WASHINGTON - There was a tie yesterday (Wednesday) for the best hotdish at Senator Al Franken's 2nd annual Hotdish Off.

Franken's "Mom's Mahnomin Madness Hotdish" and Congressman Chip Cravaack's "Minnesota Wild Strata" both took first place honors.

Sen. Franken's Mom's Mahnomin Madness Hotdish


  • 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
  • 2 cans (8 oz. each) of water chestnuts, drained, then sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (diluted with 1/2 cup fo water)
  • salt to taste
  • Roast turkey - pulled from the bone
  • Turkey gravy (aujus)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan


  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, water chestnuts.
  7. Place mixture in casserole dish, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and place in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until top is browned and hot dish is heated through.


Rep. Cravaack's Minnesota Wild Strata

  • Loaf of French bread, sliced and cubed
  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups milk, divided
  • 3 tsp. dry mustard
  • 15 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 lbs. ground pork sausage, browned and drained
  • 1 C. cooked Minnesota wild rice
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can Cream of Mushroom soup

Place French bread in a well greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Mix eggs, three cups milk and dry mustard together.  Carefully pour over bread. Sprinkle cheese, sausage and wild rice over bread.

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  Before baking, mix cream of mushroom soup and 1 cup milk together and spread over bread mixture.

Bake covered at 375 degrees for one hour.  Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

Sen. Klobuchar's Ted the Turkey Memorial HotdishNote: Ted the Turkey was the turkey chosen to be pardoned at Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for him, he charged the press corps at the ceremonial event with Governor Dayton and was later declared a “flight risk” by the White House. Instead of spending his days at Mr. Vernon overlooking the river, he is now the inspiration for this hotdish.


  • 1 Box Yellow Rice
  • 1 Can Green Giant Whole Kernel Corn (drained)
  • 1 Can Cream Of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Stick Land-O-Lakes Margarine
  • 1-2 Cups Shredded/Canned Hormel Turkey (drained)
  • 1 ½ - 2 Cups Land-O-Lakes Cheddar Cheese/Pepper Jack cheese
  • Old Dutch Potato Chips or Tortilla Chips


  1. Cook rice according to box instructions.
  2. Add rice and all other ingredients, except for ½ - 1 cup of cheese, into a bowl and stir until mixed together. Put into 13x9 baking dish and bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes, or until hotdish begins to bubble.
  3. Take out hotdish, top with chips and put remaining cheese on top. Put back in the oven for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Rep. Bachmann's St. Croix River Crossing Hotdish
Bridging Minnesota Meat and Wisconsin Cheddar

Serves: One carload full crossing the St. Croix River

What goes into building the St. Croix River Crossing Hot Dish?

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 12 oz. cooked and crumbled Hormel® bacon
  • 1 lb. cubed Gold’n Plump® chicken breast, cooked
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% Kemps® milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Land O’Lakes® butter, melted
  • 3 cups shredded Wisconsin cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Spray 5-qt Crock Pot, or larger, with non-stick cooking spray. Mix together pasta, bacon, chicken, evaporated milk, 2% milk, butter and cheeses; add to Crock Pot.
Set Crock Pot on low for 2-4 hours.

End Result:
Feed to hungry Minnesotans or Wisconsinites.



Rep. Walz's SPAM Town Special

  • 5 cups medium pasta shells cooked & drained1 can Spam, cut up in cubes and fried
  • ¾ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 3 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • Parsley to garnish

Sauté onions in 1 tablespoon butter over low heat. Add in cream of chicken soup and milk. Stir together until smooth over medium heat. Slowly add in cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.

Mix noodles and Spam into the sauce. Pour mixture into a greased 3 quart casserole dish. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; stir in breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. Sprinkle crumbs over all, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly and brown.


Rep. Ellison's Minnesota Meat on Your Bones Shepherd’s Pie


  • 2 lbs ground Minnesota turkey (Minnesota is the #1 turkey producer in the US)
  • 1 onion-chopped
  • 1 large bag of mixed frozen vegetables – ideally carrots, corn and peas (about 1-2 cups worth)
  • 1 ½ cup uncooked Minnesota Wild Rice
  • 2 lbs Red River Valley potatoes
  • 2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice


  1. Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender.  (Generally takes about 20 minutes.)
  2. At the same time, start to cook the Minnesota Wild Rice as directed on the package.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, melt 2 Tablespoons butter in large frying pan.
  4. Sauté onions in butter over medium heat for 10 minutes or until tender.  Add the frozen vegetables to the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
  5. Add ground turkey to the pan and cook thoroughly.
  6. Add the cooked Minnesota Wild Rice and Worcestershire sauce to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Next, add a half a cup of chicken broth to the pan and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more chicken broth as necessary to keep moist
  8. Meanwhile, mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, ½ cup of milk, and 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese, season to taste.
  9. In a casserole dish or 13x9 baking pan, add the ground turkey, Minnesota Wild Rice, and the vegetables as a bottom layer.  Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Using a fork, make decorative peaks; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  10. Cook in 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbling and brown. Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown the potatoes.

Cook's Note: Both filling and topping can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated separately. Add an additional 15 minutes to cooking time if ingredients are refrigerated.


Rep. Peterson's Pølse and Potet (Sausage and Hash brown) Hotdish


  • Ground sausage (1 lb - Hormel preferred)
  • Cream of mushroom (2 cans)
  • Chopped mushrooms (1 carton)
  • Garlic / salt / cracked pepper to taste
  • Shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses (one 12 oz package of each)
  • Hash browns (1 large package)
  • Land 'o' Lakes butter (1-2 Tbsp)


Brown ground sausage, drain off fat and set aside.  Cook hash browns on a low heat in butter until warm and soft (but not crisp).  Sautee mushrooms and garlic / salt / cracked pepper, mix in with hash browns.

Cover bottom of 9x13 pan with a layer of cream of mushroom soup.  Then add to the pan two thick layers of hash browns (with mushrooms), sausage, shredded cheese (in that order).  Add a final, light layer of hash browns to cover top of hotdish.

Bake at 450 for 30 minutes, or until cheese bubbles underneath crispy hash browns.


Rep. Paulsen's Double Barrel Pheasant Hotdish


  • 2 pheasants, cut up
  • salt and pepper
  • flour
  • 1 cup raw wild rice
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (4 ounces) mushrooms, undrained
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 pkg instant onion soup mix
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Wash pheasant pieces; pat dry; sprinkle with salt and pepper they toss with flour. If desired, brown pheasant pieces in skillet in a little oil or butter.

Combine rice, canned soup, undrained mushrooms, and water in slow cooker; stir to blend. Place pheasant pieces in slow cooker. Sprinkle with onion soup mix. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Check after about 5 hours and add a little water if necessary. Transfer to casserole dish, sprinkle with almonds (parmesan cheese optional).  Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes.