Homemade Tater Tots

February 2, 2011

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This coming Sunday is the Super Bowl XLV.  Our house happens to be filled with Jets fans.  The Jets lost last week and ever since that ill fated Sunday, the talk of Super Bowl is off limits.  At least, until we got an invitation to friends who really know how to throw a good party!!  The talk around here is not so much about the game, but about who’s going to be there, the food, and how early can we get there!

With all the talk on the Internet about Super Bowl food, I am compelled to step up my game and not make the norm.   The norm meaning dips with chips, veggies and dip, pigs in a blanket, chili, and dozens of cookies.  When I heard that my friend, Brigid was making “50″s junk food” I immediately went to a recipe I have been coveting for some time now; Homemade Tater Tots. I have read and re-read Saveur’s 100 issue and there are so many recipes that I want to try, modify, and taste.  But it is these little golden nuggets of fried “potatoes” that I keep coming back to.  Yes, these Tater Tots are indeed fried.  And fried food is one of my guilty pleasures.

This is not a dish that I would regularly put on my dinner table, but it is a great treat and perfect for a crowd.  This is also a dish that could be done in advance.  All of us busy people, juggling everything from kids, work, volunteer committments, plus the perils of everyday life – having something pre-prepared and in the freezer is truly a wonderful thing.

There is simply nothing better than a homemade Tater Tot.  I made mine with organic potatoes and whole wheat flour.  With that said, could this be considered a healthy treat???

Tater Tots

adapted from Saveur
yield: lots
ingredients:
3 lbs. organic russet potatoes(3 large), peeled, cut into 1″ pieces.
1 3/4 tsp. powdered gelatin
4 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sea salt
peanut oil for frying
homemade or organic ketchup

instructions:
• preheat oven to 250*
• set up food processor with your metal blade.  add 4 cups of cold water.
• peel, cut, and rinse your potatoes.  cut into 1″ cubes.  add to food processor and pulse until all is finely chopped, but not pureed.  you want it to be
somewhat chunky.
• drain in a collander, removing any excess water.
• transfer potatoes to a tea towel.  roll up the potatoes in the tea towel and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the potatoes.  wrap another tea towel around your first towel and repeat.  spread potoatoes on two rimmed baking sheets.  Sprinkle gelatin over the potatoes and place in the oven for about 8 minutes or unitl the gelatin melts into the potatoes.
• put the potatoes in a large bowl.  sprinkle with the whole wheat flour, cumin, and sea salt.  mix together.
• put a little bit of water on a flat surface.  place a piece of plastic wrap and lay it on the wet surface.  take a little less than a cup of the potato mixture and put it on the plastic wrap.  make a log with the potatoes.  I tried to make 1″ in diameter logs by about 12-13″ long.  roll up the potato log as you would an ice box cookie dough.  take the section of plastic wrap closest to you and fold it over the potato log.  roll up the log, using a ruler to push the log together (so confusing, I know – will try and do a how to and post later).  Basically, you want to get the plastic wrap as tight as possible around the log so the mixture stays together.  I got about 7 logs.
• put the logs on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour.  you want them to be firm but not frozen.
• pour your peanut oil in a heavy duty dutch oven and heat until a thermometer reaches 275*.  taking one log out at a time from the freezer, slice your tater tots into 1″ pieces and place a few in the hot oil at a time.  you don’t want to crowd the pan. fry for about 3 minutes or until they are golden in color.
• transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.  place tater tots in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
• reheat oil to 350*.  working in small batches, add tater tots to the hot oil and fry until dark brown.  transfer to paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt, black salt or truffle salt.

