Potato and Cheese Casserole

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  6 servings
Prep Time:  30 minutes Cook Time:  45 minutes

Potato and Cheese Casserole

Savory and satisfying, these tart and creamy potatoes are an easy accompaniment to many dishes ranging from spanakopita to grilled steak.

Ingredients

1 cup 1-percent milk

½ cup low-fat cream cheese

1 garlic clove, peeled and grated or finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)

¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 ounces Kasseri or Muenster cheese, cut into small dice (see Kitchen Tips)

¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, drained and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried thyme, pulverized between your fingers

½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

3 to 4 large russet potatoes (1½ pounds)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a medium-sized casserole dish with a mist of nonstick olive oil spray.
  2. In a large, deep saucepan, combine the milk, cream cheese, garlic, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, the Kasseri or Muenster, olives, oregano, thyme, and black pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until the cheese melts, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, wash and peel the potatoes. Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes into ⅛-inch thick rounds. Set aside until the cheese melts. (Do not put the potatoes in water, as their starch will bind the casserole).
  4. Fold the potatoes into the saucepan along with the cheese; then transfer the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with remaining 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are soft and have no resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 45 to 50 minutes.

Kitchen Tips

  1. Kasseri cheese, a Greek favorite, can often be found at Whole Foods or at a good cheesemonger, but if you can’t find it, you can substitute the same amount of Muenster, Gouda, or Havarti (or another good melting cheese) plus an additional two tablespoons of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano.
  2. This dish also pairs well with our Mushroom Schnitzel.

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