Third Annual Minnesota Delegation Hotdish Competition

Press Release

Date: April 10, 2013

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) hosted U.S Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) of Minnesota's Congressional delegation for a friendly, bipartisan, and bicameral "Hot Dish Off." Rep. Walz won with their "Hermann the German Hotdish." You can download photos from the event here.

In 2011, Sen. Franken proposed the first Hotdish competition to all of his colleagues as a way to bring the delegation together at the start of the new session to celebrate Minnesota before tackling the issues facing the state. Last year, Sen. Franken's "Mom's Mahnomin Madness Hotdish" and former Rep. Chip Cravaack's (R-Minn.) "Minnesota Wild Strata Hotdish" tied for first place. Sen. Klobuchar took top honors in 2011 with her "Taconite Tater-Tot Hotdish."

This year's Hotdish-Off competition was won by Rep. Walz's "Hermann the Germann Hotdish"!

Walz's Hermann the German Hotdish

1 package of brats
1 bottle Schell's beer
1 onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup of chopped celery
1 can cream of cheddar soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 package tater tots.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add beer, onions and garlic powder. Submerge the brats into the pot and reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 min. Remove and let cool. Butter the casserole dish. Combine remaining ingredients into a separate bowl, minus the tots. Chop up the brats into bite sized pieces and add to the other ingredients. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, top with tater tots and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Sprinkle with cheese for the last 10-15 mins of baking.

Nolan's 'Real Deal' Ranger Hot Dish

A Nolan family tradition for generations, this rich marriage of wild ground venison, home harvested Minnesota wild rice, organic garden veggies, applewood smoked bacon and forest mushrooms accompanies tall stories spun around roaring camp fires on cold fall nights among the deep tall pines of Crow Wing County.

The Legendary Ingredients

One pound Minnesota venison, harvested and processed by Rick
Two cups Minnesota wild rice, hand picked by Rick
One tablespoon maple syrup - tapped and boiled on the Nolan farm
One-half cup of Rick's Private Stock sherry
Chopped Thielen Famous Smoked Bacon to taste
One cup or more Land O'Lakes cream
Three or four cans of every Minnesota mom's favorite cream of mushroom soup - hand opened by Rick
One organic Minnesota onion from Mary's garden
Chopped Minnesota forest mushrooms to taste
Chopped organic celery to taste
Four cups farm fresh organic chicken stock
Celery salt, lots of fresh cracked pepper and salt al gusto

The Secret Recipe

In a pan, brown a pound of Nolan's wild ground venison. Rinse in a colander to remove venison fat and set aside. Then brown a couple of pieces of minced smoked bacon with a tablespoon or two of Nolan's real maple syrup, salt & pepper.

Use same seasoned pan to sauté Mary's garden onion, Minnesota forest mushrooms and celery in plenty of butter until just barely tender.

In separate pot, boil 2 cups of Nolan's wild rice in chicken stock until it is al Dante. Drain out extra stock.

Combine cooked wild rice (may not need to add all the rice), meats, and veggies with lots of cream of mushroom soup (keep 3 or 4 cans on hand), at least a cup of cream, 1/2 cup sherry, celery salt, lots of fresh cracked pepper and salt al gusto.

Scoop into your favorite Hot Dish dish and refrigerate over night.

Heat next day in oven.

Carefully wrap the Hot Dish in old issues of The Brainerd Dispatch and deliver to hungry hunters.

Peterson's Easter Ham and Cheese Hotdish

1 c. cubed ham
3 c. cubed potatoes
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 c. sliced carrots
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in 9 x 14 pan. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes until potatoes and carrots are fully cooked.

Southwest Metro Hotdish
As featured by Rep. Michele Bachmann in the Minnesota Congressional Delegation HotDish Competition 2013

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
½ cup sliced jalapeno peppers
½ cup chicken stock
1 pack hot taco seasoning
2 pounds ground chicken
1 can Green Giant sweet corn
2 cans black beans, rinsed
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1.5 tsp cumin powder
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
½ cup Minnesalsa ®
16 oz Land O Lakes® Hot Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
2 pounds tater tots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ground chicken, onion, peppers, garlic and taco seasoning in large bowl.
Cook the mixture in a large pan with chicken stock until chicken is cooked all the way through. Add more chicken stock as needed.
Mix sweet corn and black beans into cooked chicken until beans are soft.
In a separate bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup, salsa, cumin and red pepper flakes.
Add the soup mixture to the chicken and stir it in. When finished, pour the chicken mixture into 9" x 13" pan.
Shred the cheese and put layer of cheese over the chicken, followed by the tater tots.
Bake for 50 minutes. Serve hot.
Optional: Garnish with cilantro, queso fresco and Sriracha

Klobuchar's Hormel "I Can't Believe It's Not SPAM" Pepperoni Pizza Hotdish


2 cups sliced Hormel Pepperoni
2 pounds hamburger meat
1 box Ronzoni rotini pasta
1/2 large yellow onion
10 1/2 oz can Del Monte pizza sauce
15 oz can Del Monte tomato sauce
1 cup Kemps milk
4 cloves of crushed garlic
4 oz Land O' Lakes Mozzarella cheese
4 oz Land 0' Lakes 4 Cheese Italian blend
Oregano, Basil, Italian Seasoning, Salt, Pepper

In a large bowl, combine hamburger meat, diced onion, and crushed garlic. Mix with hands. Add oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.
Brown the meat, then add 1 cup of pepperoni, tomato sauce, and pizza sauce.
Cook pasta for less time than indicated on the box to prevent noodles from becoming mushy. Drain the pasta, then slowly add the milk and mozzarella cheese.
Combine the two mixtures in 9x13 inch pan. Add the Italian cheese and pepperoni.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and cook for 15 more minutes.

