Easy-Kine Cooking: Gooey casserole topped with crunch
The sight of a bubbly hot casserole topped with tater tots and cheese will bring up memories of old-fashioned comfort food.
Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser!
You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription.
Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story.
The sight of a bubbly hot casserole topped with tater tots and cheese will bring up memories of old-fashioned comfort food. Since 1954, when entrepreneur F. Nephi Grigg unveiled a new product made from the odds and ends of potatoes, left over from cutting french fries, Americans have enjoyed the crunchy, salty carb.
You can make your own tater tots from scratch, but master chefs say it can take up to 12 hours to do it correctly. So why not just buy some? Tater tots are in the freezer section of every grocery store — already grated, dried, cooked and frozen.
They are ideal to use as a crunchy topping for this hearty dish. The casserole’s interior is gooey and satisfying from cream of mushroom soup and cheese. Use whatever cheese is in your refrigerator, or a combination of cheeses is fine, too.
Substitute what you have in stock for the filling. If you don’t happen to have soup, add in 1-1/4 cups of sour cream instead. Don’t like peas? Substitute frozen or canned corn or frozen or fresh green beans for a bit of color. Mushrooms provide a change of texture, but you can omit them and the dish will be just fine.
This is a kid-friendly, easy dish that everyone in the family can enjoy. Prepare a simple green salad while the casserole is baking, and serve a complete meal.
TATER TOTS CASSEROLE
By Lynette Lo Tom
- 1 pound hamburger
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cups (8 ounces) grated cheddar, pepper jack or mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 16 ounces frozen tater tots
In large skillet over medium-low, cook hamburger until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain or use paper towel to pat off excess oil. Add onions and cook until they are translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 9-by-9-inch casserole dish, mix hamburger and onions with the soup, 1 cup of cheese, peas, salt, pepper and mushrooms if using. Top with tater tots (can be still frozen), then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake 40 minutes until heated through, and serve hot. Serves 6 as a main course.
Nutritional information unavailable.
”Easy Kine” features simple dishes that start with commercially prepared ingredients. Lynette Lo Tom is excited to hear your tried-and-true suggestions. Contact her at 275-3004, email email@example.com or via Instagram at @brightlightcookery. Nutritional analysis by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.