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Kickin’ Back Saturday Morning with The Food Channel

May 16, 2015

It’s a quiet Saturday morning…   sippin’ on some fresh brewed Kona coffee… (got it last time we were in Hawaii)…  watchin’ The Food Network.  Then Trisha Yearwood comes on…  She and her sister are reminiscing about the good ol’ days growing up in Georgia…   It was kinda sweet…    I’ve been to Georgia, but that doesn’t matter…  It was this simple “grandma” casserole dish that caught my eye…     They peeled and sliced red potatoes, boiled ’em, stuck ’em in the bottom of a casserole dish…   then sautéed some onions in butter and evoo and added a pound of ground beef…  so far so simple…   cook it, set it aside…    then they made a simple rue…   4 TBSP butter, melted with 4 TBSP flour…  cook it on medium to get the pasty flavor of the flour out…   about 3-4 minutes..  If you like, take it a bit further to bring an amber color to the rue…  Nutty/tasty !!  Add 2 cups cream (1/2 n 1/2) salt pepper…  now you’ve got a bechamel sauce…    good start to any sauce/gravy…   (if you have bacon grease, old school says to use it instead of butter…  not so healthy, but OOhhhh so good)   Then they added cheddar cheese to the sauce.  It melts quick…  add to the meat, stir…   plop on top of the potatoes and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes…   sprinkle some bread crumbs on top and broil for 2 minutes… (keep an eye and nose on the broil…  don’t want to burn the bread, just crisp it up)…  That’s it…

So, I was inspired…  This is a real “Apply Heat and Eat” moment…  I didn’t go to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients.  I went to my freezer…   I found a handful of sweet potato tater-tots, and a package of hash browns…  no ground beef, but a pound-plus of ground chicken…  We had an onion in the pantry, along with other stuff I could use, so I went at it…  comfort food for our friends at the Saddle Room

20150510_110708Butter and evoo (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) in a pre-heated skillet…  Add potatoes to brown…   Let ’em do their thing…  don’t mess with them too much…  remove from the skillet to a casserole dish (like at your right)…



Now add more fat (butter or bacon fat or oil) to the skillet…   then rough chopped onion…  3-4 minutes to get them to be soft…  (add some salt to get them to offer up their juices)…  drop in the ground meat… (what ever you have)…20150510_110850




SIDE NOTE:  My wife got me this great tool for Christmas…  Just for ground meat…  I highly reccomend it…)

OK, so now you’ve got the potatoes in the dish, the onion and ground meat going in the skillet, and you’re chop chop chopping the meat down into really small bits…

In this case, I decided to also finely chop a hunk of ham that we had in the fridge and throw that in with the mix, as well as a few pickled Jalapeno’s, chopped finely…


Just let ’em all get to know each other…  The medium heat will help make them complete.



OOOOooohhh…  Now it’s time for the Bechamel Sauce…   Start with 4 tablespoons of butter…, get it melted, then add 1/4 cup flour…  it looks like this…









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