Sunday, March 6, 2011

Food for a Cookout

Last weekend (yes, I'm behind - I know this) we went to a cookout hosted by my boss. It was basically just a reason for everyone to hang out. Our whole staff usually only gets together once a year for our work conference in July. When we have the summer cookout I usually make macaroni and cheese but this time it was stolen out from under me. So I was forced to come up with another side dish equally as yummy. They usually cook steak and what goes better with steaks than blue cheese? In my opinion, nothing. So I made blue cheese potatoes. Basically a blue cheese version of hash brown casserole. Its a recipe that I found years ago on that I try not to make too often because it's really not good for you. But it's great for this sort of potluck event because you don't have to eat too much of it.

Blue Cheese Potatoes

8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a casserole dish.
2) Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream so there are no lumps. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the blue cheese until smooth. Pour over the potatoes in the dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top.
3) Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until top is nicely browned.

It was going to be a long morning of cooking so I put on some coffee. It also gave me my
first opportunity to use my new handwarmer coffee mug :)

Potatoes peeled and cubed

Boil 'em
Drain 'em

You can use the same pan/pot that you cooked the potatoes in to make the sauce

Butter & flour in the saucepan

Making the blue cheese sauce

The recipe says to mix everything together in the casserole pan, but I think it's
more even when you mix it in a bowl first.

Ready for the oven

Ready to go to the cookout! Mmmm...looks so yummy!

I also made a chocolate cake to take for dessert. This is my favorite chocolate cake. I got it from a hershey cookbook that my mom got me for my 19th birthday. But you can also find the recipe HERE. Usually, I make this cake from scratch but this time I used a box mix (Duncan Hines devils food) and it was quite yummy. So I really only used the chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache from the recipe.

  • I used a bag of white or yellow potatoes...I didn't bother finding "8 medium potatoes". I just peeled and cubed the whole bag and figured it would work. It did.
  • I used more than 1/2 cup of blue cheese. But I also used more liquid than was called for so I had slightly more sauce. The sauce always seems to get too thick so I add more milk to thin it out. I ended using a whole container of blue cheese which I think was about 6 ounces (maybe?).
  • If you want it to be slightly less bad for you, could try substituting milk for the cream (I did use skim for the milk in the recipe and it was fine).
  • If you're not a fan of blue cheese you could probably substitute any strong flavored cheese that you like. But if you decide to use cheddar then you may as well make hashbrown casserole.
  • Be creative. This recipe is great for experimenting with adding things.
  • As I said in the beginning, this a great recipe for a potluck gathering and could probably be easily doubled for a large group.
I hope if you decide to try it that you love it. Happy eating!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds & looks delicious! Thanks again for the ideas.


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