Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gus update, the week in review and a Creamy Potato Casserole...

I think it is time for a Gus update! The little guy is doing well - he now weighs a hefty 6 pounds and is as active as ever. Whether it is running around with a sock he stole from the laundry basket or chasing after the big fluffy white thing (as he likes to call Max) to show his love, he is making sure we stay busy! He gets everything he wants too (well, almost!)... I think it is darn near impossible to say no to a look like this!

We finished out the week with 8 new recipes - our tops this time were that Tortilla and Black-Bean Pie, the Malted Milk Black and White Pound Cake and the Cheeseburger Pizza from Friday night.

Sharper, but not as sweet as Swiss cheese, Gruyère is one of those ingredients that you'll often find in our refrigerator if you peeked inside. We used a hunk of that cheese to star in tonight's Creamy Potato Casserole we had for dinner.

For this casserole, the first order of business is preparing a creamy sauce that the potatoes will bake in. Once a chopped onion had softened in a couple knobs of butter, we added a bit of flour and a few dollops of tangy Dijon mustard. So you don't end up with a sauce that tastes like flour, stir this combination in the pot for a minute or so to give that flavor a chance to cook out. This mixture will then begin to thicken the milk that is added next.

Cubes of cream cheese are dropped in to slowly dissolve, adding a wonderful body to this sauce. When the mixture smooths out, shreds of the Gruyère cheese are allowed to melt in, followed by a spoonful of chopped chives. The silky sauce is then tossed together with thin wedges of red potatoes and chunky pieces of chopped ham. Baked, covered, until the potatoes are tender, the dish is then given a light stir and topped with a bit more Gruyère along with crumbles of garlicky bagel chips. The dish is then baked again just long enough to give the cheese a chance to melt and allow the bagel chips to take on a little color.

When I took it out this time, I found it to be still quite saucy dish - I don't know if it should have been, but neither of us minded as it was delicious! With it being so saucy though, I had a problem keeping those crunchy bits of bagel chips on top of the actual serving. So, I just sprinkled a bit more crushed on top. The potatoes were fork tender, yet still held their shape well through plating and those chunky cubes of ham finished off the dish with a hearty one-dish feel. Jeff also commented that the tangy bite from the mustard helped to round out the flavor of the creamy sauce.



  1. Oh my gosh, that is AWESOME! This, I have to try! I have a Swiss friend who described placing baked potatoes and Appenzeller or Gruyere next to a roaring fire, then scraping off the melted cheese onto the potatoes - your version sounds much the same, but even better. And mustard is perfect to balance the cheeses out..

  2. Uh, forgot to leave a hug for the boy - who is totally adorable!

  3. Yum - this sounds great we love all the components in this separately and together they look divine. As for Gus - those EYES! Melt you in a heartbeat.

  4. Gus makes my daughter squee. She's 13, she doesn't do that much anymore :)

  5. I've never seen anything like those eyes...especially on a dog. Amazing...

  6. Oh my, how can you resist? Look at the eyes. He just want to be loved. Thanks for the update. And that potato casserole makes me hungry.

  7. Can I borrow Gus for just one quick cuddle? What a sweetie-pie...Oh - and the potatoes look scrumpy too...but that pup...sigh

  8. Yay potatoes! I like the idea of mustard in the mix.

    Gus is such a cutie. Will he get much bigger?

  9. Katrina - Gus thanks you for the hug!

    Lisa - Yes, he melted many hearts already!

    LB - hee hee!

    Bumblevee - We haven't either! It was a nice surprise.

    Helene - You can't... that's the problem!

    Gigi - Yes, he is a cutie pie!

    Quinn - Oh yes. He is 6 pounds now and is expected to get to 13.

  10. Wow, such beautiful eyes!!

  11. Darn that dog--so cute and gorgeous eyes!

  12. I've had this recipe on my to try list awhile now. Glad to see that it was tasty - the pics are making me hungry!

    Also, what a cool puppy! Absolutely beautiful and unique. =)


  13. Crystal - Thanks!

    Katrina - and so hard to try and discipline!

    RebelYell - Thank you! Gus is certainly a unique pup!