Hotdish? I learned a lot about Hotdish from fellow blogger Audrey of Minnesota 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 HotdishNow, 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.
In 2006, the Minnesota Historical Society Press even published a book, “Hot Dish Heaven–Classic Casseroles from Midwest Kitchens” by Ann L. Burckhardt. And, yes, our DC legislators hold an annual hot dish competition. You can purchase cookbook online by clicking link.
And guess what honor I received from Audrey?
“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 Formal last 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.