I’m always looking for simple recipes to teach my son and his girlfriend and dredged up these easy, cheesy bacon foil-baked potatoes. My Mom made these all through the 70’s for us kids, and I made them often enough for mine! It seems I’ve gotten away from them in recent years, but that first familiar bite! Oh, yeah!
My assigned task when I was young was to pour the hot broth over the brick of frozen hash browns and stab it with a knife to break them up! Thank goodness for our modern freezers of today that keep food so beautifully! And while I use frozen hashbrowns, when I’m feeling all “gourmet” I either dice up a few russets or chunk up some baby reds. The red potatoes are particularly gorgeous dressed up a bit in this recipe.
I found out by accident how my Mom came to make these packets of cheesy deliciousness. One of our favorite family recipes from the same era was Vera Hinman’s Noodle Dish. It never occurred to me to ask my Mom who Vera was, and I just can’t stand a mystery. It was only recently that I “found” her in a google search, in an article published in the Des Moines Register on June 28, 1970. Right above Vera’s dish was this potato dish, Flo Hopewell’s Foiled Potatoes. Mom must have cut both recipes out at the same time.
It seems these two ladies were great friends and great cooks and both families summered in houseboats moored near Muscatine, Iowa. What a life! I rather feel our family owes a thanks to both of them! How thrilled they must have been to be featured in the paper – and how funny that 45 years later, I’m blogging about their recipes. 🙂
These potatoes are so simple and really tasty! Mom slightly adapted the recipe and used beef broth instead of bacon drippings as the liquid. She also always used Cracker Barrel Cheddar and hashbrowns, which makes them taste like Au Gratin Potatoes. I’ve used Hashbrowns or russet or red potatoes cut into pieces and use whatever cheese I think will be great at the moment!
Over the years I’ve made them with bacon, with ham or with no meat. Once I used a little left over Bratwurst (there’s my Midwestern roots showing!) I’ve made them with green onions, with Green Chiles, and with Jalapeno. Sometimes I add a little garlic powder, once smoked paprika – well you can all see where this is going! Once you look over the recipe method, amounts and timing, the sky’s the limit!
Make these on the grill or in the oven, serve them with simple hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken – it doesn’t matter – they’re always good! The recipe can be doubled or the packets can be made into individual servings. The timing isn’t super critical, and the packets take pretty much the same amount of time no matter what the size. The foil is great for easy clean up but a shallow casserole with a very tight lid would work in the oven.
Cheesy Bacon Foil Potatoes, grilled or baked
- 5 medium potatoes or a pound of hashbrowns
- 1 medium onion, finely diced or four green onions thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 pound of bacon, fried crisp and diced
- 4 ounces broth
- 4 to 8 ounces cheese
Place potatoes on a large piece of heavy foil, lightly oiled or sprayed. (I like to place the foil inside a rimmed baking sheet; it makes it easy to get the potatoes evenly distributed and folded.) Salt and pepper if desired. Top with onions and bacon. Lightly toss if desired. Drizzle in broth, sprinkle with cheese.
Fold foil tightly over the top of the potatoes lengthwise. Press together sides tightly and fold over. All folds are best done several times and best results are had by trying not to get the foil too close to the potatoes; leave a little space if possible.
Bake or grill directly on rack for an hour to an hour and ten minutes at 375 degrees.
from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com