Potatoes Ranchero

During most of my growing-up years, we lived next door to the ultimate back-door neighbors. Both homes were built by the same man in the mid-1920s. He lived in the house where I grew up, while his own parents lived in the house he built next door. He installed a gate in the fence between the two patios. Since my parents purchased the home in the late 1960s, they’ve been blessed with friendly neighbors who continued to appreciate this easy passage between patios.

The first neighbors were terrific entertainers and were hilariously funny. This is one of their favorite recipes which they shared with my mom, who still makes it from time to time. Those neighbors have since moved on, but the new neighbors are every bit as terrific and just as much fun.

1/4 C butter
1/4 C flour
2 C milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 C chopped green onions
6 C sliced, cooked potatoes
1 green pepper, cut into rings
1/2 C BBQ sauce
8 or 9 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Peel, slice and cook potatoes until fork tender; drain and set aside.

Make cream sauce: Melt butter in pan or skillet over medium heat. Add flour and blend. Add milk while stirring. Keep stirring until thickened, using a whisk. Add salt and pepper.

Add onions and cheese to cream sauce; stir to melt cheese.

Alternate layers of potatoes and cheese sauce in 12×8-inch baking dish (lightly greased). Top with green pepper rings and BBQ sauce. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil while baking.

Serves about 10-12.

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