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Minnesota Hot Dish Recipes

When my friend and fellow flight attendant, Mary, first moved to Minnesota many years ago, she was often invited to church dinners and neighborhood get-togethers. When she asked what she could bring, the answer was always, “Oh, just bring a hot dish.”

Mary, who was from upstate New York, had no idea what a “hot dish” was, and had to get a little help from her new friends. For those of you who don’t know what a hot dish is, it is what most of us simply call a casserole. However, calling a hot dish “simply a casserole” does not even begin to capture the passionate feelings that Minnesotans have for their hot dishes; a Minnesota Hot Dish is something that is almost revered.

I have spent plenty of time in Minneapolis; the city has great shopping and also extensive theater and musical offerings of the highest quality, rivaling large cities like Los Angeles and New York. Given the sophisticated theater, symphony, and opera presentations in Minneapolis, I was surprised to find that the culinary contributions there are mostly chain restaurants, and lots of mundane food. I have never found even one of their famous “hot dishes” on a restaurant menu, nor have I found a “hot dish” restaurant in any city where I have traveled in Minnesota. Apparently Minnesotans reserve their hot dishes for themselves and aren’t too excited about sharing their culinary heritage.

I have many friends who live in Minnesota - even a sister, and there are always jokes and comments about “hot dish,” especially the most infamous of them all, “you betcha,” the Tater-Tot Hot Dish! There are many versions of this dish, and I’m pleased to present two that are great comfort dishes for you to serve on a cool evening with a good Jello salad (another popular Minnesota thing). Both of these dishes are easy “dontcha know,” and can be made very quickly with ingredients you most likely already have in your freezer or on your pantry shelves!

Mary O’Hara’s Tater-Tot Hot Dish


6 Servings
””
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 10 oz. package frozen corn, (or you can substitute canned)
1 12 oz. jar beef gravy
1 16 ounce package frozen tater tots

Brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet; drain off any grease. Add the corn and gravy and mix well. Pour into a 2 quart shallow casserole dish. Arrange the tater tots evenly on top. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the tater tots are crisp.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 214 Calories from Fat 104
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 49% Protein 31% Carb. 20%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 53 mg
Sodium 77 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 17 g

Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 7% Calcium 0% Iron 10%

Minnesota Tater-Tot Hot Dish


8 Servings
””

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 10 3/4 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1 10 3/4 ounce can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 16 oz. package frozen mixed vegetables
1 16 oz. package frozen tater tots

1 1/2 cups cheddar jack cheese

Brown the ground beef with the onion; drain off any fat. Stir in the soups, milk, and the vegetables. Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13" baking dish. Arrange the tater tots on top.

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly and the tater tots are brown and crisp. Sprinkle the cheese over the tater tots, return the dish to the oven, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 454 Calories from Fat 249
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 55% Protein 22% Carb. 24%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 28 g
Saturated Fat 13 g
Cholesterol 83 mg
Sodium 1036 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 24 g

Vitamin A 57% Vitamin C 11% Calcium 0% Iron 15%


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