Monday, April 5, 2010

Potato Casserole ala Maurisa

One of our traditional Easter dinner dishes is a wonderfully delicious and rich potato casserole. Usually I make it with potatoes, sour cream, sharp cheddar, bacon and a little minced red onion. I decided to get creative yesterday and what I came up with put potato casserole completely over the top.

Potato Casserole

5 lb red potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz diced pancetta(italian bacon, regular bacon may be substituted)
8 oz softened cream cheese
8 oz smoked mozzarella, shredded
3 shallots, finely minced

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat to a gentle boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes, drain and return to pot. Add softened butter and heavy cream. Mash the potatoes until desired consistency (we like a few little chunks of potato here and there). Add salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside to await rest of ingredients.

In a medium skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and reduce heat to medium high. Add minced shallots and saute until tender and just caramelized, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

Add cream cheese, 2/3 of crisp bacon, 2/3 shredded mozzarella, and 2/3 of sauteed shallots to the potato mixture and stir to combine. Pour potato mixture in a casserole dish. Top with remaining bacon, cheese, and shallots. Bake in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly and cheese has melted (about 20-30 minutes)

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