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Christy: Dorito Hotdish

It’s a good thing that farmers feed the world, and that we help those farmers gather their crops. Mostly because, the guys we feed like to eat. It feels like we take a hefty portion of what we gather to feed them. Last year I estimated that we served up about 2,200 pounds of beef to our crew during the harvest season. And that’s not including all the chicken and pork.

I think it’s safe to say Rhonada and I have a little experience in the kitchen. I’d like to share some of our go-to’s that heartily feed our men. Most like what we make, some don’t. We have picky eaters, and we have those who’ll take what they’re not having.

It’s taken me a long time to learn how to dish up a satisfying meal that stays delicious from the oven to the field. And there are some days that what I make doesn’t come out the way it should.

One meal that always turns out great is a casserole Rhonada taught me to make my first year on the run. I call it Dorito Hotdish.

This recipe comes from one of our customers, Margaret Estvold of North Dakota. Before my time on the harvest, she cooked up a meal at the end of their harvest for the crew. This meal became an instant hit. If you’re a fan of Mexican food, this hotdish is for you.


1 can enchilada sauce

1 can fiesta nacho cheese soup

1 can chopped green chilies

1 can cream chicken soup

about 1 cup shredded cheese of choice

about 1 cup frozen corn

about 4 to 6 cooked and cubed chicken breast, depending on size

One bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, crushed

I’ll warn you that this recipe is for about maybe 5 to 6 guys, depending on how they eat. I pretty much quadruple it for our crew, or just dump more stuff in if it doesn’t look like enough. You know you’ve all done it.

You can cook your chicken in the oven, or you can put it on the grill. I choose the grill because it keeps the camper from getting warm. These pictures are from the meal I made tonight, in our crew galley, so you can see how it looks.

I just mix all but the last ingredient into a bowl, pour in a greased 9×13, and top with the crushed Doritos. Bake at 325 to 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Or, if you’re like me, put the hotdish on the grill. That way, as I said before, the camper stays cool in the hot Texas weather.

I typically serve this up with a fresh lettuce salad, and some rolls. I’m pretty amazed at how much the group we have this year likes salad. So good for you. The pictures don’t do justice. The bowl and roaster are larger than they appear.

I’d like to touch on the US Custom Harvesters Safety Day Meeting today. Not only was it a great turn-out, but I felt like the information relayed was vital, especially to any new crew members. So many good reminders on what we need to do to make sure we don’t have emergency situations, what is expected of us in those situations, and to keep those around us safe. We can’t put enough importance on safety.

Hopefully I’ll be able to report about some actual cutting soon. It definitely gets old sitting.

Christy Paplow can be reached at christy@allaboardharvest.com.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Case IH, Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc., BASF, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Gleaner, ITC, Westbred, Huskie, Western Equipment, US Custom Harvesters, and High Plains Journal. 


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