Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Know You're From The Midwest When...

You see this photo and know instantly what it is...

For those of you unfamiliar with the Midwest, it's a little something we like to call Tator Tot Hotdish (or Casserole, if you prefer).

Don't feel bad if you didn't have a clue what I was referring to last week in my daybook and couldn't help but be intrigued.

This, my friends, is a Midwest/Minnesota staple in most every home. When you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for supper (yes, I said 'supper' not 'dinner') ideas, it's not uncommon to pull out the Tator Tot Hotdish recipe. My husband's family recipe is actually called Teeter Totter Casserole. Cute, isn't it? It's a good 'ol comfort food, no matter which way you prepare it. Trust me, there are many different versions and changes to the recipe depending on your exact geographical location and family preferences since it's pretty versatile.

Want to give it a try for yourself?

Here's the recipe I used last week for my family of four, but substitution ideas are in parenthesis:

Tator Tot Hotdish

1 lb. Ground Turkey, cooked/browned (or ground beef)
Salt & Pepper to taste
8-10 oz. Frozen Peas (or green beans)
8-10 oz. Frozen Corn (or mixed veggies)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (or cream of celery or cream of chicken)
1/2 cup Milk
1/2-3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese (or cheddar cheese)
Tator Tots (no exact amount, use as few or as many as you prefer

Mix meat, vegetables, soup, milk and salt & pepper. Put in greased pan/baking dish. May top with minced onion flakes if desired. Top with cheese and tator tots.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until the tator tots are to your desired crispness.
Impossible to over bake.

Create a meal by adding a salad and a slice of fresh baked bread. Yum!


  1. LOVE IT! Except we use green beans... :)

  2. My hubby is not a "hotdish" man. He's a hot dish though!

    hee hee

    Anyway, if he were a hotdish man, I'd make it the way Therese does, with green beans!!

  3. Thanks for satisfying this curious mind :) Tater tots just aren't a staple around these Northern parts! But that dish looks yummy, and I think even all of the kids will eat it. Don't you just love ground turkey? Mmmmm!

  4. Mmmm mmm! You bet we make tater tot hotdish here--or should I say, yah, you betcha?!

    That "after" shot looks SO yummy.

  5. Welcome to the midwest ... Not only did I recognize that, I knew just what was underneath the tater tots! :) Yummy!


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