Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mom's Rice Hotdish

If you have been to Minnesota or North Dakota, you probably have heard the term "hotdish." To more fully understand the vernacular of this area, I recommend the book "How to Talk Minnesotan" by Howard Mohr. He used to write for Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show, and he seems to have lived there long enough to really understand the culture.

Anyway, hotdish is another word for casserole. (We call it hotdish because it's hot.) My mom made what she called Rice Hotdish for as long as I can remember. I've played with the recipe a bit, but the basics are still here.
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 pound hamburger, browned and drained (you can use Italian Sausage, too, for some variation)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup ( I use Progresso because it's gluten-free)
  • A handful of frozen peas if you really want more color
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery if you want some extra vegetables
Mix all of these together and cook until warm! I usually warm/brown the onions, celery (if used) and bell pepper until the onions are translucent. I serve it with salad. It especially tastes good with french dressing. I don't know why, it just does.

Mom originally used a can of chicken rice soup from Campbell's. However, they started making it not gluten-free, so she found some other brand. I like mushrooms so I added mushrooms and a homemade cream soup. Now, Progresso makes a gluten-free cream-of-mushroom soup, so things go a little faster.

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