This post is sponsored by Lodge Cast Iron
How to love yourself in November: put sautéed garlic, poblanos, mushrooms, peppers, black beans, and corn in a skillet with a cheesy queso-fundido base and top with a layer of sweet potato tater tots. Me, blanket, sweatpants, this skillet.
It’s called a Southwest Sweet Potato Tater Tot Hotdish.
Oh, yes. You heard me correctly.
This is everything we love about Tex-Mex food meeting up with our meatless goals and taking the shape and form of a beloved comfort food of Minnesota winter: the tater tot hotdish. But made new.
I grew up eating the occasional non-ironic tater tot hotdish (#proud), so I feel justified to give you the 411 on this staple midwestern casserole: tater tot hotdish usually has a ground beef and veggie mixture, made with some gravy (and by gravy I mean likely a can of condensed soup) and is topped with tater tots and ketchup. I know I know I KNOW, but for surely you need ketchup if you want to eat your tater tot hotdish like a true midwesterner.
Tater tot hotdish is one of those foods that actually so strange and borderline gross that somewhere along the way it becomes, in fact, really really good. I do not know how this works, but I embrace it.
Today, though? Tots be getting a modern makeover.
We’re swapping the ground beef for meaty portabella mushrooms, and trading peas and carrots for the spicy crunch of poblanos and bell peppers and corn. The gravy is getting replaced by a pepperjacky-queso-esque situation that is every bit as magical as you might image, and those sweet potato tots? YASSSS. Just the right amount of salty-sweetness to offset the heat.
Important things to consider: Will you swish Tabasco over the top? Sprinkle with more cheese? Decorate with colorful herbs and fresh jalapeños? These things that are up to you, my friend.
One of the keys to this recipe is the cast iron pan, which is why we use (and love) Lodge cast iron for all our heavy-duty, stovetop-to-oven recipes.
I’ve had a love affair with the enameled Dutch oven for as long as I can remember (um, how about that one time I wrote a post called 10 EASY RECIPES YOU CAN MAKE IN A DUTCH OVEN). Now might be a good time to mention that these make EXCELLENT Christmas gifts for the foodies in your life. One in every color? I’m not opposed.
It also is worth mentioning that the true cast iron star here is the standard 9-inch cast iron skillet – we got this as a wedding gift seven years ago, and while it took me an embarrassingly long time to get over my fears of cast iron usage and maintenance (which were all just completely in my head), now that I’ve found my stride with it, I am totally hooked. For people who are trying to clean-and-green their home life a little bit, this is an amazing natural alternative to nonstick. Plus, like the Dutch oven, it’s versatile enough to go in the oven. Boom! No more worrying about plastic pan handles melting off.
I have two rules for cleaning my beloved cast iron skillet:
- Rinse and dry.
- (If you’re ambitious) Rub with an oil-soaked paper towel.
The end. Nothing fancy. Natural nonstick and affordable high quality cookware is WITHIN REACH for the normals!
And so is a sweet potato tater tot hotdish that will make you win at life. I’m so happy for you.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 red/yellow bell peppers, chopped
- 2 poblano peppers, chopped
- 16 ounces fresh mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ cup flour
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 pound pepperjack cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 14-ounce can black beans
- 1 cup frozen corn
- salt to taste
- 1-2 bags sweet potato tater tots
- red peppers, corn, cilantro, jalapeño for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the butter over medium high heat in a 9-inch cast iron skillet. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and peppers; saute until soft. Add the spices and stir to mix.
- Add the flour and stir to coat until everything gets sticky. Add the milk slowly, stirring after each addition, until you get a smooth mixture. Add the cheese cubes and stir until melted.
- Stir in the black beans and corn. Taste and adjust – this is a good time to add your salt!
- Top the whole thing with tater tots (I did mine in a circle formation).
- Bake for 20-30 minutes. BEWARE THE BUBBLING OVER – put a pan underneath to catch any drips. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.
Shout out to our fave Lodge Cast Iron for sponsoring this post!
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