If you’re a Jewish carb-aholic, Passover presents challenges. Easy weeknight dinners of spaghetti, pizza, and even French toast are off the table, and many Jews also avoid common ingredients such as rice, beans, and corn. You may also have leftovers galore taking up room in your refrigerator from the two Seders, and while you don’t think you can take another slice of turkey, you don’t want that food to go to waste. So what’s a thrifty Minnesotan to do? One word: Hotdish.
A hotdish, that quintessential Minnesota meal, is actually quite similar to the kugel, a traditional side dish on Jewish holiday tables. According to Wikipedia, a kugel is made of “ground or processed vegetables, fruit, or other starches combined with a thickening agent (such as oil, egg, or flour),” while a hotdish “consists of a starch, a meat, and a canned vegetable, mixed together with canned soup.” Both may feature a crispy topping as well.
In homage to that great Minnesota creation, the tater tot hotdish, the Heavy Table has put its own spin on the classic with Passover-friendly ingredients. The recipe is flexible, so you can swap out the meats and vegetables for others you may have left over from the Seder. The soup, however, is not cream-based since the dish contains meat (Jewish dietary laws prohibit the mixing of meat and dairy ingredients), and while you may be able to find kosher-for-Passover tater tots, if they do exist, in a large market in the New York or Boston area, we can’t count on finding them here and instead used our own potato and leek hashbrown-type mixture. For the crunchy topping we used mandeln (soup nuts), but you could substitute matzah or kosher-for-Passover potato chips, which you should be able to find at any area grocery store with a decent Passover food selection. (The Cub Foods near Knollwood Mall in St. Louis Park is a good bet.)
12 oz. asparagus
1½ lb. potatoes
3 c. cooked and shredded chicken or turkey
1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
2 10½-oz. cans of non-dairy condensed mushroom soup (such as Rokeach brand)
salt and pepper
1 1¾-oz. package of mandeln
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the asparagus stalks into 1-in. pieces, steam until crisp-tender, and set aside. Using the shredding blade in a food processor, shred the potatoes and leek and place in a large bowl. Chop the carrot into bite-size pieces and add to the potato and leek mixture. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan (just enough to coat the bottom) and raise the heat to medium-high. Add the potatoes, leek, and carrot to the pan, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potato starts to get brown and crispy.
Transfer back to the large bowl and add the shredded chicken or turkey, asparagus, and dill and mix well. Add the two cans of mushroom soup and mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Pour the ingredients into a 13x9x2 dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove hotdish from oven and sprinkle crushed mandeln on top. Put hotdish back in oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot.