Friday, September 14, 2012

State Fair Winning Funeral Potatoes

  Last night the Utah's Own folks crowned the Funeral Potatoes Queen.  Ironically Laurie Willberg had never made Funeral Potatoes until she decided to enter the fair. Maybe that's good, so she didn't have any preconceived notions of what they should be like. She gave them a Southwestern spin, using many Utah products.
   I was already at the Fair doing a cooking demo on Fast & Fabulous Soups from my new cookbook.  Ben Winslow of Fox13 News (we knew each other when we both worked at the Des News) asked me for some info on the origin and nutritional content of these Spuds To Die For at  I think I must be watching "The Wizard of Oz" with Jayden too many times; I was cackling just like the Wicked Witch! 
Southwestern Funeral Potatoes
 8 medium russet potatoes
1/2 tsp. Redmond Real Salt
1 cup dry Sawyer’s Premium Potato Soup Mix
2 cups water, boiling
1 cup Meadow Gold Low Fat Buttermilk
1 cut Meadow Gold Sour Cream
2 cups grated Banquet Jalapeno Jack Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 cup crushed Don Julio Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips
1 cup grated Banquet Medium Cheddar Cheese
1 jar Laurie’s Buffalo Gourmet Salsa – Roasted Chili with Black Beans and Corn
Wash and scrub potatoes under cool water, place in stockpot with enough water to generously cover and add 1/2 tsp. salt. Boil 30 minutes or until tender but not soft. Remove from pot, place in colander and run cold water over potatoes to begin cooling. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in large mixing bowl.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In medium mixing bowl, place potato soup mix and cover with boiling water, whisk together until smooth. Add buttermilk, sour cream, jalapeno jack cheese, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine ingredients. Pour mixture over diced potatoes and stir gently until all potatoes are well covered. Place in 9 x 13 pan.
Kids can have fun helping with this next step!  Place contents of 1/2 bag (9 oz. bag) corn tortilla chips in large Ziploc bag. Seal bag and crunch until pieces are broken small enough for topping the casserole. Mix crushed chips with cheddar cheese. Cover casserole with chips and cheese mixture.
Bake uncovered 45 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is slightly browned. Serve with salsa on the side to put on top of casserole as desired.

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