Hot Dish?  I heard this term on our first day here, and honestly, I just nodded my head like I understood what was just said to me, but I had no clue and had to Google it later. When I searched it out, I found that in North Carolina, and a good part of the South at least, what you call a “hotdish”, we call a “casserole”. There are many types of casseroles, my favorite is chicken casserole.

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There were times we didn’t have much when I was growing up, and I felt we had Tuna Casserole when times were toughest. When I investigated what a Hotdish was, it led me to believe there could be many types of Hotdishes, but then I was recently told that to be a true Hotdish, it must contain tater tots and some sort of meat, although I’m finding that’s truly a divisive matter of opinion on that here.

Unlike what I was told that a Hotdish must contain meat; a casserole could be a vegetable dominated dish. For instance, on Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law wants green bean casserole. The primary ingredient of course is green beans but also has cream of mushroom soup and is topped with French fried onions. Other popular non-meat centric casseroles are broccoli casserole and hashbrown casserole. Even squash casseroles have been served, and my friend David’s mother makes a “vegetable medley” casserole.

Then there are the breakfast variety casseroles, that include sausage, egg, sometimes bacon and potatoes.  So, it seems that calling a “casserole” a “hotdish” and vice versa isn’t exactly right, or is it?

I’m very much open to trying a “Hotdish”, my biggest concern is I don’t love tater tots, I know that could get me in trouble here. So, what is the best Hotdish recipe and where do I get it? I’m willing to try almost anything once, twice if I like it, and three times if I become addicted.

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