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The Tater Tot Topic


Jason Perlow
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ronnie, my friend: You are an inspiration to us all. You did it! The bubble-pack breaking- agaist -the- teeth texture of caivar, the crispy/soft texture of the tot. That suave dab of sour cream.

Jake: I love the interior of your fridge.

spaghetttti:I am salivating; what a terrific idea! Potatoes are very Indian after all.

If Ore-ida isn't watching this thread, they should be.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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It's funny Squeat mentioned the Safeway store brand, because that's what we have, well, not Safeway, but Pathmark. Much better than Ore Ida. And, you bake them at 450 F (actually, I do them at 425F w/convection), they don't need to actually be fried at home.

Just an update, the Pathmark version are called "Tasty Tots."

As for flattening for extra crunchiness, I'd suggest the flat end of a meat tenderizer. What's that called? A meat pounder? Anyway, do the tots for the first 10 minutes at 400, then when you are supposed to flip, flatten them, another 5 minutes or so, then flip. That's what I'm going to try next time. This process is making them sound like tostones to me.

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As for flattening for extra crunchiness, I'd suggest the flat end of a meat tenderizer. What's that called? A meat pounder? Anyway, do the tots for the first 10 minutes at 400, then when you are supposed to flip, flatten them, another 5 minutes or so, then flip. That's what I'm going to try next time. This process is making them sound like tostones to me.

Yep, that's what I use, batticarne = meat pounder. I use mine so often it lives right near the cooktop with a fresh plastic bag slipped over it after each use so it is ready for the next time.

It's funny you should mention tostones. I just bought some plantains yesterday, but hadn't thought of making tostones. I have a tostonera in my kitchen gadget collection but have never used it as the batticarne is always so handy, within easy reach.

My housekeeper also loves Tater Tots. Coming from eastern Europe, she is familiar with similar potato creations but not as "handy" as these. I do buy them in the giant-sized bag at Costco or Sam's Club but repackage them in smaller ziploc bags which go into a jumbo bag.

I found this was expedient after having one of the large bags split at the bottom while I was trying to open the top. Knee deep in wasted Tater Tots. Now the big bag goes onto a tray first.

"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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ronnie, my friend: You are an inspiration to us all. You did it!  The bubble-pack breaking- agaist -the- teeth texture of caivar, the crispy/soft texture of the tot. That suave dab of sour cream.

Jake: I love the interior of your fridge.

spaghetttti:I am salivating; what a terrific idea!  Potatoes are very Indian after all.

If Ore-ida isn't watching this thread, they should be.

Thank you, Maggie :biggrin: However, in the interest of full disclosure I should add if someone had walked in and asked for a peanut butter sandwich last night I couldn't have done it! :laugh::laugh:

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

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

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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?)

Having just wrestled with the whole parallelogram thing with Grade 7 math, I'd be just as happy as to never hear the word again :biggrin: .

Now, tater tots are a must for breakfast in our house. Anything that crunchy can't be bad.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Confession is good for the soul, I hear. I *FREAKIN ADORE* tater tots. To me they are little bites of hashbrown goodness. I much prefer fried, but my tummy doesn't. I like them with a little salt and pepper. Jalepeno ketchup, if I'm feeling froggy. Whats *really* primo is tater tots with jalepenos and onions. Kinda like a potato hush puppy.

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BTW, bloviatrix, I think that OreIda has some sort of rabbinical supervision now by some kashruth authority ... but, obviously, only when the Tots are served "neat", not in this milky-meaty casserole! :shock:

You're trying to find reasons for me to visit the freezer aisle, huh? :laugh:

I found myself wandering down the freezer aisle of Shop-Rite last night desparately searching for Tater Tots. Turns out, their hechsher is one we don't accept. But Blovie consoled me by reminding me that Chanukah is soon and I can eat frozen latkes then. :laugh:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I'm never going to figure the whole competing Hechsher thing out. I thought basically all vegetables were pareve? Is it because its a processed food?

As to the Empire Kosher Frozen Latkes... whats to stop you from eating them year round?

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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I'm never going to figure the whole competing Hechsher thing out. I thought basically all vegetables were pareve? Is it because its a processed food?

That's exactly the reason. The more manipulation to a product, the greater chance for the something crazy to happen.

As to the Empire Kosher Frozen Latkes... whats to stop you from eating them year round?

I believe in eating seasonally. :laugh:

Edited by bloviatrix (log)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I just wanted to add a big thanks for this thread. This is the kind of thread that when friends and family think I've gone off the deep end into complete food snobbery because of eGullet, I can say, "hey, there's a five-freakin-page thread on TATER TOTS! Back off!"

I haven't tried them in a long time, but you can be sure I'll do some experimentation. Tater Tots with Roblochon perhaps?

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Speaking of food snobbery, this thread inspired me as well to buy tater tots. Howevere, my post-inspiration shopping trip happened to be to Whole Foods, so I bought their 365 version. My kids were with me, and it was fun to be the tater tot hero. :wink:

Anyway...now that I have them here, let's compare ingredient lists. WF brand lists: potatoes, palm oil, salt, apple juice concentrate, citric acid (to retain natural color).

They were quite delicious. We served them with beer-boiled-then-grilled bratwurst and a greekish salad.

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it definitely beats upma night at my house.

Oy, Tryska - I'd agree with you, but one day my Dad melted like two tablespoons of ghee over the stove and poured it all over my (tiny portion of) upma. I'm never going back!

