Our Test Kitchen Director's grandmother, Jackie Freeman, has been making this genius recipe for decades. It's the perfect marriage of potato salad with a bubbly, cheesy gratin.
1 pound processed cheese (such as Velveeta)
8 baking potatoes (about 4 lb.)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives
Vegetable cooking spray
6 bacon slices, cut into 2-inch pieces
How to Make It
Freeze cheese 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling water to cover 25 to 30 minutes or until tender; drain and cool completely.
Peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Grate frozen cheese, using large holes of a box grater.
Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk together mayonnaise and half-and-half in a large bowl. Stir in onion, olives, potatoes, and cheese until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with bacon pieces.
Bake at 325° for 55 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil 5 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Let stand 5 minutes.
I have never reviewed a recipe, even though I read reviews and find great recipes on the Internet all the time.... That being said, I am compelled to review this because it is just so darn good and a little bit different. I didn't want to do au gratin or scalloped potatoes, I wanted something similar but "different", and this recipe delivered. Yes, it was tedious to make but it was worth it. Served it to 10 multi-generational family members for Easter dinner and everyone loved it! The night before Easter I boiled the potatoes and pre-cooked the bacon in the microwave, but it still took a good amount of time to finish prepping and put together the next day. The only thing I changed was that I pre-cooked the bacon (as suggested by a reviewer) and I drained and rinsed the olives before adding them. I didn't add any salt because I figured the olives were salty enough. I printed this recipe and I'm sure I will use it again and again for large gatherings. It goes great with honey baked ham!
This recipe is a keeper, one to hand on to your family. The only thing. i did differently was to fry the bacon and crumble it first, then top the potato salad with it. That way I didn't have to worry about the broiler.
Outstanding recipe. Very versatile. I have done this twice, the second time I peeled/cubed the potatoes first( in cold water), then boiled them. The recipe calls for boiling the potatoes first , then peeling/cubing them, which is a hassle in countless ways. If someone wants to explain why the recipe version is better, I am all ears, but I don't see it. Peel, cube, (cold water bath/storage), then boil. Perfect.
The Velveeta needs to be frozen for 1 hour, minimum. 45 minutes is not long enough , I gathered up the Velveeta that could not be grated (15 %), and just chopped it myself, no big deal.
My wife does not like olives, so I just used drained/minced pimentos and drained/mild Hatch green chili peppers found in the ethnic or condiment aisle. It turned out fine.
I can see substituting the recipe green olives w/pimento for : artichoke hearts/quartered and drained, and maybe a few capers, drained. I really liked the pimento/mild green chili peppers ( both canned), Enjoy !
I wish my grandmother would have had Jackie's recipe. I made this for a family Easter dinner and everyone went crazy over it. Deserves more than 5 stars. This is a recipe you pass on to the people you love. Thanks Jackie!
I wish I could give this six stars as it's that good. I always make the recipe exactly as printed as I feel that's the fair way to do it when rating. I had a shallot and some fresh garlic that I wanted to add to the recipe but will try that next time. This is a versatile dish that could be changed many ways such as adding ham. Can't wait to make this for my picky grandkids.