This sounded so interesting, I HAD to try it. I'm so glad that I did! It's so good and cheesey and gets a bit of kick from the chilies. I understand what you mean by "fluff"......as it bakes, the onion ring breading soaks the moisture and becomes soft and fluffy and helps tp bind the casserole together. I opted to use the milk. You mention in step 12 about adding ground beef.....I am definitely going to try that. Sounds like a wonderful twist on the old "tator tot casserole." Thanx so much for sharing!
Sorry...it didn't "fluff" for me. The flavor was good, but the filling was curdled and visually unappealing. I like the concept, as it could replace the typical shredded potato cheese casserole, so I think I'll try it again with another savory custard type filling.