I think when it comes to comfort foods, Minnesotans win the prize. Of course, when your winters come in September and last until April, you need a lot of comforting.
I was trying to locate the most authentic Minnesota Hotdish recipe. Any Minnesotan will tell you how it's made, but it's always different. Everyone's mom made it the right way. My mom, for example, was the queen of tuna noodle hotdish. Not one to lose her cool New Yorker status, she added a tablespoon of curry powder, which I adopted into my own version of said dish. But what the Authentic Hotdishes always include are ground beef, several cans of cream of something soup (mushroom, chicken, celery), frozen peas or corn, and Tater Tots up top. No noodles?
I had to call in my dad on this one. Born in Valley City, North Dakota and having lived in Minneapolis a good chunk of his life, he knows a thing or two about hotdish. He agreed with me; hotdish has noodles. I knew it! I always have had noodles in my hotdish, and usually there's crushed Rip'l Chips on top instead of Tots. He got a second opinion from his wife, who was born and raised in Mitchell, South Dakota. She said hotdish was ground beef, noodles, and soup. "What about Tater Tots?" "Oh, yeah yeah yeah...Tater Tots!" So there you have it. The internet is only half right. Hotdish has noodles and Tots. Chips go on tuna hotdish. Now, then.
Finding everything I'd need was easy. Instead of making my own cream of mushroom soup, I got some creamy portobello soup from Imagine Foods, Morningstar Farms burger crumbles, frozen corn and peas, and instead of Ore-Ida Tots, I got the Whole Foods bougie version called Tater Puffs.
I added some salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme because this stuff is usually bland as hell. This is how we do it in the Cities, yo.
Perfect for a cold, misty night. I need to arrange some sort of Vegan Church Potluck. Without the church part.