Just Frances

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Tasty tots

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 5th, 2015 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: recipes, happy, gallery, food, budget

I love tater tots. I love, love, love them. They are an amazingly delicious treat and I would eat them all the time if I could. Only I live in Scotland. And Scotland doesn’t do tots. In fact, they don’t even know what tots are. So if I want tots, I have to make them myself. Which is what I did for the first time today. (Yum!)

Unsurprisingly, my homemade tots didn’t turn out like Ore-Ida’s lovely, golden treats. However, they were pretty gosh-darn delicious, if I do say so myself. And my housemate (who has never had a tater tot before) thought they were pretty nice, too. Importantly, they were fairly easy to make (in the grand scheme of thing). Even more importantly, these are way-healthier than store-bought and a bit cheaper, too.

Next time around, I will use a little less salt. And I will also attempt at finely dicing the potatoes, rather than grating them as I did this time around. I also need to figure out a way to get the outside crispier. The answer to that might be to oven-bake them after frying (either from fresh or frozen). I have frozen a dozen from this batch to test that theory and will update once I know how it worked out.

I’ve decided to share photos from my first attempt, instead of my perfected recipe. After all, we all have to start somewhere! And once I get them perfected, I’ll be able to make homemade tater tot casserole. I am really, really looking forward to that day!

The recipe I “created” for these was based on more than a dozen recipes I found when I Googled “homemade tater tots”. But, as generally happens, no single recipe seemed right for my needs so I needed to adapt things for my own use. Here’s my recipe, with photos to follow.

Tasty tots

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (Russets are best, but not available in the UK)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch (UK: Corn flour)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I will use less next time)
  • Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Peel potatoes and par-boil for about 7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely grate (or dice).

Add corn starch, salt, and pepper then mix together.

Shape mixture into 1 ½ inch cylinders. (This is a messy process, but it gets easier as you go.)

Fry a few tots at a time in hot oil for about 3 minutes, turning half-way through to ensure even browning.

Place on paper towel-lined plate to absorb oil whist cooking remaining tots.

Enjoy with some ranch dressing (or condiment of your choice).

* You can also freeze them and re-heat in the oven later, as you would do with store-bought frozen tater tots. (About 450°f for 15 minutes or so.)

Tasty tots - Gallery


Russets *are* available in the UK (http://albertbartlett.co.uk/potatoes/russett) - they’re just not that common. Maris Piper would be one of the best alternatives. However, if you would like to join Wallace in attempting to dice a King Edward, I’m not going to stop you.

by Tattie Geek at 5:06pm (GMT) on July 5th, 2015

OK, OK. But they are very hard to actually find. And no, Maris Piper are not a good alternative. I’ve been trying to find a “good” alternative for Russets since 2001 and only managed once when I got a couple of potatoes from a farmer in Darby.

I have survived this long though, and I shall survive longer.

by Just Frances at 6:03pm (GMT) on July 5th, 2015

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