Funeral Potatoes

Funeral Potatoes | Pinky's Pantry
No, nobody died. So why “funeral potatoes” you ask? Well, you know how people always bring food to a wake or a funeral when someone passes away? Funeral Potatoes are one of those dishes that’s frequently brought to that somber gathering. Hence, the name.
Funeral Potatoes | Pinky's Pantry
It’s basically a simple potato casserole made with frozen hash browns. There are many versions of the recipe floating around out there. This is how I make mine. It’s super easy to prepare and everyone always likes it. The best part is, it’s not just for funerals. You can serve it any time of the year. It makes a great side dish for a busy weeknight dinner with the kids. I’m actually making it for Easter Sunday brunch this year.

FUNERAL POTATOES

  • 1 bag (28-32 oz.) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
  • ¼ – ½ cup butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can (10½ oz.) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (10½ oz.) cream of potato soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups French’s crispy fried onions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Take hash browns out of the freezer and set them on the counter to thaw a little while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This makes them easier to mix.
  3. Melt ¼ cup butter in a skillet. If you want more buttery potatoes, you can melt up to ½ cup.
  4. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent but not brown.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the sauteed onions, soups, sour cream, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and parsley, if using.
  6. Stir in the hash browns until well-combined.
  7. Spread mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish.
  8. Sprinkle French’s fried onions on top.
  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until sides begin to bubble and top is golden brown.

TOPPING VARIATIONS:  Toss 4 tbsp. melted butter with 1½ cups panko bread crumbs, or crushed crackers, or crushed cornflakes, or crushed potato chips.

Irish Colcannon

Colcannon | Pinky's Pantry
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. I make this dish only once a year — on St. Patrick’s Day. There was one year where I decided to make something different (i.e. less fattening) for a change and almost had the family in revolt. As my daughter, Spunky said, “We only get to eat this once a year! Don’t take it away!” Needless to say, I never made that mistake again.

When I originally learned to make this dish, I was taught to serve it with a whole cup of melted butter! You mounded the Colcannon in your serving bowl, then made a little well on top that you filled with the melted butter just before serving. It looked like a little volcano. I’ve since altered the recipe by cutting the butter down to 4 tablespoons which I just stir into the whole pot. You’re already using the bacon grease so I don’t think the large amount of additional butter is necessary, but you’re welcome to try it the original way if you feel adventurous. Either way, it’s delicious!

IRISH COLCANNON

  • 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 pkg. (16 ozs.) bacon, cut in half-inch pieces
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium head of green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped, for garnish (optional)
  1. Place potatoes in a stockpot, fill with just enough water to cover, and boil until potatoes are tender. Drain very well.
  2. While potatoes are boiling, fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove crispy bacon from skillet and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, fry the cabbage in the bacon grease until tender.
  5. Mash the potatoes, leaving them still a little chunky.
  6. Stir in milk, margarine, bacon, and cabbage. If mixture seems too dry, add more milk, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Depending on how salty your bacon is, you may not need to add any salt at all.)
  8. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with chopped green onion, if desired.

Baked Creamy Chicken and Potatoes

Baked Creamy Chicken and Potatoes | Pinky's PantryMy oldest daughter, Yissi, is going away to college. For one of her last meals, she asked that I make Baked Creamy Chicken and Potatoes. This is one of those recipes that I stumbled upon by chance years ago on the internet. I had some chicken thighs but couldn’t decide what to do with them. A random search on the net turned up this recipe which I decided to try and boy am I glad I did. My family loved it! I’ve made it several times since then. It fast became one of Yissi’s favorite dishes.

I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs just because they’re easy. I’ve also made this recipe several times without the parsley and it works just fine. You could also probably substitute real cheddar cheese for the Velveeta if you wanted to. The recipe is pretty versatile. Casa Veneracion, the blog this recipe came from, has quite a lot of yummy-looking recipes. Go check it out when you have time. I’m sure glad I did. This recipe was a great find.

BAKED CREAMY CHICKEN AND POTATOES
(adapted from Casa Veneracion)

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 medium-size potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup grated Velveeta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • butter or margarine for frying
  1. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into wedges. I used red skinned potatoes so I wouldn’t have to bother peeling them.
  3. Peel the onion, cut into halves and slice into thin wedges.
  4. Melt the butter or margarine in a saute pan. When hot, brown the chicken thighs, turning them for even browning. Transfer the browned chicken to a baking pan.
    NOTE:  The chicken thighs don’t need to be cooked through at this point.
    Just brown the outside and transfer them to the baking pan.
  5. Brown the potato wedges in the same pan you fried the chicken in; then add the cooked potatoes on top of the cooked chicken in the baking pan.
  6. Saute the sliced onion and scatter on top of the chicken and potatoes.
  7. Pour the cream over the chicken, potatoes and onions. You may season with more salt and pepper at this point.
  8. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, if using.
  9. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil, piercing it with a fork in a few places to create steam vents.
  10. Bake in a preheated 350o oven for 30 minutes or so, depending on the size of the chicken thighs.
  11. Take the baking pan out of the oven and remove the foil, being careful not to burn your fingers.
  12. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the cooked chicken and potatoes.
  13. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes longer or until the cheese melts.