Friday, January 18, 2013

Cheesy Potatoes for Two

I am a very lucky woman. Mr. S cooks dinner almost every night. He enjoys it. I don't. I grew up in a household where adding a little chopped ham to some Kraft mac and cheese was gourmet. So, I never learned how to cook and I've never really had the patience to learn. There are a handful of things that are my specialties and that's about it. I'm working on getting better at that.

 Mr. S also travels for his job occasionally. Before kid, that was my cue to have cereal for dinner for a few nights. He always felt bad that I was eating cereal for dinner, but honestly, I love cereal for dinner. Unfortunately, that seems like bad parenting so I try to make more substantial dinners when it's just me and E. He was gone last night so I tried a new side dish recipe.

It was inspired by these Creamy Cheesy Potatoes at Get Off Your Butt and Bake.

Spending a lot of time in the kitchen is not ideal when there's a toddler pretending that your legs are a bridge that he needs to go under... 100 times. These were very quick on the prep time, but took quite a while in the oven.

I wasn't interested in having a bunch of leftovers so I'll call mine Cheesy Potatoes for Two.

2 big russet potatoes
1 cup cream
1 cup-ish of cheddar cheese (or whatever is hanging out in the cheese drawer)
salt, pepper, garlic powder, other spices to taste

Cut the potatoes into fries. Mr. S just got some crazy nice knives (which also means crazy sharp) that he prefers me not to touch because I tend to be the type to cut my finger off with such a knife. So, I may or may not have taken advantage of this alone time to take one for a spin. I'll never tell. The best sized dish I could find was a 9-inch round ceramic baking dish.

Pour the cream over the cut potatoes. I added a very heavy pinch of kosher salt, a few grinds of pepper, a light sprinkle of garlic powder and a little parsley. Honestly, they could've used more flavor. I'd almost go with some sauteed onions. Then I topped the whole thing with cheese. I didn't measure; I just used what was left in the bag of "four state cheddar". I have no idea which four states, but it's pretty decent stuff.

Pop it in the oven for about an hour and fifteen. I took it out after an hour and the potatoes were still a little too crunchy. The additional fifteen minutes helped, but if I hadn't had a hungry toddler waiting for his grub, I would've given it an hour and a half total. Still, it came out bubbly and delicious looking. (Yes, there are some potatoes under all that cheese!)

Overall, these were just okay. Like I said above, they needed more flavor. Also, I'm not even much of a russet potato fan (is it crazy for me to say they're too potato-y?) so next time, I'd definitely go with some yellow potatoes-- which also won't take as long to cook.

So, 5 stars for ease and quickness of prep... maybe 3 stars for taste but, 4 stars for potential. I just need to work on the flavors and get the right potatoes. And, even though I wasn't blown away, E ate the hell out of these. So, 5 stars for kid-approval.

Are you a good cook? What new recipes are you trying in 2013?

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