Tater Tot Hot Pot

Normally I’d be posting a “Throwback Thursday” but nothing says “throwback” like the warm and fuzzy feeling of comfort food. I came across the Creative Culinary blog that challenged food bloggers to support the victims of hurricane Sandy by posting a comfort dish. The blog challenged us to “Make something that you would take to a neighbor in crisis or a friend in need; you know, those dishes that are warm and homey and just make a person feel good all over.”

I have a few friends, colleagues and clients that have been directly affected by hurricane Sandy and I’m sure many of you do as well. There is a great need for some financial support to aid the victims. I know if I were in the vicinity of the destruction I’d help in any way I can… even if it is just sending a dish over so that my friends could have something warm to eat.

So without further ado… let’s get to some tater tots!

I was first introduced to “Tater Tot Hot Pot” or “Tater Tot Casserole” by my friend, Pam, who is a native of Minnesota. She said that it was a popular pot luck dish back home and was always the first to be eaten. I know my recipe isn’t like hers, but it’s one of those dishes that you can just throw together with whatever you have. I usually don’t use condensed soups but this dish wouldn’t be the same without it.

This is super-easy to throw together—so easy that I prepped, baked, and cleaned my mess while wearing wedges. That’s saying a lot (I’m a flats kind of gal).

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 Cup Minced Onion (about half a medium onion)
  • 1 lb Ground Meat (turkey or beef – I used turkey here)
  • 1 Can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • About 1 or 2 handfuls of Frozen Mixed Vegetables (like the peas & carrots sized veggie)
  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheese (Your favorite kind is fine. I had mozzarella on hand so that’s what I used)
  • Tater Tots (I used 1/2 of the bag I had)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Spray a 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray.

Saute onions in oil until translucent. Brown ground meat and drain fat if necessary. Add cream of mushroom soup, ketchup, and frozen vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well then pour into prepared baking dish.

Top mixture with cheese.

Then throw in a layer of tots.

Aww… yeah.

Throw it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Hot and bubbly

When it comes out it will be hot and bubbly. Wait a few minutes before you dig in so it can set a little. You may eat it with more ketchup or if you’re like me, you wouldn’t mind a little hot sauce, too. Enjoy!

This is nice and easy comfort food meal, perfect for someone who’s in need. I plan on making this dish for a holiday event to feed moms and kids who reside at a battered women’s shelter.

Back to hurricane Sandy…

Please spread the word of the the urgent need – even if it’s through sharing this recipe with someone. You can support the victims of hurricane Sandy by making a donation to legitimate agencies such as the ones below:

  • American Red Cross is providing food, shelter, and other forms of support to hurricane victims. You can donate directly to the Red Cross or  you can also text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Catholic Charities is assisting families and individuals with shelter, food, and other immediate and long-term needs.
  • The Salvation Army is also focused on providing food, shelter, and support to victims, and takes donations for storm relief.

 

And if you can’t donate, please keep the victims in your thoughts and prayers.