Minnesota Cooking: Tater Tot Hotdish - Comfort Food at its Finest
Here it Is
Tater Tot Hotdish Sounded Good Today
Hotdish is one of those regional foods only found in Minnesota. We're simple folks here. The dish is hot. We call it a Hotdish.
Wow. Wasn't that an eye opener?!!!
And, get this... the hotdish is hot when you take it out of the baking dish and put it in your bowl or on your plate so you need to wait a few minutes to eat it. Or blow on it... blowing on it makes your mouth feel like you cooled it, but - trust me, if it burns your mouth, there isn't any point in swallowing, unless you like having blisters in your esophagus.
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How About You
Do you make tater tot hotdish?
There are Variations
You can substitute cream of Chicken soup. You can put green beans in it instead of corn. Oh. I forgot to tell you that there was corn in this particular dish.
My mother used to make it with French Style Green Beans from the can. I liked it with that, too. I have tried it with the Baja blend corn. That has some sort of bean in it. That was yummy, too!
I didn't put mushrooms in this batch because I forgot. You can sautee fresh mushroom slices with your onions. I thought the sweet peppers added some flavor. Sometimes, I mince up celery and saute that with the onions. I prefer to saute those vegetables because they don't cook up soft when you bake them from raw.
For Those of You...
For those of you that have never eaten a Tater Tot.
What is a Tater Tot? A tater tot is a frozen potato product that is frozen in a small, cylindrical rounded shape and the flavor of a cooked tater tot is slightly crunchy on the outside and the inside is soft. When you cook the tater tot hotdish, you start with the potato puffs frozen and you cook the hotdish until the tater tots are browned. This takes about an hour and a half. The gravy mixture below, surrounds the tater tot and the flavor of the gravy infuses in the lower half of the tot that is floating on the surface of the hotdish.