12/09/2014 05:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Cheesy Potatoes, a Michigan Classic

Over Thanksgiving, The New York Times ran a map of the most googled recipes from every state. It provided hours of fun on Facebook and Google (Frog Eye Salad, anyone?) and led my dear former blog coordinator, Dana Blinder, who left me to move back to Michigan to be closer to her family, to share her grandmother's recipe for Cheesy Potatoes with me.

Dear Reader, I now share it with you. But first, let me be blunt: It's one of those recipes with a list of ingredients that's a bit frightening to someone like me who doesn't use canned soup in anything--ever. Fortunately, there are great organic versions to substitute, and while it sounds rich and fatty (and it is), it's also really yummy. Honestly, you shouldn't eat it every day, but we will make it again for sure! So thanks, Dana! And thanks to Dana's grandmother, Janina Plaskon, who Dana says, "was so serious about homemade food she didn't even own a microwave."

When I made this, I cut everything in half because it was for just three of us--and there were still enough leftovers for breakfast. It turned out really great, for sure. But I'll share the original recipe and quantities here, since it seems more likely that you would feed a large group with this one. I also think there is plenty of room for substitutions--more or less of anything, if you want.

Dana's Grandmother's Cheesy Potatoes (Potatoes de Lux!)

  • 2 pounds frozen hash browns
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (Pacific makes a great organic version in a box)
  • 1 pound sour cream (2 cups)
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips or corn flakes (I went with potato chips!)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (no need for much extra salt!)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the onion in butter until the onion is "limp," or translucent.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together and place in a 9 x 13" baking dish (when I made the half recipe, I just prepared the whole thing in my 12-inch cast-iron pan--cooked the onions, mixed all the stuff in, and threw it in the oven).
  4. Sprinkle crushed corn flakes or potato chips on top.
  5. Bake in the oven for an hour.
The original recipe card says this serves 13 to 15 people. But that depends on what else you are serving! As I said, half the recipe served three plus some leftovers--but it was our main dish for dinner!

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