12 December 2009

A Recipe for Loaded Potato Bake from Anna Olson

Loaded Potato Bake

It seems that sides are the order of the day. The holidays bring countless dinner parties and entertaining. Somehow, although we love to spoil our friends and family, it is often nice to simplify the menu so that you can enjoy the company. Now that you have your holiday meal planned and have decided upon a nice tender ham, turkey or leg of lamb now there are important decisions to be made about the menu. You can never go wrong with potatoes. This recipe comes from Anna Olson one of our prominent Canadian Chefs. She served it with Overnight Baked Ham with Riesling Mustard Glaze and Grilled Apple and Fennel Salad .

Yesterday I went and cut down a tree at one of our local tree farms. I have had trouble in the past with having to sweep my tree out of the house after the holidays and seriously considered going to a non-tree. I decided to give it one last try and found a Noble Fir. With a beautiful, almost spruce like appearance, Noble Fir has soft blue-green needles with evenly spaced strong branches perfect for heavy ornaments. It will keep really well I am told and has the ability to stay fresh for a long period of time. The fellow assured me it would keep it's needles and my broom could stay in the closet. I was lucky enough to have it at the same cost as any other fir...usually the noble firs are double the price. It even has an almost herby fragrance that is quite an addition to all the other wonderful fragrances of the season.

Each tree over the years has been different and unique. Although I admire all of the beautiful monocromatic trees our own tree can only be described as eclectic. My cherished ornaments that I have been collecting since 1976 are soon to be taken out of storage, each one holding a special memory in my heart and a glimpse back into family history. We even have a revered place on the tree for all the ornaments L'il Burnt Toast made all through elementary school when all the families gathered on their Family Night. When she was a "wee tyke" we used to thread popcorn and cranberries on strings and make cookie ornaments to hang on our tree and then add the garlands to the pines outside for the birds in the New Year. I remember trudging through the woods in Alberta in search of a "Charlie Brown" tree for $2.00 on land that had been clearcut and standing it in a bucket....sigh. I can still remember her jumping into a snow bank to see a glimpse of Santa when she heard his sleigh bell outside the door at nursery school..sigh....

As with each of us each Christmas past has been a wonderful memory in the making and we look forward to many more to come.

(A Li'l Burnt Toast update, she will be heading back to university on the coast come January. It is always hardest on mom...sigh again...)

**Loaded Potato Bake**

6 slices bacon, diced
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup sour cream (not low-fat)
salt and pepper
3 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup sliced green onions
2 cups grated medium cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, cook bacon until crisp and remove to drain. Brush an 11-x-7-inch casserole dish with some of the bacon drippings. Over medium-high heat, sauté onion in the remaining bacon drippings until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add milk and bring up to a simmer. Remove from heat and season lightly.

To assemble, spoon a little of the milk mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish and arrange a single layer of sliced potatoes over. Spoon a layer of milk mixture over potatoes and sprinkle with a bit of reserved bacon, green onion and Cheddar cheese. Dollop small amounts of sour cream on top.

Top with another layer of potatoes and continue layering with milk mixture, bacon, green onions, Cheddar cheese, sour cream and potatoes, finishing with a final sprinkling of Cheddar cheese and a few dollops of sour cream. Place a piece of parchment paper, cut to the size of the dish, over top layer and cover dish with foil (or a lid). Bake, covered, for 45 minutes, then remove foil (or lid) and parchment and cook another 20 to 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of the dish yields easily. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Dear Vall I love Anna Olson recipes, always I see when I can at Food Channel she have wonderful recipes and so nice.
    This look absolutely delicious, gloria

  2. I am not familiar with Anna Olson. Prior to the past 6 months, I hadn't had a television in my house for 15 or more years so I'm really out of the loop. Now that I am 'retired' I am focusing on more cooking! This looks amazing. Would be great to serve with kids.

  3. What a lovely way to cook potato, love the melting cheese on it.

  4. I'm not familiar with Ana Olson either but I can tell I would def indulge in that potato bake!...There certainly were a lot of sighs in this post!

  5. I have not heard of Ana Olson, but I will have to check her out.

    Stopping by from SITS!

  6. This potato dish looks absolutely delicious! I like Anna Olsen and sometimes have the chance to watch her show on the Food Network.

