Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You say potato, I say YUM!

I think that potatoes might just be my favorite food. They are so versatile, and just down-right tasty! It started out as an obsession with french fries. My grandmother used to say that I was going to turn into a french fry! As I got older, I learned to branch out and enjoy these tasty 'taters in almost any mode of preparation. French fries still do, and always will, hold a special place in my heart, but I have found another potato dish that gives fries quite a run for their money!

When I first got my slow cooker I was very excited about all of the soups and stews I would be able to make. Even being vegetarian, I knew there would be lots of options. I soon learned, though, that slow cookers are not for soups alone! In my searches for recipes I stumbled across a little piece of heaven - combining potatoes with cheese. This recipe (or one almost exactly like it... this was a few years ago when I found it...) looked absolutely perfect! Of course I swap out the chicken stock/broth, but other than that, this is one of the few recipes I trust as-is! But really, combine potatoes and cheese, and how can it be anything but delicious?!

This recipe was also a great chance for me to use my handy little vegetable slicer. I had never used a mandolin growing up, and was always frustrated with my efforts to cut thin, even slices. Well, with the slicer at hand, these potatoes were going to be cut so well! (I know, it is kind of sad the things that excited me...!) Kitchen gadgets ready, I was all set for potato and cheesy goodness!

The first time I made these potatoes, I was really impressed. They cooked up nicely, and were cheesy, gooey and delicious. And my husband? He thought he had gone to heaven! We have dubbed these "cheesy potatoes" in our house, and we have made them countless times and in countless varieties! I have added onions, peppers, zucchini, squash, beans, and soy "meat" crumbles to make what is an amazing side dish into a filling main meal. In fact, I made this dish with the soy crumbles for my meat-eating in-laws, and they have begun to make cheesy potatoes (with fake meat!) for themselves!!

Hubby likes these so much that I use them as comfort food when he's had a hard, long day. We are trying to get ready for a trip out of state, but things have been getting hectic and frustrating, as well as the chance of snow threatening to keep us grounded, so I thought tonight would be the perfect time to treat him to these.
For tonight, these potatoes were a side dish, so I made a smaller batch than I usually do. One great thing about this recipe is it is kind of foolproof - you can add to it, expand it, shrink it, adjust it in so many ways... No matter how you make them, they are worth having!

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