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The Tater Tot Topic


Jason Perlow
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In view of the discussion currently raging here on Tater Tots, I thought it only fitting that I should purchase and consume (with much nostalgia!) a bag of Tater Tots tonight to commemorate another tension-filled election day ... any weight I gain will be purely because eGullet drove me to it ... :hmmm:

Sigh. Me too. Tater tots are at the top of the potato hierarchy. Just above seasoned fries and regular shoe string.

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I love tater tots! Only when hot though, they turn into different things altogether otherwise.

The best thing I've tried them with is a dipping sauce of minced garlic in chinese black vinegar. It wasn't on purpose; the sauce was an accompaniment to the spring rolls my dad fried up. It was sooo weird but good :raz:

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I have just made the most marvelous discovery and I have to share...

Early this morning, I put the last of the tater tots into the DeLonghi to have with my scrambled eggs. There were only a few, so I upended the bag onto the cooking tray. Along with the tots, some loose bits from the bottom of the bag spilled out. I left them there. After 20 minutes at 400F, convection on, the bits were a bit browner than the tots, as you would expect. Going back to clean up, I picked up a couple of the bits and they found their way to my mouth... they were well cooled by then.

SURPRISE! They were delicious! At room temperature! My mind immediately leapt to the possibilities. How wonderful would these crunchy bits be sprinkled on a salad, atop pasta, vegetables, what else? You could even season them with something. I started studying the bits. It seems that the ideal is a bit under 1/4 inch. Now I am wondering how to reduce a bunch of tots to nothing but bits. Thaw and hand crumble? Try to cut them up? I don't know. I have to go get more tots to try it out. I don't think I would care if the size weren't uniform. Sort of like the roasted cauliflower, the variation is interesting.

This... me dears... has possibilities.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Fifi,

You have learned my guilty secret of "improving" Tater Tots.

I spread them on a pan and mash them flat - I have a batticarne which sits right next to the counter where I place pans before shoving them in the oven - but anything flat will work.

I turn them using a big spatula, half-way through the baking time when the tops have begun to color well, (and usually add more seasoning at this point, just in case some fell off when I turned them), after 10 minutes I take a look and if they are getting nicely browned I give them another five minutes and by this time they have that special crunch.

If I have guests have have the big griddle fired up, I also do them on the griddle because when they are flattened they don't have to be rolled around to get browned on all sides, turning once will do it.

I often use bacon drippings when I cook them on the griddle as we like them with the extra flavor of bacon.

Now I'm hungry. Tater Tots, bacon and eggs, here I come!!

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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fifi, what if you got a can of shoestrings (like Pic-Nic) crunched them littler, then browned them?

That would be good too. But I don't think it would have quite the same texture. There is something unique about tater tots. It is almost like the potato has been though a grinder.

andie... does smashing them make them more like hashbrowns? This was little discrete bits.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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It just makes them flat instead of round. They hold together fairly well but the edges split a bit. It seems to make more crust and less center.

Try it with a handful at the edge of the pan in which you are baking a batch. See how they compare.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The Vortex here in Atlanta offers tater tots as an option for a side item, and I was eating them one night when I realized that they must be deep-frying them, because they were exceptionally crisp, hot from the oil. This, along with my favorite method for cooking chicken wings, turned out to be part of my ultimate decision to buy a deep fryer. It really is a fun thing to have around.

Sometimes I like to dip my tater tots in mayonnaise.

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tater tots cooked very crisp, a slight depression made in one side, and filled with a wee dab of sour cream and some good caviar.

Ok! I admit it! I did this last night and it was amazingly delicious. Remembered at the last minute that I had a small jar of caviar in the fridge. Cooked the tots, dabbed them with the sour cream, topped with little eggies...Yum! :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I like very crispy Tater Tots with soy sauce -- channeling both my Southern (deep fried) and Japanese roots with that combination.

"It is a fact that he once made a tray of spanakopita using Pam rather than melted butter. Still, though, at least he tries." -- David Sedaris
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I do not have a recipe, but I do have a memory. In the 60's, the pier restaurant at Navarre Beach in northwest Florida only served tater tots. And that was the only place around that I knew of that served them. Oh, I spent many hours of budding youth, sharing my tots with beautiful young girls down at the beach. I can get them at Sonic, but what I am missing right now is the old pier and those lovely young things that could turn my mind into mush with just a smile. Sigh. :cool::wub::wub::cool:

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Sometimes I like to dip my tater tots in mayonnaise.

I like very crispy Tater Tots with soy sauce -- channeling both my Southern (deep fried) and Japanese roots with that combination.

Mix mayo with little soy sauce... dip tots. :laugh:

(Actually, that was a favorite tempura dip years ago.)

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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My  family  cooked a smooth, spicy lamb curry tonight, and I had a few tots on my plate.  Those crunchy little jewels were great dipped into some homemade sambal.

Were these your first exposure to tots, Yetty?

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Were these your first exposure to tots, Yetty?

Not my first, but it's been at least 30 years since I've had some. Thanks for initiating this thread, Jason! What's next on the lemming, I mean, rediscovery trend? :laugh:

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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tater tots cooked very crisp, a slight depression made in one side, and filled with a wee dab of sour cream and some good caviar.

Ok! I admit it! I did this last night and it was amazingly delicious. Remembered at the last minute that I had a small jar of caviar in the fridge. Cooked the tots, dabbed them with the sour cream, topped with little eggies...Yum! :biggrin:

=R=

Oh! My! Goodness!

I think I was kidding. But now I'm dying to try it.

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tater tots cooked very crisp, a slight depression made in one side, and filled with a wee dab of sour cream and some good caviar.

Ok! I admit it! I did this last night and it was amazingly delicious. Remembered at the last minute that I had a small jar of caviar in the fridge. Cooked the tots, dabbed them with the sour cream, topped with little eggies...Yum! :biggrin:

=R=

Oh! My! Goodness!

I think I was kidding. But now I'm dying to try it.

If you do, please report back. In true eG fashion, it was the caviar I had on-hand but the tater tots...I had to run out and make a special trip for those :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Tonight I tried sandwiching mini tater-tots at 450 degrees in between two sheet pans, and weighed down with an iron skillet after about 10 minutes.

The goal was to make a giant tater tot pancake. However, what ended up happening was that one side of each tot stuck to the underside of the top sheet pan and the other side stuck to the top side of the bottom sheet pan.

After scraping off, however, this was really quite a good hash-brown-like treat!

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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Sometimes I like to dip my tater tots in mayonnaise.

My new favorite eGulletteerer.

Are you single? :wub:

Oh, wait. I just remembered that I'm not. :unsure:

Well, anyway, we could just have dates for the purpose of gustatory pleasure. I'm cooking tater tots tomorrow night. Be there or be a parallelogram. (how's that for nerdy?)

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Friday night, tired, a little cranky, a bit hungry, glass of scotch in hand.

Open fridge:

caviar? check.

sour cream? check.

tater tots? check.

Turn oven on, get ready to enjoy crispy bits of gourmet pleasure :raz:

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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In true eG fashion, it was the caviar I had on-hand but the tater tots...I had to run out and make a special trip for those :biggrin:

=R=

For some reason... that really got me. I am now recovering from a total incapacitation event. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

One thing that I fiddled with this morning...

The tots were really crispy and the insides were creamy/mooshy. You can take a sharp knife point and slice down one side of the little cylinder. Then if you take the ends of the cylinder between your thumb and forefinger and squeeze gently, it opens up a bit. You could put dabs of all kinds of things in there!

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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