I read that potato casserole is a traditional Thanksgiving side dish, but Thanksgiving is not a must to enjoy this ultra cheese-y potato and bacon casserole. It makes a lovely breakfast!
Because, you know, we don’t do Thanksgiving in the Philippines. I’m not even a fan of turkey but I am just discovering that it’s the side dishes that go with the Thanksgiving turkey that are really interesting. Some are old-fashioned, some take too much work but others are worth making any time of the year in any part of the world. Seriously.
What is this ultra cheese-y potato and bacon casserole about? If the name I have given the dish still doesn’t present you with a clear idea, let me elaborate. Potato wedges fried in rendered bacon fat, garnished with crispy bacon, cream cheese and Pepper Jack, topped with panko and Parmesan, and baked. Before serving, the casserole is sprinkled with more crispy bacon, slathered with sour cream and, lastly, some chopped parsley are added for a brighter flavor and appearance.
On the dining table, you use an oversized spoon to scoop out a portion. The cream cheese and Pepper Jack, still hot, get all stringy as you lift the spoon and move your portion from the baking dish to your plate.
And, on your plate, you take a mouthful and there are so many textures and flavors playing with your taste buds. Creamy potatoes. Gooey cheese. Salty bacon. Crispy panko that smells and tastes of Parmesan. Tangy sour cream that cuts down the fatty sensation in the mouth. And there’s the occasional bit of parsley, the herb that best brightens the flavors of savory dishes. And they all come together so beautifully.
Can you imagine starting your day with ultra cheese-y potato and bacon casserole?
- 150 grams belly bacon (sweet bacon is NOT recommended), cut into strips ½-inch wide
- 500 grams potatoes (the kind you cook into French fries is best), peeled and cut into wedges
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ½ cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Spray an 8"x8" baking dish with oil.
- Spread the bacon in a frying pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. Scoop out the cooked bacon.
- Reheat the bacon fat. Spread the potato wedges in the hot fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fry the potato wedges in the bacon fat for a few minutes without disturbing then stir. Continue frying, tossing occasionally, until the edges are lightly browned and the centers are cooked through.
- Scoop out the potatoes and spread on the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle half of the bacon over the potatoes.
- Stir together the softened cream cheese and shredded Pepper Jack. Drop by spoonfuls over the potatoes and bacon.
- Whisk together the panko and Parmesan and scatter over the potatoes.
- Bake the potatoes, bacon and cheese for 12 to 15 minutes or just until the cheeses melt and the top is nicely browned.
- Scatter the remaining bacon and drop spoonfuls of sour cream over the hot casserole and sprinkle in chopped parsley before serving.