The Joy of Tater Tots
I usually have a bag of tater tots in my freezer. Sometimes, I have two, if I'm lucky enough to have some sweet potato tots on hand as well. Why would a self-described foodie do such a thing? Because I'm also a busy lady with a lot, ahem, on my plate. And before you furrow your brow at me and point to some foodie commandment I've broken, let me share some of my favorite ways to include tater tots in my meals and see if you don't decide to add a bag to your grocery cart, too!
- Rather than wait until I've finished cooking my tater tots, I am a fan of tossing them with my favorite seasonings (or powdered parmesan cheese!) before baking. Just pop them and what you want to coat them with into a large, resealable bag and you're good to go. Deep frying? Wait until you're done doing that and toss the finished tots and your desired coatings into a large bowl and gently toss them to coat.
- About half of the time I make a plate of nachos, I use tater tots as the foundation instead of tortilla chips! It makes traditional nachos into something you can eat with utensils (this is very handy if you have kids or messy adults in your home) and they seem more filling than your average nachos … which is really saying something! Also, they stay warmer longer than nachos made with tortilla chips. I have also heard, though haven't tried yet, that tater tots tossed with buffalo wing sauce and drizzled with bleu cheese dressing is a concoction fitting any football tailgate event!
- Busy week and don't feel like turning on the oven or heating up a pile of oil in the deep fryer? Heat up your waffle iron! That's right, you can arrange tater tots in a single layer on a waffle maker and make fantastic, crunchy tater tots in minutes. Even when I have time to fuss with the oven, I tend to use this method when I've got just a few people to feed. This makes making tater tots in summer an option that doesn't require turning on the oven and that makes me a very happy camper!
- Looking to make your sweet tooth happy? After cooking sweet potato tots, place them in a bowl, sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar, and drizzle lightly with melted butter. Then, toss them gently and serve hot. They are a seriously addictive snack/dessert. I've also been known to add a little salt and cayenne to the mix, but that's because I am a fan of the heat!
- I adore tater tots as a topping for casseroles. You get a crunchy coating, some spiffy spuds, and a seriously fuss-free option for making casseroles a little heartier without having to get involved in extra steps. Sure, everyone recalls that famous tater casserole that's been in your family for years, but they are all tater tot casseroles in my house!
So before you rush past the frozen potato section of your grocery store next time, pause and consider some of the great and versatile ways tater tots might make meal time quicker, taster, and even a little more fun. It works wonders in my home.