I was standing at Labriola’s Italian Grocery deli counter and it’s the first time I sawBasket Cheese. I asked about it. It’s only sold at Easter time. It can be used to make Easter pies or you eat a slice with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey. A firm ricotta like cheese. There are recipes. Recipes to make basket cheese at home and recipes to use the store-bought version to bake savory pies for Easter. There are sweet recipes too. Here’s a recipe for savory Italian Easter Pie
It’s called “basket cheese” because it’s formed in a basket and you can see the imprint of the weaving on the side of the cheese.
Carmela Baked All These Breads for St. Joseph Feast Day
11 years ago
Tuesday afternoon I met a friend for dinner. We used to teach in the same school but are in different schools across the city now. It was good to catch up. When we walked into the restaurant,La Tavola Italiana, I could not believe what I saw in front of me! A St. Joseph Feast spread from the day before. Later Carmela came out to speak with us about how we were enjoying our dinners and she was taking photos with her iPad to send to her family. She uses the iPad to keep the restaurant calendar for parties and other aspects of her business.
I asked if she made the St. Joseph Cavazunes filled with the chick peas and she said, “NO, they are Calabrese.” She is Sicilian and she makes Zeppoles.
I said that I’d photographed all the bread and would send her the photos but would she like to pose with all her handiwork and she did. She was gracious to allow me to photograph her. NEXT year we have to go to actual feast! It sounded like a terrific party.
What is the difference between hotdish and casserole?
Definition: Casserole is the name of the dish used to cook with, whereas hot dish is the meal itself. Ingredients: Casseroles can contain any ingredients under the sun practically, where hot dishes have set ingredients they have to have.
“Today’s post was an inspiration. Photos to follow.”
Hotdish? I learned a lot about Hotdish from fellow blogger Audrey ofMinnesota Prairie Roots Blog.And yes, turns out we call it a casserole around here. This blog post is a collaborative effort as Audrey lives in Minnesota. I wrote to her for enlightenment on Hotdish.
Audrey wrote when I inquired about Hotdish
Now, on to hotdish, which you likely know as “casseroles” in your area of the country. Same thing. Simply a mix of foods combined in one glass casserole dish or a 9 x 13 cake pan. Tater Tot Hotdish is Minnesota’s signature hotdish consisting of cooked hamburger mixed with a vegetable and a condensed creamed soup and then topped with tater tots and shredded cheddar cheese. I hope I got that right. I haven’t made it in years and actually seldom make hotdish, with the exception of Chicken Wild Rice Hotdish.
Hotdish has always been a staple of church potlucks and family reunions in Minnesota. Easy to make. Serves a lot. And everyone loves a good hotdish. My mom always made one with hamburger, noodles and tomato juice with cheese stirred in. It was a favorite growing up.
“The State of Minnesota does hereby grant honorary residency to Ruth Ella Hendricks upon successful completion of the unofficial state culinary dish, Tater Tot Hotdish. Congratulations!
America’s Test Kitchen recipe for this Minnesota Hotdish was on the PBS channel the other night. Here is the link to the video from the episode. Although I don’t remember purchasing a single Tater Tot in my life, watching them put this Hotdish together made me think about making it. With just two of us in the house it seemed a good recipe to try on the larger family when I visited in Ohio. I used a 2 pound bag of Simple Truth Potato Puffs from their local Kroger grocery store. I saw the brand Tater Tots had cottonseed oil in them and I thought that can’t be a good thing. I doubled the amount of the meat to 3 pounds. I omitted the mushrooms as several family members do not care for them but I read that if you needed to make if vegetarian you could use just mushrooms in the creamy bottom layer and no meat.
When I told my friend Joanne about the Hotdish she told me how growing up they didn’t have casseroles and she learned about them in high school cooking class. Her teenage son and his friends would devour her Tater Tot Green Bean Casserole when they lived in Omaha Nebraska. And after talking to her, I used the green beans instead of the frozen peas and corn in the original recipe.
My fellow blogger and friend Audrey of Minnesota Prairie Roots blog post says “Here’s a link to a story about small town Minnesota which includes a photo of a sandwich board advertising Tater Tot Hotdish”
There is an event in Faribault Minnesota that sounds like a lot of fun
Audrey told me about the Flannel Formal
At the Faribault Flannel Formallast Saturday, a Best Lumberjack Hotdish Contest was part of the annual event attended by about 500, all called upon to dress in flannel (like Paul Bunyan).
And a Snowplow naming contest too? “…as I’m watching the news last evening, I was reminded of another recent hotdish “thing” in Minnesota, the naming of a snowplow as “Blader Tot Hotdish.” Here’s a blog post I wrote about this Minnesota Department of Transportation contest and winners”
You can see why I asked Audrey to help me with my HOTDISH blogpost. I could’t have done it without her.
Rob this post is for you. Rob is a certified Pie Judge. Here’s a post of National Pie day in January 2012. Sorry I missed National Day Pie Day this year but now it’s Pi Day 3.14.
Did you know you can order Pi Day sock yarn? maybe for next year Fibernymph Dyeworks says “ all of our Pi Day colorways, the striping pattern is based on the numeric sequence of pi – 3.141592…, which is a non-repeating number. Thus, the stripe sequence does not repeat within the skein, and you will not be able to get a matching pair of socks (or anything) from a single skein. But if you’re a math geek, that’s part of the fun! We include a stitch marker affixed to the beginning of the sequence”