  7. Val I love potatoes as much as you do. Will try this dish. That must be so nice in the house with the tree up. Can't wait to do mine with the kids. Enjoy the Holidays with your daughter.

  8. I love Anna! I even got to meet her once, with her husband, and they were very lovely people!

  9. It looks awesome!! I love loaded potato, cheesy and yummy!

  10. We got a variety of tree that is fairly new to the U.S. It is some sort of Nordic tree I think. It's similar to a Noble. We really love it. Pulling out ornaments is so much fun. We've managed to put together quite a collection over the years as well.

    Your potato recipe looks so yummy! I've been trying to think of something fun to do with potatoes besides mashing them. Thanks!

  11. I have the same "problem"......a house filled with people and short of ideas on what to cook!!! This is wonderfully tasty and easy...thx Val!!!

  12. Oh my! That looks over-the-top amazing!

    My word verification is:
    Sounds like Christmas, only squishier!

  13. loaded is definitely the proper adjective for this dish! as a serious potato-lover, the very idea of this makes my knees weak. :)

  14. This potato bake looks SO delicious. Creamy and more importantly, bacony. :)

  15. Your loaded baked potatoes sounded wonderful and comforting. I loved hearing about your tree and the special ornaments that come out each year.

    I noticed that you recommended we not use low-fat sour cream. I don't like the non-fat version, but we frequently use the low- fat one. Maybe I missed something in the post. Would it separate in this recipe? It has in a baked fish dish I've done and I wondered if you've had the same experience.

  16. I am not a Christmas person and Heather gives me crap all the time for this. I think it stems from growing up I was responsible for cleaning up after the bloody tree was taken down and it was always a sweeper nightmare.

    I would say I would give this tree a shot but then I would be lying ;-)

    Oh yeah the baked potato bake you read my mind because I have potatoes that need some love. This sounds awesome!

  17. As a kid I always envied the people who had the neatly-hung, symmetrical trees with each geometrically placed ornament hanging at regular intervals abovethe gold garland. My own tree at home was a garland-free mishmash of all sorts of onrments. We had tschotchkes of all kinds, some that were really not even Christmasy, but had meaning for hte family.

    I love that tree now. I look forward to seeing Mom's fully-decorated tree on Christmas Eve.

    My own tree doesn't have much nostalgia in it, but I do have ornaments I bought for myself because I loved them in the store and they are not hung with mathmatecial precision.

  18. Oh my goodness, I just about jumped out of my seat when I saw that photo---love potato dishes (definitely a carbohydrate kind of girl). Made a similar dish recently, although that recipe called for Parm Regg instead of cheddar. To be honest, I think I'd prefer the cheddar :)

  19. This is exactly the kind of loaded I like to be!! Yum.

  20. I think the little, humble Charlie Brown Christmas trees are the best ones. We had one the first year we were married, and it remains my favorite. I'm loving this recipe, Val.

  21. Such nice memories ya big softy :). I know how tough it is to see them go away to University - get a good phone plan.
    Those potatoes are definitely loaded.

  22. Oh my! Loaded is right. And soooo delicious! Yukon Golds rule.

  23. I agree, Val, you can't go wrong with potatoes or a simple but delicious menu that allows you to enjoy the company.

    I love these potatoes, the best of comfort food.

  24. This sounds delicious and comforting...and since I am gearing up to go tree hunting...this would be a perfect warm-up for afterwards!

  25. simple and flavorful one... loving this recipe :)

  26. How awesomely delicious.

    Wishing you and yours a Joyous Christmas and a Prosperous, Healthy 2010.

  27. Wow, what's not to love about this dish Val. It looks absolutely delicious.

  28. The mistress of the spud is here with an ooey-gooey potato dish.

  29. This potato dish isn't just for a Christmas dish, but for any day of the week. Some people here are thinking Christmas? NOT! It's a great dish, and very similar to the one I make with a combination of sour cream and heavy cream with the milk, then I add some extra sharp white cheddar cheese with my extra sharp yellow cheese where you get a lot of gooey melted cheese in the eating. And I sprinkle fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top once it comes out of the oven so that it can melt a little. Soooo deliciously good!


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