Juicy Lucy Hotdish-Rep Ellison
4 hamburger buns
1 white onion, sliced
1 cups sliced mushrooms
½-1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 lbs ground beef
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup crumbled bacon pieces

Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Place 4 separated hamburger buns on a baking sheet. Bake until brown and crispy. Break up hamburger buns into small chunks
Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees
In a large skillet, lightly sauté onions and mushrooms. Add ½ a can of cream of mushroom soup and simmer to reduce. Add more soup as needed to create a thick sauce that will hold the mushrooms and onions together. Cover the bottom of a 9" by 13" pan with the mixture
In a large skillet, brown ground beef with a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drain. Cover mushroom and onion layer with half of beef mixture
Cover beef layer with 2 cups shredded cheese
Cover cheese layer with remainder of beef mixture
Cover beef layer with one can of diced tomatoes, evenly spread
Sprinkle remaining one cup of cheese over top tomato mixture
Sprinkle bacon pieces over cheese layer.
Top off the hotdish with hamburger bun chunks
Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, until hotdish is heated through and bubbling

Sen. Franken's Willmar Stew

This is a hearty meal, just the right dish to serve with salad, beer, bread, and a Vikings game.

5 or 7 quart dutch oven
2 lbs Cannelini beans, soaked over night
2 Jennie-O turkey thighs (can substitute 4 duck legs, 4 pheasant legs/thighs)
1 lb pork shoulder roast cut into 1" cubes
4 pork sausages
1 lb thick bacon cut into 1" cubes
3 TBS butter
3 TBS olive oil
1 large onion cut into 1/2" pieces
3 carrots cut into 1/2" pieces
3 stalks celery cut into 1/2' piece
1 whole garlic head, peeled into individual cloves and slices in halves
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh parsley or equivalent
4 sprigs fresh thyme or equivalent
3 TBS tomato paste
1 to 1 & 1/2 cups peeled tomatoes with liquid, cut into quarters
Salt & pepper to taste
optional: paprika and cayenne pepper
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
6 TBS butter

1. Soak the beans overnight in water, about 2" above beans. Drain, reserving any left over liquid. Set aside.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
3. Prep your meat and vegetable as above. Set aside.
4. Place dutch oven on top of stove. Add 3 TBS butter and 3 TBS in pot. Brown turkey. Set aside. Brown pork shoulder cubes in same fat. Set aside. Drain some of the fat and set aside. Brown pork sausages. Set aside. Render bacon. Set aside. If too much fat has accumulated, pour some off at any time but retain for assembling dish.
5. Put all meats, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and seasonings in same fat mixture. Stir and cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and tomatoes and beans. Add water until ingredients are covered. Bring to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot and place in oven at 400 degrees. Cook for 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours, until beans are tender. Check pot after 45 minutes in case mixture is dry so you can add water. When done, add the paprika and cayenne to taste.
6. Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Add bread crumbs in two batches, otherwise they will be soggy. Sprinkle 1 cup bread crumbs drizzled with 3 TBS melted butter. Put in oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Take pot out and press breadcrumbs into stew. Add the other cup of bread crumbs and 3 more TBS melted butter. Turn oven on broil and brown breadcrumbs for 5 to 7 minutes. Your dish is now ready to serve.

* as adapted from The Amateur Gourmet, Cassoulet in 10 Easy Steps

Kelly Paulsen's Taco Hotdish

1lb. hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 pkg. dry taco mix
1 (8 oz.) bag Doritos®
1 (12 oz.) carton cottage cheese
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 c. shreadded Cheddar cheese

Combine meat and onion in skillet, cook over medium heat until done; drain. Add tomato sauce and taco mix to meat mixture, stirring well. Place crushed Doritos® in bottom of 9x13 pan. Top with meat mixture. Top with remaining ingredients in order listed bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes.

Beef, Beer, & Biscuits Hotdish - Rep. McCollum

Ingredients - Beef Stew
2 lbs pot roast or stew meat, trimmed and cut into cubes
1 tbsp flour
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bottle Lift Bridge Chestnut Hill Brown Ale
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 bay leaf
½ tsp thyme
1 cup cubed red potatoes
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
Salt and ground pepper to taste

Ingredients -- Cheddar Beer Drop Biscuits
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cubed and chilled
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Summit Maibock

Season beef with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour. Add oil and butter to a large pot and place over high heat. Add the meat in small batches and turn to brown on all sides. Remove batches to a separate plate and reserve.
Add onion, carrots and celery to remaining oil over medium high heat until browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste; cook about two minutes more, stirring frequently. Remove and reserve.
Return beef to the pot and add ale. After beer comes to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a low boil. Reduce the beer by half, about 7-10 minutes. Add the beef broth, bay leaf, and thyme.
Cover and simmer on very low heat for one hour - then add the potato and the browned vegetable mix. Simmer covered for another 30-60 minutes, until meat is tender.
In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt butter and then add flour. Stir continually until flour is cooked through and mixture is a golden color. Slowly add 1 cup of liquid from beef stew, and add this gravy back into the stew pot to thicken, and turn heat to low.
Heat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Add the cubed butter and, with your fingers, rub it in until only it resembles very coarse sand. Toss 1 cup of the shredded cheese in the mixture. Make a well into the center and add the buttermilk and beer. Gently fold the ingredients until just combined, about 12 strokes. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are just firm to the touch. Remove to a rack.
Place beef stew into 9x13 casserole dish. Top with biscuits. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, and then place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown biscuit tops.