February 2, 2012

haute dish

Having been a Minnesotan for just over two years now, I decided it was time to make the alluring Tater Tot Hot Dish. Although they can't be all that common in these parts because I haven't had the opportunity to try hot dish of any kind since moving here! Oh well, I'm pretty excited to have come up with this fabulous treat that my hubby called "sublime". Mine is of the sweet potato variety because we're kind of obsessed with them right now (way more nutritious AND delicious.)

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Bitch - I latched onto this version because it doesn't use canned cream of mushroom soup. This way I can better control the sodium and besides, homemade just tastes better. Didn't really take all that much longer to make either.

Sweet Potato Tot Hot Dish

1 1/2 bags sweet potato tots (Alexa Brand is available at most grocers)
2-3 lbs. combined cooked meat & diced assorted veggies (I used shredded leftover chicken, fresh asparagus & carrots, frozen peas & corn)
1 lb. fresh sliced mushrooms
Herbs to taste (I used about 1 tsp. each of thyme, marjoram and rosemary)
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 pint of cream/milk (or a combo of both)
3/4 cup grated cheese (I used gruyere)
Salt & pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste

Cook/shred chicken or brown meat in advance.
Roast the diced fresh veggies in a single layer tossed w/olive oil in a 350 degree oven. If using some frozen veggies, heat those in a pan on the stove.
When all veggies are roasted/heated, add all to the stovetop pan, then add the mushrooms, cooked meat and herbs. Set aside.
Make a white sauce by melting butter in a saucepan, then whisk in flour. Meanwhile, scald the milk/cream in another pan. Once the roux stops tasting like raw flour, stir in the dairy and reduce. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Sprinkle in the grated cheese and stir to combine.
Spread the cooked veggie/meat mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and pour the sauce over. Then layer the tater tots on top and bake into a 375-degree oven. Check after 20 minutes- when the tots are crispy, the dish is done. (If it seems like the tots are cooked but not crispy, set the oven to broil for a few minutes watching closely to ensure you don't burn them.)

Enjoy the creamy, cheesy, seasoned goodness.

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