Most places it's called a casserole. This is one of the ways I know I'm back in the Midwest...
tonight- we had hotdish. Tater-tot hotdish, to be exact.
I haven't been much of a fan of the hotdish, because they're so often composed mostly of ground beef and cream of mushroom soup. Sometimes they have cheese, or green beans, or noodles, but they ALWAYS have ground beef and cream of mushroom soup. I grew up with a lot of ground beef, and I think I grew tired of it.
The hotdish has been the one yankification of my southern mother. When Blue was born, she came out and made us several different casseroles, one of which was tater-tot hotdish. The other had chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese. And there was a pan of lasagna, too.
Mmmmm... lasagna. It can have ground beef in it and it's served in a casserole dish, but it is most definitely NOT a hotdish. Too fancy. Midwestern hotdishes are humble. You find prime examples of hotdish in the basements of Lutheran churches in Minnesota. Just as Garrison Keillor.
Tonight's hotdish was pretty good. I'm not usually a tater-tot hotdish fan... but since I've become a mother, I love anything I haven't cooked myself.
I may not cook it for myself in the future, but for now, I eat hotdish. Because I am home.