November 15, 2008

Tater Tot Casserole

After a week of no red meat, the husband is putting his foot down and demanding beef for dinner. Well, actually he just requested no chicken or marinara sauce...but I read between the lines. I really, really love the Tot Casserole so it was purely my suggestion. It just sounds good. I looked back through my blog and realized that we have not had it for about a month and a half. I feel it is definitely time to break out the tots again. We will have this dish with a side of green beans, and maybe a salad. Green beans and Tot Casserole are just a classic pairing, in my opinion. Yum. I get ridiculously excited for this meal, so I am looking forward to our dinner. This should undo the last few days of healthy, vegetarian meals.

Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1/2 diced white onion (optional)
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced (optional)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
Cheddar cheese--sliced or shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of sour cream (optional)
Tater Tots, for topping

In an 11x7 pan, crumble or spread uncooked ground beef, minced garlic, and diced onions. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder,paprika, and onion powder on top of beef. Cover with sliced or shredded Cheddar cheese. Combine sour cream and mushroom soup in a small bowl. Spread cream of mushroom soup mixture over the cheese layer (this can be tricky business if you've used shredded cheese). Top with tater tots. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, uncovering for last 30 minutes. Or bake at 375 for one hour, uncovering for last 30 minutes.

The Result:
As you can tell, I was too lazy to take a new photo of Tater Tot Casserole. I figured that you guys have seen it before in my previous post, and it pretty much looked exactly the same. The taste was also the same; delicious and familiar. I still profess both my love and embarrassment over the Tater Tot Casserole. Such dueling emotions...I love you, I hate you....come here,go away...yeah, that about covers it. The Tot is such a cruel mistress.
I did make one small change; I ran out of normal shredded cheddar cheese about half way through the cheese step, so I supplemented with some Pepper Jack. I am pleased to say that it totally worked, and gave it the tiniest little kick that was very yummy.

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