This weekend, some friends threw a neighborhood Easter Egg hunt and picnic. Over the years, we’ve learned if it’s a party with military families, you show up on time. The invitation said 4 pm. I laughed (hard)when we walked around the corner (at 3:59pm) and saw orange cones blocking off the street, kids lined up with baskets, and Moms waiting with cameras for the egg hunt to start at 4pm sharp. The children were ”briefed” on the rules (only 12 eggs until everyone had gathered a dozen), then “released” in three age-grouped waves. By 4:08, the eggs were all collected, baskets were all full, photos were taken, and we were on to other things . . . like swapping recipes.
I love revisiting the classics. It’s such a blast taking recipes I made as a kid, ridding them of the processed “convenience” foods, and cooking them using only organic ingredients. I’ll bet we’ve all seen Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole at a potluck or family gathering. How can you not love the creamy combination of cheese, potatoes, and sour cream baked together until brown and bubbly? Unfortunately, the recipe uses a can of cream of chicken soup - usually full of preservatives and additives. Instead of the can, I came up with a quick recipe for cream of chicken soup and then stirred in potatoes, cheese, sour cream and herbs. I think it tastes better than the original!
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or 2 tablespoons arrowroot)
3 cups chicken stock
1 sprig parsley
1 spring fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 pounds russet potatoes, grated
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 cups raw cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and adjust rack to middle position. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add flour and cook stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, stir, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer. Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaf together with kitchen twine and add to broth mixture. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove broth from heat and stir in cream and sea salt. Pour soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour soup into a large mixing bowl. Add potatoes, butter, sea salt, pepper, sour cream and 1 cup of cheese to soup and stir until combined. Pour mixture into a large baking dish and top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake for 40 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Ensure you arrive at the party on time!
This post is linked to Real Food Wednesdays
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