We have now officially survived the first day of second grade, the first day of kindergarten, AND the middle’s first day of dance (those last two happened to coincide). My oldest starts dance tomorrow, and then we should be officially done with the firsts! Of course, we still have to acquire three pairs of shoes, read the various “these-are-the-rules” packets in depth, and return various things to various people. All the same, I think the end might be in sight.
On the other hand, I made a first attempt at a hashbrown casserole–the breakfast kind, not funeral potatoes–on Sunday, and unlike all of the rest of the firsts lately, this one just made the need for a second attempt abundantly clear. It wasn’t bad or anything, mind you. In fact, it was this Potato Bacon Casserole, and you should try it sometime. My problem was that it wasn’t what I was expecting, and that’s entirely my own fault. (Okay, the other problem was that some of the ham I subbed for bacon was freezer-burnt, but that’s a whole different issue.) I wanted a breakfast casserole, which meant, to me, that I wanted an egg-y base for the potatoes and meat (I substituted ham because you can’t get bacon to stay crispy inside a casserole, and this bothers me; the ham was delightful, or would have been if some of it hadn’t been, you know, freezer-burnt). I should have looked at the recipe and realized that this wasn’t going to get me there, but it was my first attempt, and it seemed worth trying. The base, however, had a definitely milky taste and feel to it–duh. (Again, I should have looked at the proportions and figured this out.) That made the casserole more of a scalloped-potatoes-with-ham flavor profile.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
The thing is, though, that’s not what I was going for, and so it just didn’t do it for me. My sister-in-law made an awesome example of what I want at our last family reunion, and she very nicely sent me the recipe; the problem there is that it calls for a cup of butter, 4 cups of cheese, 2 cups of meat, and 2 cups of half and half. It tasted amazing, and was perfect for a family party; I’m just not sure I want to go there for a regular dinner at home.
So here’s my plea. Does anybody out there know of a recipe that will taste more or less like it has those ingredients in it without being, um, death to my genetically high cholesterol?
(OH, and by the way. I also sauteed the onions in a bit of butter and canola oil, because raw onions have trouble cooking in that kind of a setting, and I did NOT want to taste raw onions. It worked out perfectly well that way.)