Michele Bachmann Hot Dish

WASHINGTON -- There's nothing better than a Minnesota potluck on a cold winter's day. And so it was in our nation's capitol the day after the "State of the Union" as Minnesota's Congressional delegation took off the gloves -- and replaced them with oven mitts -- in a contest worthy of their Minnesota heritage.

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken as well as Representatives Michele Bachmann, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison and Tim Walz competed in the the "Minnesota Congressional Delegation 2011 Hot Dish Off."

And although every dish used butter and mushrooms, the judges sampled comfort in several different flavors. Everything from the traditional tater tot and creamed soup concoction to a tuna noodle bake. And on top of the cheese, butter, creamed soups and more cheese, the flavors of Minnesota shined through with wild rice and venison brats, too.

Amy Klobuchar's winning hot dish

In the end, Klobuchar won with her "Taconite Tater Tot Hot Dish."

"Given the fine quality of the other hot dishes, this is truly an honor,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “I think the combination of the tater tots, pepper jack cheese, and unique taconite hot dish name gave us the edge."

“Last night, we focused on what unites us, what issues we can work together on and spent time with friends from across the political aisle,” said Rep. Walz. “Today we’ll share our hot dish recipes and I hope we’ll continue in that tradition in this next Congress by sharing our ideas and working together to get things done for all Minnesotans.”

In fact, the motto of the Hot Dish Off? "Working together to improve the lives of Minnesotans, one hot dish at a time."

Judges for the friendly competition were former Congressmen Vin Weber and Gerry Sikorski along with MinnPost reporter Derek Wallbank.

Someone get these guys some Tums.

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