Monday, January 4, 2010

365 Recipes - #4 - Tater-Tot Beef Casserole

You'd be surprised at what you can make with totally random ingredients from the fridge. Like for example, Sunday I had ground beef, frozen veggies, and tater tots. Yeah, they can each make a meal all separate like... you know... tots to the left, veggies to the right... etc... but what about putting it all together?

Surprisingly to me, this is not a new crazy concept... in fact lots of people have used the little tots to make all sorts of casseroles.

The line up :
1/2 bag of Tater-Tots
Small Cream of Mushroom soup
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 bag Frozen Veggies (yeah I'm sorry folks, I'm not all that good with remembering the exact "oz" of ingredients

First thing you need to do is fry up the ground beef. No need to cook it all the way through, just brown it a bit all around.

After you drain the beef from the grease in the pan, you can then line the bottom of a backing dish.

Use one small can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, along with a half of that same can filled of water. Spread it around the top of the beef to coat it evenly.

I cracked open the can and to what to my wondering nose should I smell???? but garlic! Oy, I really didn't want garlic flavor, but you know what??? it adds a nice richness to the whole dish !

Grab your frozen veggies, any of your favorite veggies will do... corn works well here too! Spread them around evenly.

Then top the whole thing with frozen Tater-tots.
Side note...
Most of the directions I found on line said to then bake the dish according to the directions on the bag of tots... well I tried that... (8min on one side then 8min on the other = 16 minutes) this was sadly a "fail" the tots were still very very cold and the veggies were cold too... Sooooooo.... I had to alter the cooking... I baked the dish at the 480degrees for another 15 minutes. (30 minutes total here)

I placed foil over the dish so the tots wouldn't burn.

I then removed the foil for another 5 minutes to brown the tots.

I shredded some fresh sharp cheddar cheese.

And sprinkled it all on top (then popped it back in the oven for a minute or so to melt the cheese. (Mmmmmmm Melty Cheeeeeeese)

Can we say HARDY... hmmm
So what's with me and making all these hardy fattening tummy giggling foods? Oh, maybe because this is the coldest winter in years here in Jersey and all I want to do is eat comfort foods? Yeah.....

Well I hope you enjoy this... and remember you can always mix up the veggies to your liking. I highly suggest serving it in a bowl... and dive right in... YUM!

Recipe #4, 361 more to go.


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