Monday, October 15, 2012

Tater Tot Casserole

Pin Rating: 3.5
Prep Time: 30-45 min
Cook Time: 45 min

Helped my sister out with dinner on Friday night and changed the original recipe for this breakfast casserole with healthier ingredients and items we had in the fridge. The results of the casserole was tasty but by following the assembly instructions from the website I feel like it could have been assembled better.  I'll put in the instructions I used below and my suggestions for changes if you're planning to attempt this yourself.  I also added in chopped onions and bellpepers per my sister's request.  If you're not great with a knife in the kitchen you can forego this section and it'll cut the prep time in half.

  • Ground pork, breakfast sausage, ham or bacon  (I used ground breakfast sausage)
  • 2-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs ( I used 3 eggs and 3 egg yolks since my sister had egg yolks left over from her most recent cake bake)
  • 2 lbs of frozen tater tots ( Used 1 bag of sweet potato tots)
  • 1/2 bell peper
  • 1/2 onion
  • Casserole dish

    Washed the bell pepper and chop off the top.  Next you want to take out the "pit" of the bell pepper and toss that out.  Helps if you just slice off the pieces connecting the center (shown in picture above).

    Cut the bell pepper in half.  As tempting as it may be to lay the bell pepper skin up, it's actually easier to cut it with the skin (outside) facing the cutting board.  Then cut the bell pepper into tiny slivers.  Once you cut them into slivers, continue to cut/chop them into squares.

    Next chop the onions.  So a few tips here if you haven't chopped an onion before.  In order to avoid "crying" while chopping onions I've found that having a stove burning works to sweep the fumes away from your eyes.  Also to get nicely chopped onion pieces without so much chopping, first cut the onion in half and lay it down flat.  Then make small slices in the onions on the edge of the onion along the bottom half of the onion.  Note: Don't cut it all the way through!  Just make slices from the middle to the end.  Once the slices are done, start chopping the onion from top to bottom.  

    This should be the results of your onion chop.  Feel free to continue chopping them into smaller pieces if you want.

    Toss them into a frying pan and brown them a bit.

    All done!

    Mix Eggs, Milk, Onions & Bell peppers into a large bowl

    Pan fry the sausage meat so it's not raw.  The original recipe didn't mention to do this but I think it's a nice precaution since you don't want any raw meat in your casserole.  Lay the meat in the bottom of the casserole dish.  Recipe calls to lay the cheddar cheese on top of the meat.  I would recommend laying it on top of the meat and as a top layer as well.  The cheese kind of disappeared in the whole casserole.  In the casserole dish

    Pour the egg, milk, onion bell pepper mix on top of the meat and cheese.

    Layered the sweet potato tots on top.  If I were to make this again I wouldn't use sweet potato tots.  It's not in the original recipe but we were trying to go for a healthier option.  They ended up flaking and breaking apart n the casserole.  Still tasted good but was missing that nice crunch.

    Cook time: 45 minutes.  We actually left it in the oven for an additional 15-20 minute since the top still looked a little jiggly and we were looking more for a solid consistency.  I suspect it was due to the extra egg yolks that I used.  Overall it was still delicious but it probably could have been better by following the ingredients properly (with the exception onion and bell peppers since that added a nice kick).

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