Archive for ‘potato’

August 9th, 2011

Tater Tots

I’m not Larry David, but when my husband excitedly mentioned “Let’s order tater tots!” I had to curb HIS enthusiasm by asking,”What are tater tots?”  “They’re delicious, crispy, golden balls of hash brown!” he explained.

How were they?  Well, as advertised, they were indeed delicious, crispy, golden balls of hash brown.  No, I didn’t thaw out the frozen Ore-Ida kind, instead, we were lucky enough to find them on the menu at our favorite L.A. restaurant, Stefan’s L.A. Farm, owned by Top Chef contestant Stefan Richter.  The adult version of this kids’ favorite comes with creamy ranch dipping sauce providing a delicious way to cool things down. With every bite, I had to ask myself, why was I so late to the tater tot party?  Growing up in Japan, we had french fries, but never these delicious, crispy, golden balls of hash brown.

Thanks to a quick google, I found out that they were created in 1952 by the Ore-Ida founder as a way of using up potato slivers.  By adding flour and seasoning, a new side dish favorite was created.  Tater tots have made their move to the center of the plate as well, thanks to some recipes I found, posted online.  One popular use of the product seems to be in casserole form. As I began to read one of the casserole recipes, I had to admit, I was expecting a pile of tots and cheese, (a delicious pile of tots and cheese, mind you).  But upon further research, it seems the tots are the topping in a shepherd’s pie type of dish.  Receiving that information, I have to say, I was relieved and disappointed at the same time.  I was relieved that the recipe didn’t require lots of cheese, but disappointed, secretly fantasizing that with lots of cheese and some onions, I could have a fattening but delicious potato gratin like dish.  Maybe if I find the organic, non-fried (taste free) version, I’ll try it out…but until that day, tater tots will be a Stefan’s treat.

My next adventure with tater tots, will be following them into the school cafeteria, where they sit alongside some interesting entrees…on trays.  (to be continued)