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Tasty, Tantalizing and Terrific – Homemade Tater Tots with Spicy Mayonnaise

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.

Homemade Tater Tots with Spicy Mayonnaise

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!
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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Cooking, Potatoes, Sauce, Snacks, Uncategorized

 

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A Kid’s Delight – Chicken Fingers & Tater Tots, Homemade

Tonight’s recipes are a kid’s delight (well, my kid’s anyway). Sean likes to get chicken fingers when we got out, and adding tater tots to the meal is just icing on the cake for him. Chicken fingers themselves are pretty easy to make. Some recipes call for frying them, but I have decided to go with one that bakes the chicken to make it a little healthier. It’;s a very simple recipe with not many ingredients.

Chicken Fingers

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt

2 cups breadcrumbs

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch-wide strips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set a rack on a baking sheet and mist with cooking spray. Whisk the eggs, mustard and 1 teaspoon of salt in a shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a second shallow bowl. Dip the chicken strips in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then coat with the breadcrumbs. Place the chicken on the rack and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

A few notes about the chicken fingers. Placing them on a rack over the baking sheet is key, since it lets air circulate around the whole piece of chicken, allowing it to crisp up all over. You can buy chicken tenders pre-cut  already, but they seem to be more expensive than just buying boneless chicken and cutting it yourself. Lastly, you could use any breadcrumbs you choose for this recipe; I am using homemade breadcrumbs, but if I went for store-bought, I would use panko to give you a little extra crunch.

Now on to the tater tots. As I have said, I’ve never made these before. I looked at a bunch of recipes and each one seemed to have both good and bad results, so I wasn’t really sure which one to go for until I found this one from Cook’s Country. It seems simple, basic and looks like it will taste good, so let’s go for it!

Tater Tots

1 cup water

2 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

4 cups peanut oil or vegetable oil

 In a small bowl, whisk the water and salt together until the salt dissolves. Transfer the salt water and potatoes to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until coarsely ground, 10 to 12 pulses, stirring occasionally.

Drain the potato mixture in a fine-mesh strainer, pressing the potatoes with a spoon until dry (the liquid should measure about 1½ cups); discard liquid. Transfer the potatoes to a microwave safe bowl and microwave, uncovered, until dry and sticky, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.

Stir the flour, black pepper and cayenne pepper into the potatoes. Spread the potato mixture into a thin layer over a large sheet of aluminum foil and let it cool for 10 minutes. Push the potatoes to the center of the foil and place the foil and potatoes in an 8-inch square baking pan. Push the foil into the corners and up the sides of  the pan, smoothing it flush to the pan. Press the potato mixture tightly and evenly into the pan. Freeze, uncovered, until firm, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat until 375 degrees. Using the foil overhang, lift potatoes from pan and cut into 1¼ by 1-inch pieces (6 cuts in 1 direction and 8 in other). Fry half of the potato tots, until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally once they begin to brown. Drain the prepared baking sheet, season to taste and place in oven. Bring the oil back to 375 degrees and repeat with the remaining potato tots. Serve warm.

You could take the easy way out and just make a frozen bag of tater tots, but showing off to your kids that you can make them at home is pretty cool on its own :). I am just making some simple steamed broccoli as a vegetable, since it is Sean’s favorite vegetable and this is his meal.

That’s it for tonight. Follow the recipes and you’ll be the hero of the day for the kids. Tomorrow I’ll be making Meatloaf for dinner, which is one of my all time favorites. I have made it before, but it’s a family favorite and turns up on here once in a while. I may vary the recipe a little tomorrow, so check back and see how what’s up. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Poultry, Vegetables

 

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