Monday, August 22, 2011

Tater Tots Romanoff

     From potatoes to noodles to strawberries, several recipes have been linked to the Russian House of Romanov.  Somehow it's hard to imagine the chef to Czar Alexander whipping up a tater tot casserole in the kitchens of the Imperial Palace.  Thanks to Ore-Ida the lowly tater tot has now been elevated to royal status.  This recipe has all the basic ingredients of a cheesy, creamy dutch oven potato dish, the best part is that all you have to do is open a bag of frozen tater tots.  The original recipe calls for letting the mixture sit in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours.  I mixed everything in a large bowl and let it sit at room temperature for an hour before spooning into my dutch oven.  The tater tots need a chance to thaw and the sour cream time to soak into the potatoes.  You could even mix them at home, bring them to your campsite then bake them the next day.  I made them in my 10 inch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 20 on the lid.  After 20-25 minutes, sprinkle on the remaining half cup of cheese, cover and cook until the cheese has melted and has started to brown.  They sure smelled good when they were baking in the oven, the backyard was filled with the aroma of onions and sour cream, and they tasted even better. 

Tater Tots Romanoff
5 cups frozen tater tots
2 cups sour cream (regular or low-fat)
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar, divided
1 bunch (about 5-6) green onions, chopped
Salt to taste
1/8 tsp. pepper

     Lightly oil or spray your dutch oven.
     In a large bowl, combine tater tots, sour cream, 1 cup cheese, onions, salt and pepper.
     Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
     Spoon into dutch oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
     Sprinkle remaining cheese over potatoes. 
     Cook for 10 minutes more or until potatoes are bubbling and cheese has melted and browned.  Serves 6.

Let potato mixture sit before baking

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

A shortcut version of potatoes au gratin

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