Cheese Potato & Smoked Sausage Casserole

 


For today’s Did You Know we will look at Potato Fun Facts:

Potatoes are 80% water.

In 1995, potato plants were taken into space with the space shuttle Columbia. This marked the first time any food was ever grown in space.

The world’s largest potato weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records. That’s enough for 73 portions of medium fries at McDonalds.

The “French fry” was allegedly served in the U.S. for the first time by Thomas Jefferson at a presidential dinner.

The potato originated in the region of southern Peru where it was first domesticated between 3000 BC and 2000 BC.

Potato was first introduced in Europe by Spain in 1536, and the Spanish claim that that Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada was the first to introduce the potato to Europe. Potatoes were not accepted at once in Europe because clerics said they were not mentioned in the bible, while others believed potatoes can cause some diseases.

Potato still remains an essential crop in Europe, where per capita production is still the highest in the world.

The world’s largest potato producing country is China.

Potatoes are among most environmentally friendly vegetables. They’re easy to grow, and don’t require massive amounts of fertilizer and chemical additives to thrive like many other vegetables do.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups Idaho potatoes peeled, boiled and cut into cubes when cool, approx. 1 lb

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour ... 

2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 pound Velveeta cheese diced

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded

1 lb skinless smoked sausage

1/8 teaspoon paprika

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut skinless smoked sausage in half, lengthwise, and then chop into 1/2 inch "half moon" cuts. Cook in a cast iron frying pan for about 15 minutes, turning frequently to SLIGHTLY brown.

Mix all remaining ingredients (except for shredded cheddar cheese & the paprika) in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, melted and smooth. (Use a whisk and stir constantly.).

Pour white/cheese sauce over potatoes and meat. Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top, and then sprinkle paprika evenly over the top.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 35-45 minutes (watch, until golden brown on top).

Meanwhile, put cooked & diced potatoes in 2 quart casserole. Add cooked meat and give it a gentle toss.

Enjoy

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