Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mashed Potato Casserole with Gouda & Bacon

This is another story of good intentions to make a dish healthier failing miserably when the dish morphs into an even less healthy yet so much tastier dish. It was a side dish to our turkey & mushroom gravy meal. When I think of turkey, I think of Thanksgiving, and then I think of stuffing & mashed potatoes. We made stuffing just a few weeks ago, so I was thinking more about mashed potatoes.

I have a strange relationship with mashed potatoes. It all dates back to when I was a little girl, of course. I'm not really sure what happened, but in my kindergarten book, my favorite food is mashed potatoes and my least favorite food is mashed potatoes. My illustration for both the good and bad potatoes is a huge brown crayon scrawl. I am not sure what I was thinking when I said mashed potatoes were my favorite food because what I remember is always loathing mashed potatoes. Even now, they do not excite me.

So as I thought about mashed potatoes, the mashed potatoes turned into mashed potato casserole - well there's something that is yummy enough to be a favorite food. Many (all?) mashed potato casseroles involve sour cream and cheese, so I was not too surprised when SP had a so-so response to my mashed potato casserole suggestion. He did agree with me that mashed potatoes do not reheat especially well, not like mashed potato bake, and we had roast potatoes and scalloped potatoes not too long ago, and we just had quinoa, rice didn't sound good, but...

So I decided to try looking for a less cheese & sour cream filled mashed potato casserole recipe. But in my search for a 'healthier' mashed potato casserole, I came across this recipe: Mashed Potato Casserole with Smoked Gouda & Bacon. There was no way I was not clicking on that search result.

Well, that was that. I showed it to SP and just like that, he was on board with mashed potato casserole.

And that is how we came to make the most delicious mashed potato casserole ever and to actually have fork fights over who got the last few forkfuls of it.

It does not photograph well, not even on a table right next to a window on a sunny winter day. You can barely see the bacon bits. But trust me - this is incredibly delicious. Smoked gouda, bacon, sour cream - yum. We may have used whole milk and greasy bacon and full fat smoked cheese but we also used low fat sour cream.

The mashed potato bake was the star of those meals that week, but in addition to the potato casserole there was steamed broccoli or green beans for veggie and there was this:
Roast turkey cutlet with a mushroom-vinegar-tarragon gravy. Lots of mushrooms. And a very liberal sprinkle of dried tarragon.
But the Mashed Potato Casserole with Gouda & Bacon - that was a dish we talked about for days afterward and a dish that we will definitely make again.

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