It is the chocolate and kisses of life that make us rich. Enjoy what brings a smile to my face and love to my life.....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sausage & Potato Casserole

Are we noticing a pattern here? Maybe you aren't but I know I am, and it's not a big surprise. I am a true potato lover. Yep, I admit it. Mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, baked potatoes....just smother all my food in potatoes, please?!?

Back when I was a teenager like yesterday I worked at a restaurant that served a warm smashed potato salad. It was AMAZING! A bed of fresh local greens and vegetables topped with a heaping load of scrumptious mashed potatoes, hot sauce and balsamic vinaigrette. Well I'm pretty sure it wasn't written like that but it doesn't matter.

My husband doesn't believe me that a restaurant served this. He doesn't understand why I would eat it every.single.meal if I could. I don't really care, it is fantastic. Try your own version, I's a sin if you do not.

Moving on with the point of this lovely potato introduction, I give you my latest creation.

3 cups of boiled potatoes (skin removed and cut into cubes)
3 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp white sugar
2 cups sliced onions
1 lb skinless smoked sausage
2 tbsp flour
2 cups skim milk
12 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp dried parsley

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes and place into pan covering with water and boil until a fork is easily inserted into potato. (Do not overcook, you do not want potatoes falling apart.) Heat 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil in large saute pan, add onions and white sugar, caramelizing onions for approximately 15-20 minutes. Cut sausage in half moons, add to onions and brown sausage. In a saucepan melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat, adding flour to make a roux. Slowly add milk into pan, whisking continuously. When milk is heated and slightly thickened, reduce heat to low and add 8 ounces cheese while whisking until smooth. (You do not want to add cheese into very hot milk, you will get a grainy cheese consistency.) Add black pepper and garlic powder. When potatoes cooked, allow to cool a few minutes and then cut into cubes, placing into a baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Add caramelized onions, sausage and cheese sauce, mixing all ingredients well. Season top with paprika and dried parsley, topping with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until top lightly browned.

Serves 6 at around 446 calories, depending on the type of sausage you use. We had a salad on the side, but this meal would taste good mixed with cooked vegetables as well. It's pure comfort in a bowl and must be good if the husband goes back for seconds!


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