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Dear readership, your humble hostess hereby announces her forthcoming book, The Irish Hungarian Guide to the Domestic Arts, (Red Giant, December 2011). Your humble hostess could think of no better way to celebrate this blessed event than by posting a recipe, so here: enjoy a steaming bowl of creamed potatoes.
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Get four goddamn potatoes.
Regular size, maybe a little bigger than regular. No, I have no idea how big regular is, maybe about the size of your fist. Use red potatoes for chrissake. That's your best potato. Yes, I know the price has gone through the roof. No, I don't want to hear about it.
This is where the beauty blooms: For one thousand years, I was making a version of this recipe with about seventeen pounds of potatoes in my huge industrial-size pan. I was grating cheese. I was slicing those spuds with surgical precision. I was layering and measuring. I was dotting with butter and sprinkling with flour.
I'd fool around making all those spuds For. Eh. Ver. in order to have a mountain of leftovers we'd be eating For. Eh. Ver.
You're not doing any of that. You're going to put those potatoes in a casserole, which will probably not be nearly as cool as the enameled cast iron Descoware "Autumn Leaves" one-and-a-half-quart casserole that belonged to my Gram Soos and that you're beholding in these here pictures.
You know what? You use an old-school Anchor-Hocking covered dish glass casserole that was made in Lancaster, Ohio, and not only I will respect the hell out of that, I'll confess that I've been known to make those god-awful boxed scalloped potatoes in my own one-and-a-half-quart Anchor-Hocking casserole that I've had since time began. Yes, I would make my four-potato creamed potatoes in the Anchor-Hocking. No, I wouldn't make god-awful boxed scalloped potatoes in my Descoware.
Are you people following me?
You can add the following ingredients in any order. No one cares.
Salt,* about two tablespoons Parmesan (dry, straight from the green plastic shaker), about two-and-a-half tablespoons flour, two tablespoons butter, and a few shakes of dry parsley.
Yes, that is Penzey's parsley in a shaker that originally housed shitty discount grocery parsley. This, people, is called re-purposing and it makes me modern. It makes me enlightened. It makes me youthful. Kiss my ass.
*Yes, per the photo I use Lawry's seasoned salt. The sad fact is I use it all the time. Lawry's is my go-to seasoning. I use it in soups and stews. I sprinkle it on a chicken before roasting. I throw a few shakes into my marinades. There. Now you know.
I have no idea how much Lawry's I use in four-potato creamed potatoes. What? Maybe a half teaspoon to start? You want exact science, call Bill Nye.
Stir everything up and add some milk, enough so it starts to pool up. I don't know how much, which is why you get this picture.
Give it a stir and put it into the oven, 350 degrees, uncovered.
Check those spuds every 15 minutes. Give them a stir each time. You might need another shake of salt. Start checking for doneness* at at about the 40 or 45 minute mark.
You might need to add a bit more milk if it gets too thick. GO EASY. You can always add more milk but you can't take it out of there (not that I know from personal experience or anything like that about putting too much milk in and trying to correct the situation by using a shallow spoon to scoop some out from between the spud cubes to no avail and negating the "creamed" assertion all together but serving them anyway).
These glorious creamed potatoes will rock your face off. They are superfine on their own or next to a grilled steak or pork chop or barbecued chicken.
If a serving of spuds survives the meal, you can be sure your Goat will spy them in the fridge the next day and offer to "Eat down the leftovers," like he's doing you some sort of selfless favor when in fact he's thrilling over the prospect of those day-old spuds.
Okay, so maybe for him, you start with five potatoes.
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