Have you ever heard of funeral potatoes? I hadn’t until I met some friends from Utah that belonged to the Latter Day Saints. I learned that funeral potatoes are a traditional casserole dish served at their funeral lunches. This isn’t to say that other denominations don’t serve them, I’m sure they do.
This is how it usually happens. Someone calls you and reports that there’s been a death in the ward and could you make scalloped potatoes, otherwise called funeral potatoes, a sheet cake or a salad. Folks like to gather to visit, eat and talk after a funeral and the food is usually delicious because it is home-made.
Funeral potatoes get their name from commonly being served as a side dish during traditional after funeral dinners. Funeral potatoes are also served at social gatherings and potlucks.
The dish usually consists of hash browns or cubed potatoes, cheese (cheddar or parmesan), onions, cream soup (chicken, mushroom, or celery) or a cream sauce, sour cream, and is topped with butter and corn flakes or crushed potato chips. Other variations include cubed baked ham, frozen peas, or broccoli florets.
Recipe for Scalloped Potatoes (Funeral Potatoes)
- Russet Potatoes
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Fresh Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese
- Couple Cloves of Garlic
Pour enough whipping cream into a pot to cover all the potatoes you intend to cook. Use 2 or 3 garlic cloves in the cream and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove cream from the heat and remove the garlic cloves. Peel and slice the potatoes with a mandolin or knife to get a uniform thin cut. Place a layer of potatoes in the casserole dish, brush with cream, and sprinkle with salt, thyme, and cheese then repeat with each layer until done. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Remove foil and brown the top for 5 minutes.