U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer is the reigning hot dish champion of Minnesota’s congressional delegation after capturing the top prize in the annual competition Wednesday.
Emmer’s dish, entitled Hotdish of Champions, combined a can’t-miss collection of all-star ingredients in what is known elsewhere in the world as casserole.
He had tater tot crowns, cream of mushroom soup, eggs, Cheddar cheese, sausage and bacon, topped with cereal — preferably Chex or Total from Minneapolis-based General Mills, the Republican’s recipe noted.
DFLer Rep. Rick Nolan finished second with his spin on Tater Tot Hotdish.
And then there were the also-rans:
DFLer Rep. Tim Walz tried the tots too in his Tariff Tot Hotdish, which called for sweet potato tots.
Former DFL U.S. Sen. Al Franken started the good-natured competition. Now that he’s out of office, his appointed successor, DFL Sen. Tina Smith, has carried on the tradition — for now.
Smith made 10,000 Island Cheeseburger Hotdish Surprise. DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar offered Gold Medal Curling Hotdish.
Republican Rep. Jason Lewis went for a Vikings theme as well with his Purple People Meat Eater Hot Dish, which called for wild boar, venison, bison and rabbit in addition to more than a cup of Surly Darkness Russian Imperial Stout.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum offered Spam Good Hotdish.
And DFL Rep. Collin Peterson presented Buck the Party Line Hotdish, a mélange of higher-end and down-home ingredients from venison and pork sausage to fresh sage, chives and thyme, cream of mushroom and celery soups topped with Gorgonzola, Gruyère and Cheddar cheeses, and cornflakes.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison served up Minnesota Miracle (Whip) Hotdish in homage to the game-winning touchdown scored by Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs in January’s playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.
This year’s judges were Phill Drobnick, coach of the Minnesota-bred gold-medal winning U.S. men’s Olympic curling team; Joe Gill, farm director of KASM Radio in Albany, Minn.; Noobtsaa Philip Vang, a University of Minnesota graduate who founded Foodhini, an online restaurant that serves meals by D.C.-based immigrant chefs; and Kate Schaefers, volunteer state president of AARP Minnesota.
Relative newcomer Emmer said he was proud to compete. He called his dish a nod to champions in his district: Olympic women’s hockey goalie Maddie Rooney and Paralympic snowboarder Mike Schultz. “Just like them, this Hotdish of Champions brought home the gold,” Emmer crowed.
Recipes for the 2018 contest can be found at https://bit.ly/2qY6kMD.