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Sue Murray's Baked Potato Casserole

The recipe called for American cheese, but we preferred the stronger flavor of Cheddar. She always makes this rich side dish when she and her husband, Mike, entertain. It is part of a generous buffet, served with sliced ham and turkey, soft rolls for making sandwiches and a selection of mustards and chutneys.

8 medium russet potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled or unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
12 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, partially fried and drained
1/3 to 1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish, mix potatoes, cheese, mayonnaise, onion, pepper and salt until well blended. Sprinkle bacon and olives on top.

Bake, uncovered, 1 hour and 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is browned and potatoes are tender when pierced with fork. Use a bulb baster to remove fat before serving.

Makes 8 to 10 side-dish servings or 12 or more servings as part of a larger spread.

Sunday, February 25, 2001

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