Sunday, January 02, 2011

Old School, Gourmet Substitute Teacher

I'm a Midwestern boy. Born & raised. A standard supper was Tater Tot Casserole. The only variations I knew of were whether there was corn or beans and whether cheese was on top of the tots or under. But I had a moment of Awesomevation (awesome innovation! thanks How I Met Your Mother & Barney Stinson!). What if I changed several variations. We take the old school and give it a little home-spun gourmet twist.

Southwestern Style Tater Tot Casserole

I started with minced chicken. You can use ground chicken or mince it with the food processor like we did with the Thai Basil Chicken. I went with the minced chicken. Saute for a few minutes until the pink is gone. Remove to a bowl.

In the pan, add 2 TB of butter, saute 1 diced onion. When soft, add some spices. Use a Tex-Mex blend if you have it, or mix cumin, coriander, ground chiles, garlic powder, paprika. All the spices to bloom in the hot, melted butter for a minute. Add 2 diced bell peppers, red & green are good. Plus 1 cup of corn kernels.

Saute the vegetables for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Sprinkle with 2 TB of flour, stir for 2 minutes.

Pour in two cups of chicken broth. Simmer until the broth thickens. Stir the chicken back into the mix. Pour into an 8x8 baking pan.

Top with tater tots and bake for 15-18 minutes. This cooks the tots and allows them to crisp up. Top with shredded cheese and bake for another 3-5 minutes until melted.

Serve hot.

I loved this variation! Can't wait to try it again.

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