The first of March gave us plenty of National Days to pick from. Dadgum That’s Good Day, Fruit Compote Day, Peanut Butter Lover’s Day and National Pig Day just to name a few. Although I think it would have been in poor taste to roast a pig on a day set aside to honor the intelligence of the pig.
Minnesota Day seemed a good National Day to go with. The Land of 10,000 Lakes – wow, that’s a lot of water. Minnesota is the northernmost state in the continental Forty-eight, sharing its northern border with Canada. It is the source of the Mississippi River and the 32nd state to join the union. Downtown Minneapolis is home to the world’s most extensive uninterrupted network of indoor pedestrian pathways. While that’s impressive, it speaks volumes as to the harshness of a Minnesota winter.
Leave it to Minnesota to come up with a dish simply called Hot Dish. Yeah, we’re serving up a Hot Dish tonight by golly. Since Hubby is from Wisconsin, I asked him if he had ever heard of a Hot Dish. He said it sounded familiar, and thought it involved putting together a bunch of leftovers in a casserole. He was pretty darn close, as that’s the bases for the dish. Guess when it’s that cold outside, no one wants to do what it takes to head to the grocery store, so you make things stretch as far as possible.
So here’s my take on the Hot Dish – aka a Tater Tot Casserole.
Minnesota Hot Dish
1/4 cup White Onion
1 lb Ground Beef
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 (10.75 oz) can Cream of Mushroom Soup, undiluted
1/2 cup Milk
1 (16 oz) package frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
16 oz (1/2 bag) Tater Tots
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 2-1/2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray, set aside.
Peel and chop about 1/4 of an onion. Set aside. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, breaking it apart. Mix in the onions, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and is well crumbled. Drain well, spoon the ground beef mixture into prepared baking dish.
In a small bowl combine soup and milk, mix well. Layer frozen vegetables, soup mixture, and cheese over ground beef. Top with frozen potatoes tots.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until potatoes are golden and casserole is heated through.