Ready or Not #51: Funeral Potatoes

I had no idea what a proverbial can of worms I opened when I wrote about Shepherd’s pie.  Everybody has their favorite way of making it and even different names for it (Hamburger Plop?  What kind if name is that?!)  Everybody is quite ready to defend his or her favorite recipe.

Well, if you think that is controversial (if a casserole can be controversial), then just wait until we talk about this week’s subject – Funeral Potato Casserole.  I am not an expert on this dish because, now you may not believe this, but I have never, ever, made a Funeral Potato Casserole in my whole life.  I did have the opportunity once to make it for a church function, but I didn’t have the time and so my husband made it for me.

The ingredients sound good – potatoes and sour cream, can’t go wrong there.  One of my favorite versions of Funeral Potatoes (I said that I hadn’t made it, not that I hadn’t eaten it) is made with Tator tots and potato chips (you just can’t over do the potatoes).  I have also had it with Corn Flakes, saltine crackers and even Wheaties on top (they just look like a darker corn flake, right?)  Some people make it with pre-cooked hash browns and others make it with boiled potatoes.  You can grate them, mash them or dice them.  It’s all good, I know this because I haven’t eaten a bad Funeral Potato Casserole yet.
I have solicited three of the best cooks I know to share their version of this multi-use, food storage friendly, filling and very satisfying casserole.  You can try these recipes and then take it from there and come up with your own favorite recipe.  After finding your favorite version, I’m not adverse to taste testing it for you and giving my seal of approval.  Bon Appetit (I’m assuming that means “good eating.”  I don’t speak French)

Funeral Potatoes (Gaye Cook)
Fill a 9×13 casserole dish with grated potatoes (frozen or freshly cooked) drizzle 1/2 cube melted butter on potatoes.  Salt and pepper then combine 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 Cup milk, 1 to 2 C. of grated cheese and green onions to taste (including green tops).  Pour over the potatoes and mix carefully.  Top with buttered corn flakes* (there is no good substitution).  Bake at 350 uncovered for 45 minutes. Don’t wait for a funeral to try it; they are best when eaten while you’re healthy.
*Hint for corn flakes….buy a large in-expensive brand of flakes, before opening the bag break up the flakes with your hands.  Open the bag and add 1 cube of melted butter, mix.  Freeze the remaining flakes by putting the cereal bag into a freezer bag. WA LA, you have the topping ready for the next few casseroles.

Funeral potatoes (Karen Haskell)
Boil red potatoes until tender.  (I use about 12-15 tennis ball size or little smaller).  Peel potatoes.  Grate potatoes into dripper pan.  In a sauce pan melt ½ cube of butter and add 1 small container of sour cream and 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup.  Then add: grated cheddar cheese (I don’t measure so make it look good) probably about 1- 1 1/2 cups.  Chop up some green onions (probably 4-5), add and then stir the creamy mixture into the potatoes.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 until heated through.  (And please don’t gross me out and put corn flakes on top or potato chips yuck!!  If you need to add extra calories use a whole cube of butter and more cheese not the crunchy crap on top!)  Also, I would never use fake potatoes as in frozen hash browns.  If you are going to eat comfort food it needs to be real!

Funeral potatoes (Kathy Rawson)
Boil 6-8 medium potatoes and grate.  Place in a 9X13 inch pan.  In a saucepan, combine the following and heat until melted and mixed: 1 can Cream of Chicken soup, 1/3 cup green onion, sliced, 1 ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated, 1 pint sour cream and 1 cube of butter or margarine.  Pour sauce over the top of the potatoes.  Top with Corn Flake crumbs and drizzle 2 TBS. melted butter on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
There you have it – three terrific cooks and three different, albeit wonderful, philosophies as to what makes a potato taste great in the form of a casserole.  Now, go make and then compare recipes to your hearts delight and enjoy every mouth full!

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