funeral potatoes.

In honor of the Opening Ceremonies, some friends of mine are hosting a viewing party (if there’s anything that makes me feel like I’m closing in on thirty, it’s viewing parties). I was stewing over what might be the most American thing I could bring– something slightly more American than wearing a beret.

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Fortunately, my hostess resolved my dilemma, and no one will have to suffer the ardent nationalism of my chocolate chip cookies. She asked me to bring Mormon Funeral Potatoes. They are the culinary vestige of my time with the Saints, and in my opinion, a perfect representation of modern American household cuisine. I had these at a number of Mormon Sunday dinners before I actually ate them at a funeral. They are fast and easy to make- I often mix them the night before so everything can meld together in the fridge overnight. Smothered in all kinds of dairy fats, they are cheesy and cozy. I’ve added caramelized leeks and onions to class it up a notch.

Melanie’s Funeral Potatoes

1 stick of butter
1 gigantic leek, finely sliced
1 sweet onion, finely sliced

Saute’ until caramelized. Cool.

In a large bowl, mix together:
1 pint sour cream
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom, or whatever, if you’re serving vegetarians)
2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
caramelized leeks and onions

add in at least
1 large bag (at least 30 oz) thawed frozen hashbrowns

Spread mixture evenly in a 9×13 pan. Top with as much cheese as you want because it’s your party, and throw some panko on there if you want to go totally bananas.

Bake at 350 degrees for ~1 hour. You can add more potatoes if you want a less overwhelmingly creamy and fatty dish of yum-yum or, if, god help you, you have to feed more people.

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