Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Same dish, different name

You might recall in an earlier post that I mentioned the "simplicity" of many of the recipes in my Grandma's recipe boxes.  This one is no exception. I found several "aliases", captured on one card as "Hamburger Recipe" and as "Ground Chuck Hamburger Casserole" on another.  It sounds like from talking with my mom there was a time when this may have been a very popular recipe that was passed around by many which would explain the multiple recipes for it. I wanted to include a photo but several things converged that prevented this...comfort food like this wouldn't be classified as pretty, I have no photography skills to supplement a bland looking subject and my taste tester wanted to eat it while it was hot (imagine that!)

Ground Chuck Hamburger Casserole
1 1/2 lb ground chuck - break hamburger up put in 9/13 pan. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and celery salt.  Cover with 1/2 c. chopped onion and 1/2 c. green pepper, 1 can cream chicken soup, 1 can mushroom soup.  Cover with frozen tater tots.  Bake 35 to 45 minutes or 1 hr at 350 degrees.

I used the last green pepper of the season out of my garden (well, I really don't have a garden, I just grow stuff in pots and hope I produce something now and then I can call "my own home grown food".)  I didn't have celery salt so I used some Mrs. Dash, the thyme is what really made this taste so good and my taste tester "would eat this again".  (We're having trouble sticking to the 1-10 rating system).  Clearly this is simple and just good old fashioned comfort food.  I originally was thinking that this recipe might not be "that old", given that it included tator tots and I assumed that they hadn't been around all that long.  After a Google search, I found the following from about Tator Tots. I thought you might find it interesting.

"Tater Tots were first created in 1953 when Ore-Ida® founders were trying to figure out what to do with left over slivers of cut up potatoes. They came up with the novel idea of chopping up the potato slivers, adding flour and seasoning, then pushing the mash through holes and slicing off pieces of what came out on the other side. Tater Tots® were born.. [1] They created bite-sized treats from slivers of potatoes and branded them "Cracker tots” shredded potatoes. They first became available in stores in 1954. Today, Americans consume approximately 70 million pounds of "Tots" per year.[4]

Tater is slang for potato (origin: 1750–60; America; by aphesis, tato, and substitution of -er for final -o, tater); Tots may have been derived from their diminutive size, or because they are often served to children.[2][3]


  1. a b Ore-Ida Fun Zone - Fun Facts
  2. ^ tater - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  3. ^ tot - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  4. ^ "Culinary Corner: The Fries Have It". WSOC-TV. Retrieved 2009-02-08.

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