We are huge on holiday food traditions around here. I love making the same things, once a year, and know that my kids have come to love and associate certain dishes with specific holidays. I incorporate dishes my grandmother made with dishes I especially love, and we end up with a smattering of holiday fav's.
This particular dish was my grandmother's, or rather her friend Ginger's. At least that's what I am assuming because my grandmother always made them, and they were always known as "Ginger's potatoes." I've 'moderned' them up a bit... making them a little bit fresher, and removing a lot of the processed ingredients...Because of this, they've become similar to an au gratin potato and could certainly be used in the place of, for any occasion that calls for them. Note that I removed some processed ingredients, but NOT the fat... this is not a diet conscious recipe.
6 russet potatoes, peeled, diced, and thrust in lightly salted ice water until use
2 yellow or orange bell peppers, diced (can be omitted)
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBS butter
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 sticks of butter, melted (reserve 1/4 cup for second use)
1 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 cups of panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350. Melt 1 TBS butter over medium heat. Sautee onions, garlic, and peppers until just soft. Drain potatoes, and add to pan. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine melted butter (reserving 1/4 cup for later use), shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chicken stock. This will look like one big mess, but don't worry. Add potato/pepper mixture to bowl and combine. Pour ingredients into a 9x13 baking dish. Cover top with panko crumbs and drizzle reserved butter over the top.
Cover with tin foil and bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes. Remove tin foil and continue baking for 15 minutes, until panko is golden brown.