Did anyone else grow up with super simple, super cheap dishes that as an adult, when you think about them, take you back to a simpler time? Much like the scene in the movie Ratatouille where Anton Ego, the stuffy food critic, is served the traditional peasant dish of Ratatouille and is immediately transported to a childhood memory, there are certain dishes that are comfort foods for me and invoke a simpler time before adult-ing! That’s what this Comfort Food Casserole does for me.
This month we bring you comfort foods. What better way to get through January but with comfort foods? I always need extra motivation to get through this month of post holiday madness and, typically here in Colorado, bitter coldness and skin that feels like it will crack!
I grew up on tater tot casserole, a quick and easy dish; ground beef, cream of mushroom soup and tater tots all lined up on top on a 8 x 8 glass dish and baked until golden brown and bubbly! Of course being a lover of food and always wanting to tinker with recipes, I wanted to make a slightly healthier and homemade version of this recipe. Turkey burger, cream of mushroom soup and a potato crust made from scratch made this a hearty version of the greasy, overly salty version I remember from childhood.
Even though this recipe is being made from scratch, you’d be surprised at how little time it really takes to enjoy this fabulous, warm, cozy dish!
The potato crust came from a tater tot recipe from Inspired Taste and the Cream of Mushroom Soup came from Genius Kitchen, both simple and tasty recipes, that of course I modified because I struggle with following instructions. I had never made Cream of Mushroom Soup before and after tasting how wonderfully flavorful it is, will never buy store-bought soup again. It was so easy.
Another key ingredient in this comfort food casserole is magic mushroom powder, have you heard of it? I received some homemade powder for Christmas from my friend Heather and it gives every dish that extra kick.
2 lbs. Rooster Potatoes (4 potatoes), peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 1/2 t. salt
1 T. arrowroot flour
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 c. grated sharp white cheddar
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey
Place the peeled and cut potato chunks into a bowl of cold water and let sit (stirring in the water occassionally with hands) while making the soup.
Cook the mushrooms and garlic over medium heat in the butter. Cook just until golden, don’t cook so long that they get watery.
Sprinkle the arrowroot flour over the mushrooms and stir briefly before adding in the broth slowly. Stir continuously until the mixture starts to thicken and then add in the milk.
Stir in the magic mushroom powder or other preferred seasoning, set aside and let cool while processing the potatoes.
Once cool, using an immersion blender, blend the soup into a smooth mixture.
To make the potato crust, drain the water from the bowl of potatoes. Process half in a food processor by pulsing until they are about 1/8 inch chunks. Place the processed potatoes on a dish towel and process the other half. Put all processed potatoes on the dish towel and squeeze out as much water as possible.
Transfer the potatoes to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 90 seconds.
Transfer the potatoes to another bowl so they cool quickly and after about a minute, add in the salt, arrowroot, oregano and cheddar and toss. Set the bowl aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
In an 8 x 8 dish (I like glass), spread the olive oil over the bottom of the dish and then press the ground turkey evenly across the bottom of the dish.
Pour 1/2 c. of the mushroom soup over the turkey evenly. The rest of the soup can be used to drizzle over the top of each serving. Spread the potatoes and lightly press them down evenly over the entire dish.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the turkey is cooked thoroughly and the potatoes are a deep golden brown.
Strudel and Streusel are two friends living in different cities, sharing a love of baking (and butter) through this blog. With Streusel in Denver, and Strudel in Seattle, we've found our little site to be a great way to stay in touch, share recipes we love, and talk about experiences in our respective cities.