My friends and I come from very diverse backgrounds. Most of us on the Left Coast here are of Asian descent which for all intents and purposes, really don’t have a “casserole” niche in our food groups. We have a dear friend from Minnesota (a mythical land of snow and unicorns) who has repeatedly attempted to educate us about this mysterious dish… or as she calls it: Hot Dish.
We constantly tease her about casseroles because really, it’s a very foreign dish for us… at least the way that they eat it over there in
Wikipedia says of the subject: “A traditional main course, hotdish is cooked and served hot in a single baking dish and commonly appears at family reunions and church suppers. The most typical meat for many years has been ground beef, and cream of mushroom remains the favorite canned soup. In past years a pasta was the most frequently-used starch, however tater tots and local wild rice have now become very popular as well.”
The main thing stymieing us Left Coasters is the lack of spices in the traditional making of this dish. Salt and pepper are flashy. *grins*
Now I DO make a casserole. Sorta. It’s more like a pasta dish that’s done on the stove. It’s a fast dinner and I’d probably fail the Minnesota Hot Dish test because damn it! I need spices! *laughs*
So tonight’s dish is a simple tuna pasta dish with grilled onions, peas, carrots, black olives, parmesan cheese and the classic mushroom soup because I’m lazy. Spices are garlic, black pepper, salt and believe it or not, a bit of Old Bay. So my apologies to the stalwart souls in Minnesota for the blasphemy I am about to serve you.