I recently attended a funeral in upstate New York. One of the comfort foods served after the service was a cheesy potato casserole, aka funeral potatoes. I’ve adapted it here with Maine potatoes and smoked cheese. The cornflake topping is traditional.

Serves 6

5 tablespoons butter

3 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour


11/2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

11/4 cups shredded smoked cheddar or gouda cheese (about 5 ounces)

2 pounds Maine potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch cubes


1/2 cup sour cream, crème fraîche, or mascarpone cheese

1/4 cup chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9X13-inch baking dish.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Mix 2 tablespoons of the melted butter with the corn flakes in a bowl and set aside.

Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute to make a roux. Combine the vegetable broth and milk in a measuring cup and slowly whisk the mixture into the roux. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Take the pot off the heat and stir in the smoked cheese until smooth. Fold in the potatoes. Stir in the sour cream (crème fraîche or mascarpone) and chives.

Transfer the saucy potatoes to the prepared baking dish and top with the reserved buttered cornflakes. Place the baking dish on top of a baking sheet to catch any sauce that may bubble over. Bake for 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly around the edges. Let the potatoes rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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