As I’ve mentioned in the past, we love everything about Epcot’s World Showcase. All the pavilions are interesting and unique. We enjoy them all for a variety of different reasons.
Of course, food plays a big part into why we appreciate World Showcase so much, as well.
So, today, I’m bringing you a little taste of one of the pavilions we have not addressed to this point; Norway. While this may not be the first spot you think of for excellent cuisine, they do have several wonderful dishes. They also have the one dining spot within Epcot where you can enjoy a meal with Disney royalty. Yep, you can sample a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner with your favorite Disney Princesses at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.
To celebrate this elegant spot, we’re sharing the recipe for one of our favorite breakfast side dishes you can find within this location that celebrates all things Norway. It’s rich, cheesy, and wonderful. Of course I’m talking about the Breakfast Potato Casserole from Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.
Let’s get cooking!
The components we need for our Breakfast Potato Casserole from Akershus Royal Banquet Hall are mostly straightforward. It’s a lot of Potatoes and a bunch of Cheese. Surprise!
For the Potatoes, I would suggest using common Russet Potatoes. They will cook the best and have the right amount of starch you’ll need to help tie this whole dish together.
As for the cheese, the Cheddar should be pretty easy to find within your local grocery store. The Jarlsberg may be a little more difficult to track down, though. If that does end up being the case, you can replace it with Swiss Cheese which is very similar in texture and flavor.
The Bechamel Sauce
Aside from the Potatoes, the most important part of our Breakfast Potato Casserole from Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is the Bechamel Sauce. This will, essentially, become the “Cheese Sauce” that will make this Disney Dish the cheesy, creamy side dish you’re expecting Basically, we’ll be making a baked Macaroni & Cheese dish with Potatoes replacing the Pasta.
Just like with our Lobster Nachos and Pumpkin Mac & Cheese, when we create a Bechamel, we need to start by making a Roux. To do this, you’ll place the Butter in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter melts, add the All-Purpose Flour and stir to combine. Continue to stir for 4 to 5 minutes until the Butter/Flour mixture turns a “blond-ish” color and emits a slightly “nutty” fragrance.
Next, carefully add the Milk directly to the Roux and stir to combine. Continue to heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Once the sauce reaches your desired thickness, carefully transfer it to a large bowl and add the Shredded Cheddar and Jarlsberg Cheeses. Stir until the Cheeses melt into the sauce then add the Freshly Ground Nutmeg, Salt & Pepper. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, as necessary.
Let’s get back to the most important part of our Breakfast Potato Casserole from Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. That’s the Potatoes, of course! For this dish, we’ll be prepping them in two different ways. Half of the Potatoes will be diced and the other half will be shredded.
Start by peeling all of the Potatoes. Once this is done, you’ll want to place them immediately in a large bowl with water. This keeps the starches from oxidizing and turning a rather unappetizing gray color.
Next, take half of the Potatoes and dice them. You’ll want the diced pieces to be rather small to allow them to cook all the way through properly during the baking process. A good size is about ¼”. Once diced, place the Potatoes in another container of water and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- If you’d prefer larger pieces of Diced Potato, I would suggest par-cooking them in boiling water before adding them to the sauce.
The remainder of the Potatoes, you’ll want to shred using a grater. Just like with the Diced Potatoes, you’ll want to immediately place them in a container of water to keep them from turning gray. Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Now it’s time to put the whole thing together. Drain the water from the Diced and Shredded Potatoes, squeezing out as much of the liquid as possible. Add all of the Potatoes to the Cheesy, Bechamel Sauce followed by the Diced Onions and Sour Cream. Stir until well combined.
Preheat your oven to 375ºF and prepare a 9″ Baking or Casserole Dish by coating the inside with Cooking Spray.
Spoon the Casserole Mixture into the prepared Baking Dish and spread evenly. Top with the remaining Cheddar Cheese. Cover with a layer of Parchment or Wax Paper directly on top and seal with Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil.
Place in a preheated 375ºF oven and cook for approximately 1 hour.
After baking for about 1 hour, remove the Aluminum Foil and Parchment or Wax Paper from the top and return to the oven. Bake for approximately another 20 minutes at 375ºF until the Cheese on top browns thoroughly, like in the picture below.
- If your Breakfast Potato Casserole still hasn’t reached the amount of browning on the top, you’d prefer. You can place it under a broiler on the high setting for a couple of minutes to aid the process
Remove your fully baked and browned Breakfast Potato Casserole from the oven and place on a cooling rack to rest for about 15 minutes.
Cut and serve warm on individual plates or place at the center of your table with a spoon or spatula and serve family-style.
This Breakfast Potato Casserole from Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a slice of complete cheesy-potato heaven. The inside is rich and creamy and filled with wonderful potato goodness, balanced nicely by the sweetness from the onions. Meanwhile, the browned topping provides a needed crisp texture that also takes the cheese level up about 10 notches.
This Disney Dish is a perfect pairing with a side of eggs and bacon but it would work equally well accompanying a grilled Steak or Barbecue Dishes.
Heck! You could just give me a plate of this all on it’s own and I’d be a happy cheese and potato loving camper!
Make this for your family this weekend and bring a little Norway into your home.
- Note: While this dish is perfect just as we’re making it, there is a lot of room to play around with this recipe. You could make it an even better side or main dish by adding some diced Ham or cooked Bacon. If you want to add a little heat, throw in some diced up Jalapeño. It really is a blank canvas to experiment with.
Breakfast Potato Casserole from Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Makes approximately 9 – 12 servings
For the Bechamel Sauce
- 2 tbsp – Unsalted Butter
- 2 tbsp – All-Purpose Flour
- 1½ cup – Milk
- 8 oz – Cheddar Cheese – Shredded
- 8 oz – Jarlsberg or Swiss Cheese – Shredded
- 1 tsp – Freshly Ground Nutmeg
- 1 tsp – Kosher or Sea Salt
- ½ tsp – Black Pepper
- More Salt and/or Pepper – To taste
For the Casserole
- 1 lb – Potatoes – Diced
- 1 lb – Potatoes – Shredded
- ½ cup – Yellow Onion – Diced
- 8 oz – Cheddar Cheese – Shredded
For the Bechamel
- Place the Butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the Butter has melted, add the All-Purpose Flour and stir to combine to make a Roux. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 4 – 5 minutes and the Roux has a slightly “nutty” fragarance
- Add the Milk and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon
- Transfer the thickened sauce to a large bowl and immediately stir in the shredded Cheddar and Jarlsberg Cheeses. Stir until the cheeses melt into the sauce
- Next, add the Freshly Ground Nutmeg, Kosher or Sea Salt and Pepper and stir until well combined
- Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary with Salt and/or Pepper
For the Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF
- Prepare a 9″ Baking or Casserole Dish by coating the inside with Cooking Spray
- Drain any liquid from the Diced and Shredded Potatoes and add them to the large bowl containing the Bechamel Cheese Sauce followed by the Diced Onions. Stir until well combined
- Spoon the Casserole Mixture into the Baking or Casserole Dish and spread evenly. Top with the remaining Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Place a layer of Parchment or Wax Paper directly on top of the Casserole and seal with a layer of Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
- Place in a preheated 375ºF oven and bake for approximately 1 hour
- Remove the Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil and Parchment or Wax Paper and return to the oven for approximately another 20 minutes; until the tops is thoroughly browned
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to rest for approximately 15 mintues
- Cut and serve warm
If you enjoyed this Disney Dish, be sure to check out our other World Showcase recipes