Minnesota Delegation Cooks Up Bipartisan Contest [RECIPE]
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Michele Bachmann says she hoped the judges would take pity on her. It's her last year in Congress, after all.
But in the end, Bachmann's best effort — a hotdish called the "Polar Vortex-Mex" — wasn't enough.
Democratic Rep. Tim Walz repeated on Wednesday as the winner of the Minnesota congressional delegation's now annual hotdish contest. Walz's "Turkey Trot Tator Tot Hotdish" wowed the judges, former Reps. Gerry Sikorski, a Democrat, and Vin Weber, a Republican.
Bachmann's dish may have had the most distinctive name. But Walz's dish, a blend of Hormel bacon, fresh green beans and Jennie-O ground turkey, was a unanimous favorite.
Sen. Al Franken started the hotdish contest four years ago. He says it is an effort to blend bipartisanship and Minnesota traditions.
Walz's winning "Turkey Trot Tater-Tot Hotdish" recipe:
1 pound of fresh green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces
4 slices of Hormel bacon
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
6 tablespoons butter
5-6 tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups Whole milk
½ cup half and half
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups Kraft shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound Jennie-O ground turkey
½ teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup green onions
¼ cup chopped onions
1 ½ cup chopped baby bella mushrooms washed and well dried
1 package tater tots
Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
In a medium bowl, mix turkey, garlic, sage, green onions, egg, pepper and one teaspoon salt.
Using a 10-inch cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil and then cook the turkey to the well-done temperature of 165 F and place in 9-by-13-inch baking dish. (Browning similar as you would for ground beef).
Blanch the green beans by dropping them into boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and plunge them into ice water. Once cool, drain completely and gently mix them in with the turkey in the dish.
Fry the bacon until crispy then chop into ¼-inch pieces. Add bacon into turkey mixture.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter. As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Stir continuously and gently with wooden spoon for 4-5 minutes or for about 2 minutes after browning point. Remove from heat and add to casserole dish.
In a sauce pan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Little by little, sprinkle flour into the butter. Let cook for 2 minutes, then slowly whisk in the milk and half and half. Cook for 2 more minutes, add diced onions and salt and pepper. After a minute, stir in 2 ½ cups of cheese until melted.
Pour cheese mixture over the ingredients.
Scatter tater tots over the top and remaining cheese.
Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown.