- 5 cups potatoes, peeled if desired and sliced thinly
- 1 large onion, chopped or sliced
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup cream (or another cup of milk)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional to taste)
- Cooked ham (3 cups), or bacon (about 1 lb, cooked), etc. (optional if you wish to serve as a main dish)
- Chopped green onion (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° and spray 9 x 13 inch baking dish and set aside.
Melt butter in large sauce pan over low to med-low heat.
Once butter has melted, whisk in flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne, if using.
Stirring constantly, allow to cook for about 1 minute to cook out flour taste. Note the roux will appear dark because of the seasonings, but it will lighten once the dairy is added.
Slowly stir in milk and cream and cook until thickened and bubbly. You should be able to dip a spoon into the sauce and run your finger along the back without sauce running where you put your finger.
Turn off heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese, or more to your liking.
Fold in meat, if using, onions, and potatoes.
Pour mixture into 9 x 13 dish and cover with foil.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and sprinkle with rest of cheese.
Bake for another hour or until potatoes are tender. If the top is getting too brown, just cover with foil again.
Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.
Top with chopped green onion, if desired, for an extra color pop.
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