Saturday, January 16, 2016

Kickin Tater Tot Hotdish

Minnesota is known for their hotdish.  Most Minnesotans L-O-V-E it!  It's one of those meals that's perfect for the chilly MN weather; and whether it's served in school cafeterias or at the dinner table there's rarely leftovers. I've had my share of tater-tot hotdish,but it's never been a fave for me like it has been for my fellow Minnesotans.  That is until making a more flavorful version that had my taste buds dancing.

I'd been looking for a spin off of a typical meal, when this recipe found me. This "Kicked-Up Tater Tot Hotdish" was featured on the Pioneer Woman website, which I visit frequently, and can be found there under the cooking with friends tab or on Her pictures make this dish look as mouthwatering as it tastes, and the step by step instructions made it doable for a weeknight meal. Make it for the family, because there is plenty to go around, and leftovers are just as good!

What makes this version better than the original? With peppers, an upgrade of steak, cheese cubes and of course the crispy tater tots it'd be hard not to love. It's not the quickest  or easiest dish, and the richness means I wouldn't serve it often, but I'd cook it once or twice for sure.  And those fearful of "too hot" or "too spicy" dishes don't be scared, this has some flavorful but in one way is a palate scorcher.

ServingsPrep 30 minutes  Cook 1 hour

* 1 1/4lb beef top sirloin
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp black pepper
* 6 tbsp unsalted butter
* 1 cup diced yellow onion
*1 cup diced red bell pepper ( can reserve extra for garnish)
*1 cup diced poblano pepper ( can reserve extra for garnish)
*2 tbsp minced jalapeno pepper ( can reserve extra for garnish)
*8oz chopped fresh mushrooms
*4 cloves garlic, minced
*1/3 cup flour
*2 tsp soy sauce
*1 tsp tabasco
*1 tsp worcestershire sauce
*2 cups whole milk
*1/4 cup sour cream
*4 tbsp chopped cilantro
*2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
*8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut in cubes
*4 oz pepper jack cheese, cut in cubes
*2 lbs frozen tater tots
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

2. Slice beef against grain into thin strips. Chop into 1 inch or smaller pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat large cast iron skillet (12 inch) over medium to medium-high heat. Add beef and brown. Remove beef to a plate. Discard all but 2 tbsp fat, add 2 tbsp butter to pan. Add onion, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic.  Stir. Cook about 10 - 12 minutes.

4. Slide ingredients in skillet to one side. Tilt juices to empty side of pan. Add 4 tbsp butter, and melt. Then sprinkle flour, whisking the juices the whole time for a minute or two.  Cook til the mixture is browned and fragrant.

5. Add soy sauce, tabasco, worcestershire to gravy. Cook 1 minute. Slowly add milk and whisk. Once smooth bring together the veggie mixture and gravy. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Then stir in sour cream plus 2 tbsp of cilantro.  Add corn and half of each cheese, stirring together. Adjust seasoning. Level out the skillet and top with frozen tater tots.

6. Bake in oven for 35 minutes, remove and sprinkle remaining cheese cubes and more black pepper. Bake another 10 minutes. Then underneath the broiler until the hot dish is bubbling and tater tots are browned to your preference. Remove.

7. This is the time if interested to garnish with reserved ingredients.  Serve piping hot!

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