Sen. Franken and Rep. Cravaack tie to win Minnesota Delegation Hotdish contest

Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation came together March 7 for U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) second annual hotdish competition.

Sen. Franken started the friendly “Hotdish Off” last year as a way to bring the delegation together to put partisanship aside and celebrate a Minnesota tradition. Sen. Franken and Rep. Cravaack tied for first place with their “Mom’s Mahnomen Madness Hotdish” and “Minnesota Wild Strata Hotdish.”

After blind taste testing each member’s hotdish former Congressmen Vin Weber (R-Minn.) and Reverend Patrick Conroy, the House Chaplain, declared Sen. Franken and Rep. Cravaack co-winners of the 2012 Hotdish off.


Sen. Franken’s
Mom’s Mahnomen
Madness Hotdish


1 lb. Wild rice (Mahnomen)

one stick butter

ten cloves of garlic

3 medium sized yellow onions

4 stalks of celery

2 lbs. White button mushrooms

2 cans (8 oz. each) of water chestnuts, drained, then sliced into 1/4” rounds

1 can cream of mushroom soup (diluted with 1/2 cup of water)

salt to taste

Roast turkey – pulled from the bone

Turkey gravy (aujus)

1 cup grated parmesan



In a colander, rinse the wild rice.

Put the rice in a pot, and cover with 3 inches of water. Boil in a pot, uncovered, for about 20 to 25 minutes. If you’re using Mahnomen wild rice, it will cook more quickly than the paddy variety.

While the rice is boiling, slice (do not mince) the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and celery.

Melt the butter in a skillet, and sauté the onions, garlic, and celery until they begin to bleed a little liquid into the butter. Then add the mushrooms. The celery and onions should not be totally soft.

Once the rice has cooked, drain it and add to the sautéed vegetables.

Add pulled turkey and gravy, water chestnuts.

Place mixture in casserole dish, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and place in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until top is browned and hot dish is heated through.


Rep. Cravaack’s
Minnesota Wild Strata


Loaf of French bread, sliced and cubed

12 eggs, beaten

4 cups milk, divided

3 tsp. dry mustard

15 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 lbs. ground pork sausage, browned and drained

1 C. cooked Minnesota wild rice

1 (10.75 oz) can Cream of Mushroom soup


Place French bread in a well greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Mix eggs, three cups milk and dry mustard together.  Carefully pour over bread. Sprinkle cheese, sausage and wild rice over bread.

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Before baking, mix cream of mushroom soup and 1 cup milk together and spread over bread mixture. Bake covered at 375 degrees for one hour.  Let sit 15 minutes before serving.