Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by – the humble potato.  Humble in its simplicity, but so easily transformed into a dish of venturous complexity.

I’ve been trying to come up with a potato dish for Sunday.  My original thought was just to oven-roast some baby reds with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.  Quick, easy, and safe.  But in looking for something else, I came across a recipe my father’s cousin, Carol, sent me years ago for Potatoes Hashed in Cream.  It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it became a starting off point tonight.

I think Carol’s recipe came from a hotel in Omaha and it is definitely a nice dish, but I was looking for something with just a bit more “oomph” for Easter Dinner.  And it came together with just a couple of things in the ‘fridge!  I started out  making a simple white sauce and was looking to add some cheese, when I saw the leftover ranch dressing from a couple of nights ago.  A recipe was immediately born!

Rancho Potato

  • 2 potatoes, baked or boiled whole
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 or more) cup ranch dressing
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp butter

Bake or boil potatoes until just barely done.  Coarsely mash, leaving big chunks.

Make a white sauce by melting the butter with the flour and adding about a cup of milk.  Stir until smooth.

Add ranch dressing and heat through. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if desired.

Mix with potatoes and spoon into a buttered casserole dish.  Top with breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter.

Bake at 350° 20-30 minutes or until hot, bubly, and the breadcrumbs are browned.

Here’s Carol’s original recipe:

Potatoes Hashed in Cream

Bake at 350° until tender but firm 4 medium potatoes.

Cool, peel, and chop. Set aside.

Melt 2 tbsp butter. Stir in 1 tbsp flour. Stir until foamy.

Add slowly, 1 cup heavy cream. Cook and stir until cream mixture bubbles.

Add potatoes, mix well, spoon into baking dish.

Dot with 2 tbsp butter, salt and pepper.

Bake at 350° about 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

The rest of the dinner was a pork loin rolled in herbs d’Provence and grilled.  Baby broccoli…  Really simple.  And good.

So…  another recipe figured out for Easter.

Can’t wait!