Sean has been asking me for months now to try my hand at making some homemade tater tots. Tater tots are pretty much a religious experience around my home and Michelle and Sean absolutely love them. When we have burgers, it’s always with tater tots. I have looked at recipes for homemade tots before and they always seemed very involved and difficult and didn’t look like they would really turn out all that great so I stayed away from them. A few days ago I saw this recipe from Bon Appetit and read through it and could not believe how easy it would be, so I knew this was going to be the time I would try it out.
For the Spicy Mayonnaise:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
¼ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Tater Tots:
3 medium russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed
2 scallions, chopped
½ cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
Vegetable oil, for frying
For the spicy mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise, adobo sauce, hot pepper sauce, and paprika, if using, in a small bowl; season the mayonnaise with salt and pepper to taste.
For the tater tots, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and bake them directly on an oven rack until the potatoes are very soft when they are squeezed, about 60 to 75 minutes. Let the potatoes cool slightly so they are easy to handle.
Cut the potatoes in half and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl; discard the potato skins. Mash the potatoes, then mix in the scallions, breadcrumbs, cream, sour cream, butter, granulated garlic, pepper, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Mix in the eggs until they are just combined. Roll 1-tablespoon portions of the potato mixture into balls.
Pour the vegetable oil into a medium skillet to a depth of ½-inch and heat the oil over medium heat until bubbles form immediately when a little potato mixture is added. Working in batches, fry the tater tots until they are a deep golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain the tater tots on paper towels. Season the tater tots with salt to taste and serve them with the spicy mayonnaise.
I did do one thing that is not included in the recipe that does seem to make a difference, at least to me. After I rolled the tater tots (and I used a cookie scoop to roll them, the medium-sized one) I put them on a plate and put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This seemed to firm the potatoes up nicely so they really held their shape well and went into the oil easily and did not fall apart along the way. I have to say while they are not exactly like the frozen tater tots you buy in the store, they are much creamier and have better texture. It kind of tastes like a deep-fried mashed potato, which for us was fantastic. They were really easy to make and came out perfectly for me and I think it made about 30 to 40 tater tots, which was plenty for us. It takes a little longer than opening up the bag out of the freezer but in my mind it is worth the effort to make them.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!