Recipe Tater Tots

The Late Night Gourmet

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For those unfamiliar with this preparation, tater tots were invented by Ore-Ida, a big seller of frozen potatoes (I always thought they were a southern thing, but I just read this). Tater is short for "potato", and "tots" indicates that they're small. They're typically presented in a barrel shape, but I make mine using a small ice cream scoop (technically, it's a cookie dough scoop, equal to a tablespoon).

Ingredients

4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 egg, beaten
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry basil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese (block form, not shredded or sliced)
4 ounces canola oil

Directions

1. Peel the potatoes and place in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, and cook potatoes for 6 minutes. Immediately drain potatoes and allow to cool.

2. Using a box grater, shred all potatoes into a large bowl. Use a kitchen town or cheese cloth to squeeze any excess moisture out of the potatoes. NOTE: russet potatoes shouldn't need this since they're relatively dry.

3. Beat egg separately and add to the potatoes. Add remaining ingredients (except for the oil and cheese) to the bowl and blend thoroughly.

4. Cut the cheese block into small cubes, about 1/4" per side.

5. Use a small ice cream scoop (tablespoon-sized) to form the mixture into roughly a ball shape. While they're still in the scoop (or tablespoon) press a cube of cheese into the middle. Wrap potato around the cheese so no part of the cheese is showing.

6. Press the stray bits of potato together so it stays in a ball. Prep them on a plate to have them ready to cook. Here's what they look like if you don't do that: some of the frayed ends burn a bit, but they're also crispy and delicious!

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6. Carefully place the tots in oil heated to 350-375 degrees, making sure not to crowd the cooking vessel. Shake the fry basket or stir with a metal spoon to keep them from sticking together. Cook for about 4 minutes or until golden brown.

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7. Place newly-cooked tots on a paper towel; using a baking sheet with a paper towel is a good way to do this. Try one (carefully!) to see if you like the taste. Sprinkle with salt if desired while still hot.

8. Hide a few for yourself so you will have a chance to have some (they won't last long, regardless of the occasion!)
 
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Francesca

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@The Late Night Gourmet,

Fun eating .. These make a fabulous appetiser accompanied by a couple of dipping sauces or salsas .. A wonderful spread of photographs with steps to follow ..

I make a similar reipe but with San Simon da Costa Smoked Cow Cheese, from Lugo, Galicia .. (Sorry, we not have a penchant for orange cheeses or red rinds). On occasion I also used an aged Provolone ..

Merry Christmas ..
 
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Morning Glory

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Tater is short for "potato", and "tots" indicates that they're small.

'Tater'* is a very common word in the for potatoes in the UK (along with 'spuds') and yes, tots means 'little ones' in the UK too - so I understood the title of the recipe from the first. I just don't know why we don't have them here!

*Tater is listed in Chambers dictionary: a colloquial form of potato also tatie
 

Morning Glory

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So here we go with that question that comes up again and again when reading US recipes containing potatoes.:ohmy: We have different potatoes in the UK so Russet doesn't mean much. Here, we describe potatoes as either waxy (new potatoes) or floury (old potatoes). And then there are the ones in between! The floury type ones make perfect mash - Maris Piper, King Edwards etc. The waxy type which tend to be smaller are best for potato salad, for example or for serving as a side.

I'm thinking that the Tater Tot potatoes would be the waxy kind but I'm really unsure...
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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I know potatoes as tatties or singular tattie. I can always remember one particular shopping trip we made whilst living down south. We were in Godalming, Surrey in the newly opened Waitrose store many, many years ago. Calling out to my husband I asked him if we needed any tatties? The entire vegetable area went silent for several seconds as people registered the fact they had no idea what I'd just said but that it must be a northern word. Hushed whispers resumed... We had set ourselves apart from the posh southern folk shopping in this top end supermarket.
 

Morning Glory

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I know potatoes as tatties or singular tattie. I can always remember one particular shopping trip we made whilst living down south. We were in Godalming, Surrey in the newly opened Waitrose store many, many years ago. Calling out to my husband I asked him if we needed any tatties? The entire vegetable area went silent for several seconds as people registered the fact they had no idea what I'd just said but that it must be a northern word. Hushed whispers resumed... We had set ourselves apart from the posh southern folk shopping in this top end supermarket.

That's probably posh Godalming for you. I come from the South and I called them tatties, taters or Spuds.
 

classic33

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So here we go with that question that comes up again and again when reading US recipes containing potatoes.:ohmy: We have different potatoes in the UK so Russet doesn't mean much. Here, we describe potatoes as either waxy (new potatoes) or floury (old potatoes). And then there are the ones in between! The floury type ones make perfect mash - Maris Piper, King Edwards etc. The waxy type which tend to be smaller are best for potato salad, for example or for serving as a side.

I'm thinking that the Tater Tot potatoes would be the waxy kind but I'm really unsure...
Try Sainsburys for the spuds.
 

Morning Glory

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