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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tasty Tuesday-Casserole Comfort

“Some foods are so comforting, so nourishing of body and soul, that to eat them is to be home again after a long journey. To eat such a meal is to remember that, though the world is full of knives and storms, the body is built for kindness. The angels, who know no hunger, have never been as satisfied.”
Eli Brown, Cinnamon and Gunpowder
We all know that at times of sadness certain food, comfort food, can have such a way of soothing the soul.  The weekend after Norbert's passing I traveled into comfort food country, a favorite place of mine, and made Hash Brown Casserole using a recipe from the book At My Grandmother's Table by Faye Porter.  

Now I absolutely LOVE this cookbook because not only does it have great recipes for the sorts of traditional, nostalgic, vintage foods not usually found in modern cookbooks, it also has stories about the Grandmother's.  Each recipe begins with a brief story about the Grandmother who originally made it,. Its a southern cookbook so there is plenty of fat, sugar, and salt, and it is not a snobby cookbook.....many of the "salad" recipes contain more sour cream and cool whip then fruit, but it still is a delight to read and to cook from.   The Hash Brown Casserole is my favorite thing I've made so far, the Grandmother who developed it Evelyn Barber was supposedly a fanatic about her hair, visiting the beauty salon twice a week and being teased by her family for keeping in Aqua Net in business.  Apparently Grandma Barber took all teasing in stride and had a great sense of humor, she was certainly a great cook.  I made a few changes to the recipe: substituting butter for margarine and adding Poblano chilies.

Hash Brown Casserole

2 lbs Frozen Hash Browns, I like Cascadian Farms but any will do
16 ounces sour cream
8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 stick butter,
1 to 2 Poblano chilies, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a very large bowl stir together the Hash Browns, sour cream, cheddar, chicken soup, and melted butter.   Stir in the onion and Poblano  and then mix in the salt and pepper.  Spray a large casserole pan with non stick spray and spoon in the casserole mixture.   Bake for 40 minutes until bubbly and brown.   You can also make it the night before, refrigerate, and bake it in the morning for about an hour.    (It smells wonderful which will make any pugs in the vicinity come running). 

Speaking of breakfast and in honor of my beloved Norbert, here is a link to one of my favorite stories about him: It concerns the time my foodie mutt turned his nose up at a Bisquick pancake despite loving the authentic home made version (link)


  1. Sounds like a terrific recipe! Thank you for sharing!! I have been thinking of you...hope you guys are doing ok.
    Jeanne and the girls

  2. Putting aside my categorical objection to "canned cream of"s, this looks/sounds great! I love the quote you included, and also enjoyed the tale of Norbert's discernment from the archives. :)

  3. Oh boy does that sound tasty
    Lily & Edward

  4. That sounds like a perfect comfort food.

  5. Yum, I love casserole! The book sounds very lovely. How nice it includes stories of grandmother along with the recipe. I hope you are feeling better xoxo

  6. Around here those are called "funeral potatoes". A lot of the Mormon church ladies will fix these to serve with lunch at the church after a funeral service. Always a favorite
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  7. That looks like a tasty recipe. Loved the story about Norbert and his discerning palate.
    Lynne x

  8. You've been in our thoughts.
    Great quote to start with too.

    This is the time of year when comfort food is big around here - 5 feet of snow, -30 windchill, and sun disappearing for weeks at a time. As Garrison Keillor once said, a salad just doesn't cut it at times like this :-)

  9. Oh, yes, they don't call it "comfort" food for nuthin. Sounds yummy. Love the snow pics of Norbert. And the pancake story is too funny and reminds me of our foodie, beagle Bailey. She was a total chowhound and LOVED popcorn - but she wouldn't eat that crap that comes out of a microwave! We had to get an air popper. :)

  10. Sounds delicious. Yum!

  11. Norbert the Gourmet! Your comfort food looks like a delicious winter recipe; I am certain Norbert would have approved! We like to celebrate the birthdays of our loved ones who are no longer with us with a special meal on their birthdays--consisting of their favorite foods--for our first dog, Arthur, that would be red sauce and pasta, followed by homemade spice cookies. For our Charlie, it would be salmon....For Norbert, it sure wouldn't be Bisquik:) Thinking of you and John during this hard time.

  12. Sounds delicious and also sounds like a great cookbook! I love comfort food.


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