Monday, June 9, 2008

Tater Tot Casserole

The movie Napoleon Dynamite has forever colored the way I think of tater tots. "Hey, Napoleon, give me some of your tots!" Ahhh, that movie totally cracks me up, and if you haven't seen it you definitely should. It's...well, it's indescribably fantastic.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand: tater tots. A long time ago, when my knowledge of internet cooking sites didn't extend beyond a few very basic recipe search engines, I found a recipe for tater tot casserole. After a few tweaks, it quickly became a favorite in our house that I go back to again and again. A few nights ago, we had the casserole with chicken breasts (marinated in Italian dressing and grilled to perfection -- the best way to eat chicken, and the only way to eat it during the grilling months!). It had been a while since I made this, and it was just as delicious as I remember -- tangy from the sour cream and pimientos and really creamy. Comfort food at its finest -- and I think Napoleon would really like it, too! My changes to the original are in purple.

Tater Tot Casserole

1 package frozen potato rounds (I use Ore Ida brand)
1 16-ounce containter sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I use 2 cups...we are cheese people)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small jar pimientos
Salt and pepper
1 6-ounce can French-fried onions

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (I use butter, not shortening). Arrange tater tots in prepared baking dish. In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cheese, mushroom soup, pimientos and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Pour this mixture over the tater tots. Sprinkle onions over the top of the casserole. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes (45 minutes is sufficient in my oven).

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