Need more Super Bowl ideas? Check out these fabulous dishes:
Potato Gnocchi Tater Tots – Deliciously Organic
Potato Skins - Simply Recipes
Honey Siracha Honey Buffalo Wings – White on Rice Couple
Soft Pretzel Bite – Two Peas and their Pod
Sweet Potato with Blue Cheese + Bacon – Family Fresh Cooking
Parmesan Rosemary Flatbreads – The Italian Dish
100 Best Super Bowl Recipes – Recipe Girl

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking February 2, 2011 at 8:29 am

Oh, who didn’t love these as a kid?! I made have not had one in 10 years or so, but I know I’d still love ‘em. You have a beautiful blog, and I’m so glad to have found it. Keep up the delicious cooking and baking! :) – Georgia

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2 Susan February 2, 2011 at 8:52 am

Gloria – so nice to meet you! If you are a potato fan, I highly suggest you make these homemade ones! They are far superior! Thanks for stopping by!

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3 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking February 2, 2011 at 9:11 am

My name is Georgia, but that’s ok. Thanks for your reply.

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4 Kim February 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm

So cool to have these home made! These looks so good and so crispy! It’s perfect for a Superbowl afternoon-evening!

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5 Susan February 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm

they are like little balls of hash browns. these would be so good with soft boiled eggs!

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6 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I saw that recipe in Saveur and bookmarked it because it reminded me of how much I used to love tater tots when I was growing up! There are just some times when it’s okay not to worry too much about the calories, and your version is healthy right ;-)

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7 Susan February 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm

whom ever says they don’t like tater tots are not telling the truth. these were crazy good! let me know if you make them. i would love to hear what you thought!

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8 Cathy/ShowFoodChef February 2, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I have to say your pics really sell these – they just look so crispy on the outside and what a great idea for snacks. And, I’m calling them healthy because it’s relative to what most fans are eating, right? :D

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9 Susan February 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Cathy – potatoes are a vegetable, right?? i am calling them healthy fried goodness! what are you making? i am sure something fabulously delicious!

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10 Kristen February 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

These are brilliant!! I want to come to your Super Bowl party! Yum.

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11 Susan February 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm

you are invited!!!

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12 Deliciously Organic February 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Wow these look good! I’m such a fan of homemade tater tots. Great pics too!

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13 Susan February 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm

your gnocchi tater tots were my inspiration! your girls would devour these!!

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14 Amanda February 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Seriously awesome. I would LOVE to make these as it seems the ones you can buy are never very good!!! Thanks so much for posting this… my kids are gonna love you! :)

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15 Susan February 3, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Amanda – these would be a great home schooling “science project”! Put it in your curriculum!

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16 Patricia Scarpin February 3, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Susan, these are completely new to me! First time ever seeing them, but I know I would devour several in no time – yum!

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17 Susan February 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Tater Tots are one of those gross, American, frozen potato dishes found in a plastic bag in every supermarket. Patricia, they are so gross they are good! But, this homemade version is a sure fire winner! try them, they are a fun project!

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18 Lucy Lean February 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Delicious – from Mexico – relaxing in sunshine on beach between writing in my room with vino – sound familiar?! x

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19 Susan February 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm

one month ago you and I were roomies, sharing chocolate and wine as the sun set! enjoy your mexican holiday with fabulous friends. and have a piece of chocolate and some wine for me!

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20 Allison [Haute Box] February 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

These look amaaaazing. I don’t remember the last time I had tater tots.

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21 Susan February 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm

for me, Allison, it had been years! once you eat these, there is no going back!

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22 marla {family fresh cooking} February 4, 2011 at 6:27 am

I am not watching the Super Bowl, but I would for sure make these tater tots. My kids would love me more than ever if I did. Thanks for the link love too!

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23 Lori @ RecipeGirl February 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm

What a great idea! And so much healthier than my bacon wrapped frozen tater tots, though I suppose we could wrap these in bacon too :)

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24 Susan February 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I am all for anything wrapped in bacon! Such a guilty pleasure! Love your Superbowl recap! That had to have taken you a 400 hours to compile!

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25 marla June 6, 2011 at 10:23 am

Susan these tater tots would be perfect for the appetizer portion of the Get Grillin’ event I am hosting with Cookin’ Canuck. Please submit this and any two others if you wish :) Your salsa & Zucchini sticks would be great too.

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