As you know, I celebrate National Food Days and have never mentioned National Tater Tots Day. It was not because I don’t like them, I do. It is not because they are not interesting, they are. According to Wikipedia: “The product was created in 1953 when Ore-Ida founders F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg were trying to figure out what to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes. They chopped up the slivers, added flour and seasoning, then pushed the mash through holes and sliced off pieces of the extruded mixture.” It is not because they are not popular, apparently 3,170,000,000 tots are consumed each year.
I just never had a good tie-in to feature them. However, I recently read about one way Democratic Presidential Amy Klobuchar was charming Iowans getting ready to caucus Monday night. Ms. Klobuchar (from neighboring state Minnesota) is serving her signature hotdish and sharing her recipe as any Midwesterner would do. And of course, it includes tater tots.
This is not a political endorsement nor a commentary on Ms. Klobuchar. But any Midwesterner knows the value of a good casserole shared with friends and neighbors. So here is her recipe – give it a try and bring it to your next church dinner! And don’t forget the tater tots, they really make the dish.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 1 package tater tots
- 1 small onion, chopped
- salt and ground black pepper
- Brown the ground beef, then drain off the fat. Sauce the onions and the garlic. In a large bowl, mix together beef, onions, garlic, both cans of soup, salt, and pepper.
- Spread evenly into bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover with about 1/2 the shredded cheese, then place tater tots in one layer over the entire pan.
- Bake at 450 for 30 minutes, or until tater tots are crisp. Cover with remaining cheese and back until the cheese melts.SOURCE: Amy Klobuchar