hippy food too. ;)
mindiloohoomindiloohoo on May 11th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, my mom always fed us really fresh stuff, so I only had it at church socials and such. :-)
(Deleted comment)
Annequeenmaggie on May 10th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
Brava! Everyone should know how to make the original recipes for real food, rather than the 'adapted' versions using convenience foods like cake mixes and cream of soups: when you make stuff from scratch, it's got more flavor, fewer additives and lots less salt and fat. And honestly it doesn't usually take any more time! (What's a cake mix but flour and sugar and leavening and maybe dried egg and milk? Mix them yourself, and you'll take an extra ten minutes and not have to deal with all the extra stuff, AND it'll cost less)

Not to say I don't sometimes use shortcuts...but one should know how to do without them, particularly in this day when food's getting so expensive. I actually saw a tv show the other day where they made a dish featuring boneless chicken breasts and said it was an inexpensive alternative to dining out! At $3.49/lb for boneless breasts, I think one should have substituted a whole chicken, cut up at home for $.79/lb: then you'd have some savings!
mindiloohoomindiloohoo on May 11th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
Thank you! That's exactly how I feel. :-)
Bob Loblawclaireh on May 10th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
In the organic section of my grocery store they have lots of "creamy" whatever soups that are not condensed and don't have gross stuff in them, and they can be substituted for "cream of" soups in recipes. They don't have cream of chicken, though. Because it is "hippy food" and hippies don't eat meat. right? ;)

I use the creamy portabello soup for beef strogonaff. So good.
Meriallbantiarna on May 10th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
Here is one from Sparkrecipes.com

My MIL used to accuse me of not fixing foods her son likes. He always laughs about it saying that she only thinks of foods he liked as a child and his tastes have changed and grown up a little since he ate nothing but baked beans and Funions.
christinecme2694 on May 10th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
I don't have a good suggestion, but I too have a MIL who is horrified that 'cream of __' soup isn't a diet staple in our house.
Chryschrysten on May 10th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
You should be able to make cheesy potatoes by making a roux with butter (I use margarine), milk, and flour as someone mentioned about. Then went you get the sauce how you like it, add cheese. I make scallop potatoes this way, minus cheese, and add very thinly sliced onions between potato layers. I'm sure you should be able to make cheese potatoes similar to this.
Elizabeth: kitty piedustkitty on May 10th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
That's how I do scalloped potatoes, too; I put some grated cheddar across the top, usually for the last few minutes of baking, but it's easy enough to melt some processed cheese into the sauce. Alternatively, you can use powdered processed cheese, like comes with Kraft macaroni & cheese; it'll stir into the sauce easier than normal processed cheese, and one is probably no worse than the other.
gracehattergracehatter on May 10th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
You could use
this. I make it but omit the green pepper and pimentos.

4 pounds potatoes, peeled
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup snipped chives
1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender; drain and mash. Add cream cheese, butter, milk, salt and pepper; mix well. Stir in green pepper, cheeses, chives and pimientos. Spread in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until browned and heated through.
Bridgettmoonnfreak on May 10th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
ouch.. i have to admit i'm one of the midwesterners who adores the cheesy potaotes. i don't use velveeta or any "fake" cheese, just shredded chedder, but i do use condensed cream soup.
~*~ Renee ~*~winged_embrace on May 10th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
Same here. So, maybe she could just substitute the cream of whatever soup with a medium white sauce.
She shoots, SHE SCORES!!: Cookingpisceandreamer on May 10th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
Here's a good DIY recipe for "condensed cream of X" soup that is called for in so many things:


FYI, the site is loading really slow today.
demiraks_worlddemiraks_world on May 10th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
really, those are the best ones!!
I would just use the soup - easier.
mindiloohoomindiloohoo on May 11th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Easier, but full of extra salt and preservatives. :-)
demiraks_worlddemiraks_world on May 11th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, but if you're worried about eating healthy, cheesey potatoes shouldn't even be on the menu ;)

mindiloohoomindiloohoo on May 11th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
That's true. I want to give MIL what she wants, but limit the impact for the rest of us. There's nothing wrong with a treat once in awhile, but I might as well try to make it a bit healthier.
Just this life living mebeckon_you_on on May 10th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
If you see one you like, use heavy cream or half and half until it reaches the desired consistency, and real cheese instead. I grew up in the midwest and my mom made her casserole-type stuff that way because my dad had an aversion to the soup.
The Guerrilla Aesthetegrrillaesthete on May 11th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
I use the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook (the one that is red & white gingham check on the cover) recipe. It's really good, but doesn't have cornflakes (yuck). It also makes a roux, and you do have several good recipes in this thread. Good luck!
---theprhoe on May 11th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
my mother in law makes something similar and calls it "cheesy potatoes" and instead of cornflakes uses crushed potato chips it's delicious!