Food You Can Eat: Amy Klobuchar’s Taconite Tater Tot Hot Dish

Go Vikings!!!11!

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I was recently reading The Takeout and came across a casserole slideshow. I was saddened to remember that this slideshow had appeared not once but twice previously. They, like all the other Get/Out Media sites, have been following the One Mossy Hill’s diktat that every page should be junked up with as many ads as possible, both pushed and embedded so that they almost seem like content, and when in doubt create a slideshow. Still I persist.

When I came across this slide I was reminded that I had actually made this recipe. It must have originally appeared during that two- or three-week period when Klobuchar was running in the Democratic Presidential primary, then assembled into a slideshow, then to live on when they rerun the slideshow every few months. Anything to generate the most clicks with the least amount of original content. This was actually pretty tasty and worth doing for the novelty alone, at least it was novel to me, and it makes a lot for very little money.


1-1½ lbs. ground beef

1 (10½-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (10½-oz.) can cream of chicken soup

1 small onion, chopped

A couple of cloves of garlic, minced



8 to 12 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded

1 (32-oz.) bag tater tots

Brown the ground beef, then drain off the fat. Sauté the onion and garlic. In a large bowl, mix together beef, onion, garlic, both cans of soup, salt, and pepper. 

Spread evenly into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with about half the shredded cheese, then place the tater tots in one layer over the entire pan.

Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until tater tots are crisp. Cover with remaining cheese and bake until cheese melts.


I didn’t go full Klobuchar and eat this with a comb. We also didn’t manage to polish the whole thing off at one go, but like with any good hot dish (I’m guessing) it makes for good leftovers. With the final two portions I fried them up, plopped a poached egg on each, and we ate them as a very filling brunch. I think that was actually the best use for it, quite frankly. 

Even I’m surprised I still have a functioning aortic valve at this point.



      • It IS!


        Although Amy’s recipe is basically just “cheesy hashbrowns” changed up a bit!😉

        There’s not a bag of pre-made, shredded hashbrowns, and it’s pepperjack, rather than Cheddar.

        It is missing the ubiquitous carton of sour cream, though….

        Adds a bunch of fat & calories, but it makes hotdishes even tastier😁 (or some cream cheese)–the “tang”/bite of either dairy product adds a depth to the flavor of the cream soups & starchinrss, that even the “heat” from the Pepperjack doesn’t quite do.

        (And @Matthewcrawley— in that “Go Vikes” banner, the ‘Range folks especially–being “hearty transplanted stock!” from the cold Scandihoovian places–would use “Skol Vikings!” Like in the Vikings’ “Fight Song” instead💖)

        • Did I ever tell you about my encounter with a true Vikings fan? There was a couple renting in our building who I was friendly with who got married. One pleasant evening I went up to our roof to see who was around and there they were, along with the the wife’s parents. They called me over and announced excitedly that the couple had gotten married that very day. So friendly. So Minnesota nice, and I’m not being sarcastic.

          Dad went down to the apartment to get more wine. Mom and the bride said to me, “Whatever you do, don’t bring up the Vikings…” “The what?” “The Vikings. You know. The football team.” “Oh, right, of course,” not divulging that I thought they had meant I was going to bring up the occupation of York by the Vikings in the 800s or something.

          Dad comes back. Two minutes later, “So, you like football?” “No, not really, I–” What followed was this amazing 20-minute monologue with historical digressions, seasoned analysis of recent games, and a prognosis for the future. I’d never seen anything like it, and Yankees and Giants fans are pretty chatty if the topic is raised.

          • Ha!!! That is awesome and a HOOT! (You made me giggle out loud!😉😄🤣).


            Honestly, after allll the crap in the NFL over the last decade+, I just CAN’T with football anymore–especially having grown up HERE.

            But the blind, DUMB optimism of the die-hard Vikes fans will NEVER cease to amaze & amuse me😉

            The franchise has NEVER actually won… not once.  We’ve only gone to the Superb Owl a handful of times–and gotten trounced when it happened…

            But it’s ALL the seasons of hope and excellent starts with GREAT players that turned me into the misanthrope regarding our chances….

            The Kick… after Gary Anderson’s two years of completing field goals…

            Allllllllll the years of QB’s who were supposed to “rebuild” our team…

            And just SO much stupidity from the front office, with bringing in all that old/washed-up talent. (Nearly as bad as McHale running the Wolves into the ground for all those ages!🙃)


            I can’t do it–i KNOW the routine by now… early hype, a decent-but-slowish-start, mid-season we pick up, as we head into the Bye Week…. Then comes the slump–usually early enough to juuuuuuust squeak out the earlier of the 2 spots into the Wildcard game…. we start to pick up again, on a winning streak into that Wildcard game…

            We WIN the wildcard game, get into the playoffs, typically win the first playoff game…

            Then we choke SPECTACULARLY, in whole new ways, never before seen in the NFL!

            See again: the 1998 NFC Championship game–as of then we were the only team EVER to go 15 and 1 during the season, and *NOT* make it to a Superb Owl…

            And we have managed to snatch Defeat from the jaws of Victory in *new and exciting ways* multiple times since….

            Losing in new and unexpected ways is the only thing Minnesota sprotzball teams are truly successful at, long-term!🥴😖😟😢😨😱


            • I loved them. Unfortunately the couple moved out soon thereafter, I think money for a downpayment on their own apartment was one of the wedding gifts, so that was that! No more paternal visits accompanied by Vikings color commentary.

      • Lutefisk is an abomination only enjoyed by elderly Scandihoovians who didn’t understand food could have flavor other than “butter”, and is only eaten by the young as a dare…


        Whose friends (the ones issuing the dare) are the people enjoying it!


        Editing to add an addendum;

        “flavors other than butter or the generic ‘sweet.'”

        Because Lefse and a multitude of the Scandihoovian desserts are often sprinkled with white (read: flavorless) sugar, too…

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