Klobuchar wins congressional hot dish competition

1:26 PM, Jan 27, 2011   |    comments
Klobuchar wins congressional hot dish competition
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WASHINGTON -- In a friendly battle between Minnesota's members of Congress, Senator Amy Klobuchar won the Minnesota Congressional Hot Dish Competition Wednesday with a batch of Taconite tater tot hot dish.

Klobuchar said her combination of tater tots, pepper jack cheese and "unique taconite hot dish name" gave her the edge in the competition.

Rep. Tim Walz took second in the competition after serving up a batch of chicken mushroom wild rice hot dish. Other competitors included Al Franken, Betty McCollum, Michele Bachmann and Keith Ellison.

Franken made a wild rice and turkey hot dish, Bachmann made an Oktoberfeast hot dish, McCollum made a pork, cranberry and wild rice hot dish and Ellison made a tuna noodle hot dish.

Two former Minnesota Congressmen and a member of the press were blind-folded for a taste test to select the winner.

Franken proposed the idea for the competition as a way to bring the Minnesota delegation together at the start of the new legislative session top celebrate Minnesota before tackling the issues that are facing the state.

Hot dish is a staple of Minnesota cooking, whether natives like to admit it or not.

Recipes of the contestants:

Sen. Klobuchar's (Winning) Taconite Tater Tot Hot Dish
- Ground beef (1-1.5 lbs)
- Cream of mushroom (1 can)
- Cream of chicken (1 can)
- Onions (1 small)
- Garlic (couple cloves)
- Salt
- Pepper
- Pepper jack cheese, shredded (8-12 ounces)
- Tater tots (1 package)
1. Brown ground beef, drain off fat. Sautee onions and garlic.
2. In a large bowl, mix together beef, onions, garlic, both cans of soup, salt and pepper. Spread evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with about half of the shredded cheese.
3. Place tater tops in one layer over the entire pan.
4. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes, or until tater tots are crisp. Cover with remaining cheese and bake until cheese melts.
Sen. Franken's Wild Rice and Turkey Hot Dish
1 lb. Wild rice (Mahnomen)
one stick butter
ten cloves of garlic
3 medium sized yellow onions
4 stalks of celery
2 lbs. White button mushrooms
salt to taste
Roast turkey - pulled from the bone
Turkey gravy (aujus)
1. In a colander, rinse the wild rice.
2. Put the rice in a pot, and cover with 3 inches of water. Boil in a pot, uncovered, for about 20 to 25 minutes. If you're using Mahnomen wild rice, it will cook more quickly than the paddy variety.
3. While the rice is boiling, slice (do not mince) the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and celery.
4. Melt the butter in a skillet, and sauté the onions, garlic, and celery until they begin to bleed a little liquid into the butter. Then add the mushrooms. The celery and onions should not be totally soft.
5. Once the rice has cooked, drain it and add to the sautéed vegetables.
6. Add pulled turkey and gravy.

Rep. McCollum's Pork, Cranberry & Wild Rice casserole

4 cups of cubed, cooked pork
1 cup of sautéed mushrooms
4 cups of cooked Minnesota wild rice
1 cup of cranberries, chopped (frozen or fresh)
2 cans of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T butter, melted
1 ½ T mustard
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed potato chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients (except potato chips) together, and pour into a 13" x 9" pan. Bake for 20 minutes, add the crushed potato chips to the top, and then bake for 10 more minutes, or until the sides are bubbly.

Rep. Bachmann's Minnesota Oktoberfeast

1 tablespoon butter
12 oz. venison brats, cut into 2-inch chunks (venison acquired in Minnesota is preferred)
1 ¼ cups chicken broth, divided
2 teaspoons dried dill, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 pound fresh button mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons German mustard
32 oz. sauerkraut (sauerkraut made in Minnesota is preferred)
8 oz. cooked egg noodles

Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add brats and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add ¼ broth, 1 teaspoon dill, pepper and onion and cook until onions are softened and golden, 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms and cook until they've released their juices, about 5 minutes more. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 cup broth, sour cream and mustard. Add to pot, along with sauerkraut; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until fragrant and thickened, about 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with remaining dill and serve over hot egg noodles.

Rep. Ellison's Tuna Noodle

1 can/package tuna (fresh cooked walleye also makes a great substitute)
8 oz noodles - or amount you want (cooked)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2-1 can milk - to consistency you like
3 tablespoons of Minnesota Nice

Then you can add anything you like--examples:
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 - 2/3 cups frozen corn or peas (not cooked)
Sautéed mushrooms
1/3 cup of Mississippi River Water (if one likes some added texture and flavor)
Various seasonings as desired can be added as well

Mix all ingredients evenly, cover with some additional shredded cheese and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot.

Rep. Walz's Chicken Mushroom Wild Rice Hot Dish

3 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
Two cartons cremini mushrooms
Olive oil
Dijon Mustard
White Wine
4 cups Minnesota wild rice, cooked
Salt and Pepper
Fried onion straws
Roast chicken w/ olive oil, salt and pepper. Let cool. Shred.
Quarter mushrooms and sauté in olive oil, butter, salt and pepper. Remove mushrooms and let cool. In same pan, whisk several tablespoons and approx. three cups of white wine (to taste). Let simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in four cups heavy cream. Let simmer until thickened.

Mix soup, cooked wild rice and shredded chicken in bowl and transfer to casserole dish. Bake to warm through, top with fried onion straws and serve!

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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