I love, love, love potatoes. No really- hubby vs. a beautiful, loaded, baked potato I honestly don’t know which would win my affections. (rest assured kids vs. potato? I would of course choose the kids). The potato is so versatile- it can be the star of the show or take a supporting role. It can be all gussied up and glamorous or beautifully simple and elegant. It can be slim and healthy or full of tantalizing fat with flavors that haunt my dreams (yes, I dream of food- DON’T JUDGE). I have yet to meet a potato I didn’t like.
Of course, even knowing all of the fabulous ways a potato can make a dinner table appearance I found myself falling into a rut. OK- I didn’t notice the rut, hubby bluntly pointed it out as I was serving potato- leek soup for the umpteenth time. I’m sorry- when I see potatoes and leeks in the basket my mind immediately pairs them in the delicious, creamy, comfort food known as soup. And while I would be happy eating soup every day I decided to honor his not-so-subtle request for something that was NOT soup.
One problem- I still had potatoes and leeks…a lot of them. So I did what I always do in times of culinary dilemma. I rolled up my sleeves, got into the kitchen, and started playing around. What I came up with was a slightly spicy casserole that both used up my produce and allowed hubby to feel free from the clutches of a soup rut.
I started by slicing my Yukon Gold potatoes nice and thin and then slightly browning them in olive oil and putting them into a glass baking dish. You could probably skip this step but as one of hubby’s biggest complaints was texture, it helped to ensure a bit of a bite.
I made a nice gluten-free sauce by cooking the finely chopped leeks in some butter (in the immortal words of Julia Child “You could leave it out but you’ll be sorry”), tossing in some roasted red bell pepper and roasted hatch peppers, stirring in sorghum flour and spices, and then whisking in chicken broth and of course- cheese. That got poured over the potatoes and topped with yes, more cheese, and it all came together in one creamy casserole that was NOT soup. The slightly spicy southwest flavors combined with the comfort of potato and the recipe was definitely a hit. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did.
Southwest Potato Casserole
- 2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes- thinly sliced
- 1 lb Russet Potatoes- thinly sliced
- Olive Oil
- Butter (a bit less than 1/4 cup)
- 1 Leek- diced (can use regular onion)
- 3 Red Bell Peppers- Roasted, Seeded and Diced
- 3-4 Hatch Peppers- Roasted, Seeded and Diced- (or one can of diced chilies)
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1/4 cup Sorghum Flour
- 1-2 Cups Broth (veg or chicken)
- 1-2 cup Shredded Cheese- I like a mix of cheddar and pepper Jack but whatever you have on hand works.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet and slightly brown the sliced potatoes. Then transfer to a 9x13 baking dish.
- Cook the diced leek in butter until soft and translucent. Then sprinkle in the Garlic, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper.
- Toss in the diced peppers and chilies and let that mix cook for just a minute.
- Sprinkle in the Sorghum flour. Stir until you can no longer see the white of the flour. Let it cook for just a minute so that the flour taste cooks out.
- Gradually pour in the broth. Add a little bit and then use a whisk to stir it into the flour mix. Add more and stir- keep whisking, cooking, and adding broth until the sauce is the desired consistency (yes even soup-like).
- Whisk in about half a cup of shredded cheese.
- When the sauce is at the right consistency pour it over the potatoes and gently stir to mix.
- Cover with foil and Bake at 450 for about 20 mins (longer if you did not brown the potatoes). When the potatoes are soft cover the casserole with cheese. Turn off the oven and put the potatoes back in with the door closed until the cheese is evenly ooey gooey. This is my favorite way to melt the cheese on a casserole.
- Let it sit to cool slightly before serving..
- This is great as a side dish for beef, chicken, or pork. Adding cooked Diced Chicken, Sausage, or Bacon to the sauce could turn it into a full meal.
Copyright 2007 - 2012 Tanya Jolly & Sally Stevens