Served plain or with a gourmet touch, potatoes will always have a special place on our table.

While trying to clear away some boxes of old handwritten recipes as well as recipes shared by readers of my column, I found a lot of "keepers." Among them are a couple of potato recipes that I think are worth sharing.

Sometimes I will tweak a recipe a little simply because I don’t have some of the ingredients and don’t want to go to the grocery store. Such is the case with the following recipe for Cheesy Potato Casserole. You might also want to consider using Cavender’s Greek seasoning instead of the salt and pepper in this casserole.

I also found a recipe given to me by my friend Peter Kump, owner of the cooking school where I worked in New York City. Peter’s parents lived in a castle in Austria, so it stands to reason that when an article was needed about Austrian cooking, Peter was asked to do it.

Peter asked if I would test all the recipes for the article he was writing for a major food magazine. One of my favorites was the following recipe for Austrian potatoes.

I think you will enjoy these potato favorites and will also classify them as keepers.

CHEESY POTATO CASSEROLE

  • 1 can (10 ¾ ounces) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces French onion dip (sour cream base)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag frozen hash browns, thawed
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3-4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 9x13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Mix together the soup, sour cream, dip, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and hash browns. Spoon into baking dish. Combine Panko crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle crumbs over top of casserole. Bake uncovered for about 45 to 50 minutes. Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.

AUSTRIAN POTATOES

  • 2 pounds boiling potatoes
  • 4 slices thickly sliced bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cups good beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons capers, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel (not white part)
  • ¼ teaspoon marjoram or oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, freshly ground (to taste)
  • 4 tablespoons cornichons, minced (can substitute minced dill pickles)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

Wash potatoes and then blanch them with jackets on for about 10 minutes. Cool until it’s comfortable to pick them up, then slice them lengthwise into ½-inch slices. Saute the bacon until lightly browned. Remove from pan, leaving bacon fat in pan. Add onions to pan and saute until lightly colored. Stir in diced bacon and beef stock. Stir until slightly thickened. To the sauce, add capers, lemon peel, marjoram or oregano, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and cornichons. Bring to a boil and add potatoes and vinegar. Cover and simmer on low for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaf and sprinkle with parsley just before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Contact Prudence Hilburn at prudencehilburn@aol.com.