Friday, February 15, 2013

My cheesy potato soup a bonus

So last night we had Cheese potato soup for dinner. This is a favorite in our house, and is one of the few dinners that everyone will eat. I actually remembered to get the camera out so I could share the recipe, and Bonus, I also made my gravy for Sunday's dinner and am sharing that as well ;)

What you will need:
 5lbs russet potatoes
1 medium onion-diced
3 stalks of celery- Sliced (or I have used celery seed in a pinch, about 2 tsps)
1 pack of thick cut bacon- cut into pieces OR regular bacon, cooked then crumbled
2 to 3 jars of cheese dip/spread (this is dependent on brand. Pictured is the aldi brand which needs 3, wally world brand needs 2, cheese whiz 2, but kroger 3)
salt and pepper

OK, so first things first

1. Peel and cut about 5 lbs of potatoes into just shy of 1" pieces. Rinse well and cover with water. season with salt and Boil over med heat until fork tender. *I should note that normally I would dice my onion and put them in with the potatoes to cook, but since I knew I was making pan gravy as well, I reserved them to cook with the bacon.
Add celery and pepper

2. In a skillet, cook your bacon. (Typically I use regular bacon, and fry it in the oven, but..pan gravy ;))
Halfway through the cooking process, add your onion. finish cooking until bacon is crisp and onion is cooked through. Remove from pan to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside pan with drippings for Pan gravy.

3. When potatoes are fork tender, Drain just enough water off so that the potatoes are just covered, return to a low-med heat.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/4 c of corn starch with 1 1/2 c of milk. Stir into potatoes and cook until thickened.

5. Once thickened to desired consistency, remove from heat and stir in bacon and cheese sauce. Stir until cheese is completely melted. serve warm.

Now the pan gravy.

I have planned a roast for our Sunday dinner, and decided to make the gravy ahead since I had the bacon drippings from the soup recipe. The wonderful thing about pan gravy is that it freezes very well, so even if you haven't a need for it within a couple of days, you can make it, pour it into a freezer bag, and voila, homemade gravy without the fuss and time next time you need a quick fix :)

Pan gravy is actually very simple. What you will need:
Meat drippings/fat
Milk/evaporated milk
Water or broth

In a skillet, heat the drippings until a dusting of flour sizzles when sprinkled over. Add enough flour to form a paste, I like to work with a looser paste, It makes for easier blending, but most cooks will tell you enough flour to resemble a crumble.

Add generous amounts of salt and pepper, add milk, stirring constantly. When you begin to see a paste forming, pour in your water/broth slowly, making sure to incorporate you paste completely. cook until just a bit thinner than you would like, as the gravy will continue to thicken on it's own. Serve, or freeze for later use.

Trouble Shooting tips:

1.My gravy is too thick/stiff.
   A. No problem, just add water or milk to loosen the gravy, just be sure to mix it in well.

2. My gravy it too watery.
    A. Heat to boil, cook until the gravy reduces to desired thickness...just be aware that it will thicken upon standing.

1 comment:

Elita en Suisse said...

Great recipe for the cheesy potato soup but even better tip re: the pan gravy! There's usually not much left when I make biscuits & sausage gravy on Sat morns but sometimes there is and I didn't know it would freeze well. Now I can have a mid-week snack with a small batch of biscuits. Yippee!