I first made this about 5 yrs ago and it was instantly a favorite; I have made it countless times since. I find it very flexible; I have used several different types of potatoes (red, Russet, Yukon Gold, etc.), and ditto on the onion (red, white, yellow or green) and it has turned out great every time. The red potatoes look prettier, but I go with what I've got! I also cut down on the butter - using no more than 1/2 cup total.
This most recent time I decided to make it healthier and swap out 8oz of sour cream for 8oz of plain yogurt (i.e. 1 cup each) and it was hardly noticeable and still delicious. I only had 4lbs of potatoes (it's so creamy I can't imagine cutting back on the quantity of potatoes like some reviewers say, though I could see adding more ham) and decided to add some BROCCOLI in lieu of more potatoes... perfect! Made it truly a one-dish meal. I had about 1.5 lbs of broccoli (before cutting of the stem ends), which I cut into bite-sized pieces and steamed for about 10 mins. To save energy/water/nutrients/dishes (though not time), I then added more water to the pot I had steamed the broccoli in and put the potatoes in the same pot. You can drain the potatoes with your pot lid and add soup, etc. right to the same pot, too.
For my family of 3, I can divide this into smaller dishes (two 8x8 dishes, or an 8x8 and a 7x9) and put 1 in the oven and 1 in the freezer. Thaw, add bread crumbs/butter drizzle, and bake for 35-40 mins since it starts out cold. Easy!
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I first made this about 5 yrs ago and it was instantly a favorite; I have made it countless...