Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fajita fizzle - Potato Panache

I'm thoroughly disappointed with a steak fajita attempt I served for dinner last night. Such lofty expectations fell flatter than a pancake. I'm still trying to figure out if it was the meat, the marinade or a combination of both. There were nifty packages of pre sliced beef marked boldly that they were perfect for fajitas - so I bought two and threw them in the freezer. The fajita mood hit yesterday and I marinated them in a new recipe, only to eat them in utter disgust. Tough and not the best flavor.

The avocados I used in the guacamole weren't fully ripened yet and literally turned into chameleons and donned an ugly shade of gray about 5 minutes after I made the dip...making the family question what in the world it even was. Not a good scene and I pouted on the couch after dinner, thoroughly irritated that it wasn't a better meal. You win some, you lose some and my husband reminded me that every meal can't be the best. But I want it to be, so I'm hoping something miraculous will take place with the chicken I'm still figuring out for dinner. Stay tuned.

Now, I DID have a winner over the weekend for a Christmas party I attended. We have a potluck style get together with long time friends every December and I signed up for a side dish - a tried and true side dish as the new recipe for macaroni and cheese I tried last year was a disgrace and left people picking at it and smiling politely as they tried in vain to make it disappear from their Chinet. Note to self: Don't try a new recipe on people before you've tasted it yourself. It saves you the heartache and embarrassment of horrible flops.

Not this year! I fixed Mrs. Goodan's Potato Casserole from my 11th grade Home Economics class. Clearly, I'm a dork to have held onto the recipe since high school, but I liked it that much. I've tried no less than 15 different versions of potato casserole and this is the one I always go back to.

11th Grade Potato Casserole
5-6 medium potatoes
1/2 c. butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1.5 c. grated cheddar cheese
16 oz. sour cream
1 T. minced onion
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Boil potatoes in the skin. Cool, peel and chop them into smaller than 1 inch cubes. In a saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of butter, soup and cheese. Stir until melted. Remove from the heat and add sour cream. In a large bowl, mix potatoes, onion, salt and pepper. Pour the cheese mixture over the potatoes and fold in until it's well blended. You can top this with cornflake crumbs and a little melted butter at this point if you wish, but if you were out of cornflakes like I was, omitting is still just as delicious. I topped it with a little extra cheddar for fun.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and then devour. It's rich and delicious.

Have a delicious day!


  1. why is it better to boil the potatoes with the skin on them in this case? does it help the flavor? just wondering.

  2. ktabs...I've heard the nutrients in the skin give it an added boost. I personally find it takes less time to peel the potatoes after cooking than before and I'm all about ease. Enjoy! :)