Pasha's Passionate Potatoes


Dear Editor:

The following is a contribution to Sunset Magazine's Chefs of the West. My Pennsylvania Dutch background has taught me to appreciate the lowly potato. It is typical of the many frugal and yet delicious things my grandmother could do with potatoes. Potatoes were a mainstay in my family. (I once saw my father jokingly criticize my mother because she served a pasta meal without a potato dish.) One of my aunts can set a table with potato bread, potato puffs (sort of like a sopapilla), mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, and offer potato candy as a dessert. Of course her husband was a potato farmer.

P.S. I have a 22 year old long-haired calico cat named Pasha that loves this recipe, and has a passion for her share of any leftovers.

Pasha's Passionate Potatoes

James Speed Hensinger

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


1 quart mashed potatoes (leftovers work great. I make more than I need just to make Pasha's Passionate Potatoes.)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 large chopped yellow onion
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup chopped green onion tops
3 tablespoons minced crisp bacon (I use so little bacon, that I cook a whole package between paper towels on a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven, and store it in a plastic bag in the freezer, ready to use)
7 oz. can whole anaheim green chilies, rinsed and chopped
1 cups sharp cheddar cheese
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Saute yellow onion slowly in butter in a non-stick pan. When browning occurs turn/stir. When about 1/3 are browned, add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms look done.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine green onion, chilies, cheese, bacon, salt, and pepper. Fold together and add potatoes, then onions and mushrooms. (You don't want the hot butter to cook the green onions, so you add the hot stuff on top of the potatoes.) Fold the mixture until all ingredients are uniformly distributed.

Use cooking oil spray to coat the inside of individual ramekins, casseroles, or "old fashioned" glasses and spoon the mixture into them. Leave some peaks and irregularities on the top to encourage browning. At this point the portions may be frozen, held in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours or baked.

Bake uncovered in a 350 oven until the top browns slightly (takes 20 - 40 minutes).

Serve in baking dishes.

Enjoy!



Copyright © J. S. Hensinger