Today we share the Empress Lilly Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe from Delicious Disney: Recipes & Stories from the Most Magical Place on Earth, a cookbook by Pam Brandon, Marcy Carriker Smothers, and The Disney Chefs. We tried it and so should you!
HISTORY OF THE EMPRESS LILLY RIVERBOAT
Did you know that what is today know as the Paddlefish at Disney Springs started out as the Empress Lilly Riverboat? The riverboat restaurant was named after Walt Disney’s wife, Lillian, and on May 1, 1977, she attended the dedication, together with five of the Disney grandchildren.
Moored at Pleasure Island, the Empress Lilly was home to a Jazz Lounge and three restaurants, the Empress Room being the most elegant dining experience at Walt Disney World until the opening of Victoria & Albert in 1988. A character breakfast was held on the riverboat, which at the time was very rare at Walt Disney World.
Disney stopped operating the Empress Lilly on April 22, 1995. The following year, on March 10, 1996, the restaurant opened as the Fulton’s Crab House. It closed on April 4, 2016, and underwent a complete refurbishment before reopening as the Paddlefish on February 4, 2017.
In their book Delicious Disney: Recipes & Stories from the Most Magical Place on Earth, Pam Brandon, Marcy Carriker Smothers, and The Disney Chefs celebrate Disney recipes from the past and present. The Empress Lilly Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe is one of the featured dishes.
EMPRESS LILLY AU GRATIN POTATOES RECIPE
- 2 large baking potatoes
- 1 cup half-and-half
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon finely grated onion (optional)
- 3 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°. Bake potatoes for 50 to 60 minutes or until soft enough to pierce with a fork. Refrigerate to cool; then peel and coarsely grate.
- Bring half-and-half almost to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, celery salt, and onion. Mix in grated potatoes.
- Reduce oven heat to 350°. Spoon potatoes into buttered 1-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
Note: Always use caution when handling sharp objects. Please supervise children who are helping or nearby. This recipe has been converted from the larger quantity used in the restaurant kitchens. The flavor profile may vary from the restaurant’s version.
For more delicious recipes, check out Delicious Disney: Recipes & Stories from the Most Magical Place on Earth by Pam Brandon, Marcy Carriker Smothers, and The Disney Chefs.
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