03 February 2010

Creamy Broccoli and Potatoes

I bought a crock pot a while back and so far I have only used it to make soups and chili. I really want to use it more. The vast majority of crock pot recipes use meat, which makes sense I guess. I read something somewhere a while back about making cheesy potatoes in a crockpot. I looked up a bunch of recipes and they are all pretty similar. So, this is based off the whole internet, and some things I wanted to get out of my fridge/pantry.

This is pretty tasty but pretty heavy, because it's full of carbs and dairy! It actually tasted better the second day, maybe the flavors needed some time to blend? I think next time I will use cheddar cheese soup instead of mushroom. I saw some recipes that called for cream of mushroom, others for cream of celery and others for cream of cheddar. I think the cheddar is what my taste buds really wanted! I was really worried about the sauce being too thick. Some recipes called for just cream cheese and undiluted soup. It seems like that would be really, really thick and I was worried about the potatoes drying out/not cooking, so I added a can of evaporated milk. I think any other dairy would be fine as well, depending on how much fat you want to add! The broccoli was a good idea because a) it adds some color/something other than the heaviness of the starch and b) adding the water actually would have made it too liquid-y without the broccoli, I think. As made, I thought the consistency of the sauce was perfect.

This makes a huge quantity! And I'd suggest eating it as a side dish instead of a main course, so it feeds many. You could reduce the amount of potatoes, but then you might have too much sauce.

4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick) (you can probably use oil, use less or eliminate all together)
8 oz Neufchâtel cheese (or cream cheese)
12 oz can evaporated milk
10 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup (or other creamy soup, see above!)
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp oregano
1-2 tsp Kosher salt (to taste!)
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
red chili flakes to taste (I used 1 Tbsp, which I think was too much, not because it was too spicy, but it was just too dominant of a flavor)
2 lbs potatoes, diced into 1/2"-1" pieces (I used red, yellow and blue potatoes because they are pretty!)
1/2 large onion, diced into 1/2"-1" pieces
1 large head of broccoli, chopped into 2" pieces, I keep the stems because I like them, but feel free to toss if you don't!

1. Lightly grease the inside of a crock pot with cooking spray or butter.
2. Turn the crock pot on high. Melt butter and cream cheese and stir to mix.

3. Add evaporated milk, soup, water and spices and stir thoroughly.

4. Mix in potatoes and onions.

5. Reduce heat to low and cook for 6 hours, adding broccoli only for the last 30 minutes.

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