Valerie Phillips: Winners at Utah State Fair gave recipes their own twists and tastes

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 25 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

Annie Broadbent's Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake With Raspberries won the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship, held at the 2012 Utah State Fair.

Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips

Laurie Willberg of Salt Lake City had never made funeral potatoes before, but she saw the Utah's Own Funeral Potatoes Contest at the State Fair and thought she would give it a try.

She gave her recipe a Southwestern spin, drawing inspiration from the Don Julio tortilla chips on the list of Utah's Own products that could be used. The point of the contest was to showcase Utah ingredients, and Willberg's recipe includes a lot of them.

"I made them for a gathering, and everybody liked them," she said.

I'm pretty sure Utahns didn't invent funeral potatoes, but they probably coined the name. In other parts of the country, the same dish goes by other names such as "Yummy Potatoes," "Cheesy Potatoes," "Heart-Stopper Hashbrowns," "Church Lady Potatoes" and "Hash Brown Casserole."

Willberg's casserole is different not just in the Southwestern flair, but because it uses fresh potatoes (instead of frozen hash browns), as well as buttermilk and a potato soup mix.

Willberg may be starting a new trend here.

Annie Broadbent won the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship with a Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberries. Broadbent comes from an Ogden family that has won numerous State Fair competitions, beginning with her mother, Renae Woods. Here are the winning recipes from these two competitions. I'll be running more winning recipes in future columns.

Southwestern Funeral


8 medium russet potatoes

1/2 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt

1 cup dry Sawyer's Premium Potato Soup Mix

2 cups water, boiling

1 cup Meadow Gold Low Fat Buttermilk

1 cup Meadow Gold Sour Cream

2 cups grated Banquet Jalapeno Jack Cheese

1/4 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cup crushed Don Julio Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips

1 cup grated Banquet Medium Cheddar Cheese

1 jar Laurie's Buffalo Gourmet Salsa – Roasted Chili with Black Beans and Corn

Wash and scrub potatoes under cool water, place in stockpot with enough water to generously cover and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Boil 30 minutes or until tender but not soft. Remove from pot, place in colander and run cold water over potatoes to begin cooling. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in large mixing bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium mixing bowl, place potato soup mix and cover with boiling water, whisk together until smooth. Add buttermilk, sour cream, jalapeno jack cheese, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine ingredients. Pour mixture over diced potatoes and stir gently until all potatoes are well covered. Place in 9-by-13 pan.

Kids can have fun helping with this next step! Place contents of 1/2 bag (9 ounce bag) corn tortilla chips in large zip-seal bag. Seal bag and crunch until pieces are broken small enough for topping the casserole. Mix crushed chips with cheddar cheese. Cover casserole with chips and cheese mixture.

Bake uncovered 45 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is slightly browned. Serve with salsa on the side to put on top of casserole as desired.

— Utah's Own Funeral Potatoes Contest, Laurie Willberg, Salt Lake City, 1st place, 2012 Utah State Fair


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