Sunday, April 22, 2007

Taking on the "Tater"



I've posted a few times about some of the more questionable entrees on the menu at my Kiddo's school. Hot Dog Tacos, Beanie Weenies, and the one I have tried for the longest to figure out — Tater Tot Casserole. Try as I might, I just can't figure out what kind of casserole you could make with mushy tater tots and soup base as the centerpiece.

A friend over at Mother Talkers solved this culinary riddle for me. She posted the link for the Duggar family's favorite Tater Tot Casserole recipe. The site is located at www.jimbob.info, and that is not a joke url. See, first I thought it was a joke. And then, when I read the recipe, I REALLY thought it was a joke. Three 2-pound bags of tater tots. Two cans cream of mushroom soup, two cans cream of chicken soup, 2 cans evaporated milk ... it sounds awful. Wait a minute. THREE TWO-POUND BAGS? SIX POUNDS of tater tots? What the ...

Then, I read the site. The Duggar family has 15 kids, with number 16 on the way.

Now, I love kids. I'd like to have a couple more running around. I really would. But, I am sure I could not handle 15 of them, much less 16.

Mrs. Duggar has spent nearly 11 years of her life pregnant. Which, between the being pregnant, getting pregnant, and just been pregnant, doesn't leave much time for cooking, I'd guess. Or much of anything else.

When I am trying to get through a busy day with one munchkin, (and not pregnant), I think, wow, how does she do that? If I had 15 kids running around, I'd be half crazy (or more) and afraid to stray too far from the bathroom because I'd be in there every time I felt a sneeze coming on. Or a laugh. Or a blink. Believe me, if you've ever been pregnant, you KNOW what I mean.

As for Mrs. Duggar, who seems perfectly sane, she may just need a quick way to get all those kids fed. So, I thought I would try and come up with a better way to do a potato-based casserole. Something a bit lighter, with some veggies in it, more protein, but still an easy, one pot dish. While I probably won't be volunteering to babysit for the Duggars anytime soon, I can offer up the following recipe and my best wishes.

Hashbrown, Chard, Tomato and Ham Frittata
Roasted Tomatoes
Looking for these recipes, they will be part of an upcoming book co-authored with Ali at Cleaner Plate Club.

9 comments:

jasmine said...

Ok, this question likely shows my ignorance but are frozen hash browns basically grated potato? and can I just pull out the grater and sub or do I need to par boil or something? I would rather use local potatoes and not pay for someone else to grate and package them and then ship them across the planet. Thanks

The Expatriate Chef said...

Yes! You can grate your own potatoes. No problem. I use this method for the recipe because it is quicker, given the context of quick and easy for a busy mom. Thanks for the question!

jasmine said...

Ah, you see but that is where you become friends with the machine washable food processor.

Rachel said...

yummy recipe. I'll bookmark it for after Jess gets over her egg allergy... I miss fritatas.

The Expatriate Chef said...

Rachel,
We've got to get that outline done! I am trying to get some research in, will let you know what I find! Cheers.

Rachel said...

I was thinking the same thing - particulary given the peanut thread on MotherTalkers earlier this week. Shall we fix a date to e-mail each other some ideas? (I'm the world's best procrastinator and really need a deadline to focus me!)

The Expatriate Chef said...

You got it. In the meantime, check out this new book self-published, I think, by the grandmother of a kid with celiac disease ...
http://www.grandmasglutenfree.com/

Mike & Misty said...

I got to try this out and was really pleased. My husband even ate it, which I didn't think he would (greens and tomatoes in it) and he really liked it--went back for seconds. I had my in-laws try it and they liked it too :) Though, I had to make so many substitutions it was probably only inspired by your real recipe.

My supermarket doesn't carry gouda--is there a cheese or combination of cheeses which would come close?

Along with this one I tried the green beans with roasted tomatoes and absolutely adored it! Those roasted tomatoes have SOOO much flavor, it's great. My father in law has a garden that often produces excess tomatoes--I think when he has a surplus I'll make up roasted tomatoes to freeze for later.

Thanks again!

The Expatriate Chef said...

For gouda you can substitute parmesean, it will still work. Parrano if they have it, is great. White cheddar would be just fine, too. Glad it worked out for you!

Thank you, glad it worked out!