Saturday, February 25, 2012

Not So Death-Defying Funeral Potatoes

Serves 8 or more. Each serving has about 4 Weight Watcher® points. This recipe was adapted from a New York Times recipe, which called these "Updated" Funeral Potatoes. Some of you from Utah, might consider this update an effete version of the dish that you know and love: the can of cream soup is completely missing, and whatever happened to the corn flake crumbs/crushed potato chips on top? My own update of this recipe is to make a diet-friendly version. I fixed it last night, and it passes the sniff test.

3 large baking potatoes, about 2 lb
1-1/2 c (12 oz) non-fat sour cream
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, grated
1 t kosher salt (or 1/2 t table salt)
1/2 t black pepper
4 oz low-fat cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz low-fat swiss cheese, grated
1/2 t (or more) paprika

The day before you serve this dish, bake the potatoes: heat the oven to 375°F, scrub and trim any spots off the potatoes. Prick the potatoes, or score them to prevent them from exploding in the oven. Place them directly on an oven rack in the middle of the oven, and bake them for one hour. Remove them, and cool them for about 15 minutes. Refrigerate them overnight.

When you are ready to prepare the Funeral Potatoes, heat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 9 baking dish.

In a large bowl, stir together the sour cream garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. Gently mix in the grated cheese.

Grate the potatoes onto a plate. The skin will flake off as you grate the potato. Discard the big pieces of potato skin. Fold the grated potatoes into the sour cream/cheese mixture.

Spoon and spread the potatoes into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the dish with paprika. Bake 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let the dish stand for 10 minutes before serving.


You can mix and match the variations listed below. This dish is a great improvisational base for your own down home cooking impulses.

Full-Fat Version. If you aren't on a diet, you might consider the full-fat version. The full-fat version serving is about 8 Weight Watchers® points. In the original New York Times recipe, gruyere cheese is used instead of Swiss. (Gruyere doesn't come in a low-fat version at my supermarket.)

Cream Soup Version. Bake an additional potato. Add one can of condensed cream of chicken, celery, or mushroom soup to the sour cream/cheese mixture. You may want to taste before adding any additional salt.

Note: I made this version. I also increased the cheese to 5 oz of each variety.

Corn Flakes or Potato Chips? If you want a crumb topping, crush enough corn flakes or potato chips to make 1/3 - 1/2 c crumbs. (You can also use corn chips or bread crumbs.) If you are using corn flakes or bread crumbs, add 2 T melted butter to coat them. Spread the crumbs on top of the dish before baking.

Veggies Version. Add 1 c chopped celery, or frozen peas, or both to the sour cream/cheese mixture. Also consider green beans, broccoli, or chopped spinach.

Southwest Version Add 2 t taco seasoning and 1 small can of whole kernel corn, drained to the sour cream/cheese mixture.

Meat-Eaters' Version Add 2 cups chopped ham, turkey, or chicken to the sour cream/cheese mixture.

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