I stole Tater Tots off the lunch trays of peers as a young'un. We didn't have them much in our house growing up. And don't you all start tempting me to buy some!

Amy

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Anyway...now that I have them here, let's compare ingredient lists.  WF brand lists:  potatoes, palm oil, salt, apple juice concentrate, citric acid (to retain natural color).

Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns (same as tots, only flatter): potatoes, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola), salt, precooked wheat flour, yellow corn flour, natural flavoring, dehydrated onions, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast, dextrose, disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate (to retain natural color).

This thread inspired me to buy tots for the first time in years. We had some the other night with roasted halibut. Tonight, on my own for dinner, I baked a pan of crispy crowns at 450. Tipped into a shallow bowl, topped with grated cheddar, back in the oven for a moment. Added salsa and sour cream. Tasted good...

Hungry Monkey May 2009
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Tater Tots with Roblochon perhaps?

Tater Tot-iflette (tartiflette)

?

The mind boggles.

Tater Tot-iflette! Excellent. This will be on the menu at Chez Al this weekend. Perhaps I'll post the results with pictures.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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The evening after I started reading this thread, I caught a documentary on TLC, I believe, about a family with 14, going on 15, children (10 boys, 5 girls). That certainly makes the mind boggle!

During one segment, they showed their pantry, shelves lined with rows and rows of industrial-sized canned goods. Mom was explaining how they do their shopping and what they liked to keep on hand. She mentioned that one of their go-to meals was Tater Tot casserole. A huge batch could be made up really quickly and they always had the ingredients on hand. Another segment showed a couple of the daughters make said casserole and the camera briefly flashed on the recipe. Unfortunately, the only ingredients I caught were Tater Tots (of course) and cream of mushroom soup.

Just thought I'd mention it...

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Tater tots and Fondue. :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Why are you laughing. That sounds delicious. :biggrin:

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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Tater tots and Fondue. :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Why are you laughing. That sounds delicious. :biggrin:

Keeps the cardiologists in business. I eat way to many meals like that.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Tater tots and Fondue. :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Why are you laughing. That sounds delicious. :biggrin:

Keeps the cardiologists in business. I eat way to many meals like that.

You must have missed my earlier post (Post # 2 in this thread)

It was one of the things I would fix to go with fondue because the kids didn't like bread or toast in fondue but they loved the Tater Tots dipped into the fondue and then into crumbled bacon and green onions chopped very fine.

"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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When, "Tater Tot's" were first being tested and introduced into the market, at that time only for Restaurant's in 30 pound cartons of 6 five pound bag's I worked on a program to test them for catering. This was in the 1960's when Frozen French Fries were still a novelty and processed potatoes pre-cut were available for Restaurants.

I convinced several well known Caterer's in NYC to offer them in place of Baked Potatoes or Rissole Potatoes as a option on Banquet Menus. It only took 2 month's to make them the item du jour with the others being $$ options.

Customers liked them since they came to the tables hot, were easy to eat, looked nice and were well portioned. At the time they seemed special.

Caterers loved them, since a 5 pound bag equal 25 nice portions with no labor cost, no frying required and less expense then any other item on the menu. They were easy to set up and prepare for service. All it required was to put a bag onto a baking pan, spread it out and put into the oven to heat. The Tot's didn't stick, dry out, browned nicely and after being browned were able to keep at low temperature until being served with no change in taste or appearance.

This was very popular and successful for over 5 years until they were introduced into the Fast Food and Retail packages. At that time they were a favorite at school lunches ans advertised at a Mexican style fast food chain seasoned.

Was wondering if "Jason" remembers them from Great Neck, since this was one location that several Kosher Caterer's were using the Tot's since they were certified Kosher.

Irwin :wub:

I love Tater Tots.  I love them because they are crunchy on the outside, yet coarse and potatoey on the inside. They are neither croquette nor french fry. They just are.

Tonight, we professed our love to Tater Tots by combining them with Boeuf Bourginon, a classic French Bistro dish. They were a very effective conveyance for the deep, rich beef gravy.

gallery_2_4_1099268063.jpg

There's another Tater Tot dish I've always wanted to try, if only for its grotesqueness -- The Ms. Lucy Zaunbrecher Tator Tot Casserole. What is this thing? Its sauteed trinity (Celery, Bell Pepper, Onion), condensed cream of mushroom soup, condensed cream of chicken soup, grated cheese and sliced smoked sausage, all cooked up into an amorphous glop in a saute pan, baked into a casserole over layers of Tater Tots.

The Tator Tot Casserole is obviously a very popular dish, as it has at least 160 different variations:

http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,tato...sserole,FF.html

Anyone else have any favorite Tater Tot uses?

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Tonight we had a fried chicken dinner - sauteed green beans & peas, steamed rice and tater tots. I was looking around the table as people were eating their tots; my two nephews dipped theirs into ketchup, my father chose light soy sauce for dipping, but my mother had hers with melted gouda cheese and sliced jalapeno peppers. She gave me a bite, awesome!

Tater tot nachos. :wub:

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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Damn... I've been out of the loop for a month and I missed the Tater Tot Thread!!!

I love, love, love them. Here in NE Ohio we have a drive-in hamburger chain called Swenson's that has them on the menu and I love them for it. There's also a legendary local joint (Mike's Place, for the KSU alumni) that serves them in a bucket. Beautiful.

I really like them at breakfast tho'... a lot. I make over-easy eggs and then dip the tots in the yolks. Mmmm.

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