Friday, July 9, 2010

Tater tots redux - from scratch



Can’t anybody just follow a recipe and not tinker with it? Ah, but it’s the tinkering that’s the fun part.

I was inspired by Jenn’s posting the other day of her version ( of my Simply Potatoes tots to try a from-scratch version. The Simply Potato company told me via email that their products are basically 70 % pre-cooked. Ergo the necessity to figure out just how long to boil my potatoes before shredding. Here goes:

A large russet potato yielded just about 3 cups of shredded potato. To make this recipe make sense, I’ve written it as if there is 1 cup of potato. Therefore a person should multiply as necessary depending on how much potato you actually have.

I wanted to form my tots right on the baking sheet and so dispensed with Jenn’s method of heating the sheet while the oven heats. To compensate I increased her oven temp to 450 degrees and stayed with her 5 minutes per side.

I hope I haven’t made this more difficult by writing up the plan as if there is 1 cup of potato, but no 2 taters are going to be the same size.

Tater tots redux – from scratch (each cup of potato will make about 5 tots)
russet potato, par-boiled and shredded
The following measurements are for 1 cup of shredded potato:
1 tbsp lightly beaten egg white (or egg whites in a box from the store, which is my preference)
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Peel the potato and cut it into quarters lengthwise. Put into a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. When it boils add some salt to the water. Boil 5 minutes, drain, and rinse under cold water. Dry with paper towels.

Using the grater blade in the food processor grate them. Measure the amount of potato and multiply the other ingredients accordingly. Put them into a large bowl and toss with all remaining ingredients. I prefer to toss the dry stuff, then add the wet stuff. Form the tots using whatever mold you can come up with. Jenn used a small ice cream scoop. I use a napkin ring and press them with the top end of a caper jar (it fits perfectly into the ring). Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes so that they firm up.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the tots on the sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Turn them over and bake 5 more minutes. Switch the oven to broil and move a rack to the top position. Broil the tots 2 minutes per side until well-browned. Be sure to leave the oven door ajar so that the heating element doesn’t cycle off and on.


Andrea said...

Wahoo looks like I'm making burgers & tots for dinner tonight! Thanks for the redux Stephen, I don't use the prepackaged potatoes so having a 'real' potato version is great!

I'm there with you on the tinkering :) Can't leave well enough along. Ah, well, that's the beauty of cooking, to me at least :)

Jenn said...

These look fantastic! I love that the real potato works just as well as the Simply's so much more natural and healthier! I'm so making these again this weekend :) Thanks for testing the real potato theory out!

Betty Ray said...

Now these tots I can eat! The frozen ones my kids beg for - not so much. Can't wait to try this out. Thanks!

Bo said...

This sounds like a really cool idea...I have never thought of making tater tots from scratch...this sounds like a must try.

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