Thoughts Prior to Cooking:
This recipe comes from the Hannah Swenson Mystery Apple Turnover Murder.
Hannah makes this dish for her boyfriend and sheriff deputy, Mike. Now before reading this book I had never heard of a hotdish, other than a hot dish, as in a dish that is hot. Apparently they are big in the Midwest and Northwest, but me being from California we don’t eat “hotdishes”, we eat casseroles. But I was willing to give it a try as to how they described it in the book made it sound extremely tasty.
- Non-stick Cooking Spray or Butter
- 1 and 1/2 lbs of Lean Ground Meat (such as hamburger, pork, chicken, turkey, sausage, etc. Make sure it is lean as the fat does not drain out of this dish)
- 2 -12oz Cans of Cream of anything
- 1 lb Package of Tater Tots
- 1 Cup of Shredded Cheese (Be sure to use only one cup as too much can become an insulator and keep the bottom layers from cooking.)
- Worcestershire Sauce (Optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400° fahrenheit.
- Use the cooking spray or butter to coat a 9 by 13-inch pan.
- Put the ground meat in the bottom of the pan, spreading it as evenly as you can. Press it down with your hands or the back of a spatula.
- Spoon the two cans of cream-of-something on top of the meat. Make sure to spread it out as evenly as possible.
- Put the tater tots on top of the soup in a single layer. Spread them out as evenly as possible.
- Sprinkle on the shredded cheese.
- Do not cover your hotdish with anything. Slip the pan into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the tater tots are browned and crispy.
Thoughts After Cooking:
In a way this particular hotdish is like the poor man’s Shepherd’s pie. Instead of mashed potatoes, tater tots, and instead of gravy, cream of something. I am not a fan of Shepherd pie at all, I can hardly eat it, but I did enjoy this Hotdish.
The only thing that I thought was wrong with this dish was that it was rather plain in seasoning. I recommend using the Cream of Chicken and Herb, as the herbs really helped along with adding a bit of Worcestershire sauce.
It was very easy to prepare and I recommend it for those of you who’s hours are crunched (working moms and college students) and need a fast dish to make and make quickly.
I didn’t include a picture as it doesn’t photograph well, but do not let it’s looks deter you. It does taste great.
For more Hannah Swenson recipes, go to Christmas Cheese Rounds
For more cassaroles, go to Ratatouille