sometimes called party perfect potatoes. a mormon household staple. a relief society president's best friend.
what you need:
frozen hash browns. i use the walmart brand ( i know, major shock) and i think it's a little over a pound. lets face it, it's so much easier to use the frozen kind, rather than making your own. but if you must, 6-7 boiled potatoes will do the trick. just skin 'em and shred them.
butter. a stick will do. more if you like it greasy. less if you're on a diet. it's not a deal breaker, use what you are comfy with. i like to use real butter, but you can use margarine. in fact the actual recipe card i have calls for margarine. but with the all the butter/margarine hoopla, i just started using real butter, and i really can't go back.
cheese. usually chedder, but whatever floats your boat. i buy the big bags from sam's club. i don't use the whole thing. a couple of cups do the trick. some for the inside and some for the topping later.
can o' cream o' chicken. i know. i know. but really, it is the easiest way. and i'm all about easy. one can does the trick.
a cup of sour cream. (my one kid calls it whip cream, so that is what we call it here. but really, it's not) you can use plain yogurt if you wanna be healthy. although, you do know that these are not ever going to be healthy. i find the yogurt makes them a little tangy, and really soupy. so if you do use yogurt, use about 3/4 cup, instead of a full cup.
there is some optional stuff, like corn flakes for the top, or minced onion, or diced ham. really, you can do a lot with this.
so what you do:
i take the still frozen hash browns and dump them in a 9"x13" pan. and then i add a hand full or two, depending on how you like it, of cheese and mix around. nice and even. this is where you can add some diced ham, if you are feeling up to it. or the minced onion. or whatever you have lying around.
over on the stove, i combine the butter, the soup, and the sour cream. i like to melt the butter and mix all the creamy stuff up. i also try not to burn it, so i keep the temperature pretty low. i just cook it until it is melted and mixed together.
pour the soupy stuff over the frozen taters and mix. i usually top it with some cheese. if you want to use the corn flakes, now would be the time.
i cover mine with foil for the first 20 or so minutes at 350, just so i know it's heated through. and then uncover it and let it go for another 15-20 minutes, depending on how it's looking, at 400. they should be nice and bubbly and tan and ready for consumption.
funny enough, i had the hardest time trying to figure out if potato had an "e" in it. i didn't want everyone to think i was the next dan quayle for spelling a silly word wrong. so yes, it does have an "e" but only if you are using a lot of potatoes. otherwise keep your "e" to yourself.