Sometimes, a really good recipe is born out of a total failure! The other day, I was making one of my favorite dips to take to a party and I forgot to rinse the dried beef, rendering the dip way too salty! I had quite alot of it though and rather than throw it out, I found another use for it! I'll give you the dip recipe first, and then tell you what I did to turn it into this potato casserole which my family and friends pronounced "sublime"!
I was reminded of my favorite story about Letitia Baldridge, the executive party planner for the White House who dropped a huge chocolate cake on the floor one evening about ten minutes before dessert was to be served! Being a very creative hostess and needing dessert, she scooped it up and put it into individual footed cut crystal glasses mixed with alot of whipped cream. Add a few chocolate curls and she had a gorgeous dessert with no one (including the President!) any wiser!
For the dip you will need:
1 package of dried beef
1 pint of sour cream
1 pint of scallion and chive cream cheese (not whipped)
1 tablespoon of dried tarragon
1/4 cup of marsala wine
Pecan halves, toasted in a 350 degree oven with butter
RInse the dried beef, and cut into thin slices with a scissors, and place in a bowl. Add the sour cream, cream cheese, tarragon, wine and mix well. Place into a baking dish and cover with the pecan halves. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until bubbly. This is really good served with a dense brown bread or something wonderfully chewy with lots of seeds!
To turn this into a casserole, all you need to do is add some frozen organic shredded potatoes. Mix the whole thing together and put into a baking dish topped with some asiago cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes and serve. It is absolutely delicious and just the thing to serve with a roast of beef or pork. It could also be a great potato and cheese soup if you added some chicken broth and maybe a few sliced,butter browned leeks and a cup or two of whole milk.
An important thing to note is that the reason that this worked so well is that I used potatoes to neutralize the salt from the dried beef. Whenever you have a soup or stew that is too salty, a few potaoes diced and thrown in will take care of that problem!