I discovered my love for Tater Tots through my good friend Danielle. I never really considered the little balls of ‘tater until she served some up at a fantastic brunch a few weeks ago. Paired with an amazing strata and salads, they really rounded out the meal, and I have to admit, brought the kid out of several people there.

After that brunch I went on a mission to make my own TT’s. What I discovered was that the little critters are fried for the most part – and I don’t deep fry anything. It makes me feel too greasy, not to mention is a b*tch to clean up.

So there you go – my heart was broken…but only for a moment. There’s gotta be a way to NOT bake Tater Tots. Erik wasn’t so convinced.

I decided to find a way to make baked Tater Tots.

I scoured recipes (the last thing I ever thought I would Google, or make for that matter, was Tater Tots) to find the perfect way to make baked tots. And I found it.

The trick is the coating. It’s got to be something that starts and stays crispy delicious in the oven, because it has to take over the job of frying.

So potatoes wrapped in something…potato chips? That’s kinda porky, and I might as well fry them. Bread crumbs – no. Pop Chips!! YES!! A healthier version of potato chips, and UBER crunchy….I put them to the test.

They worked. Actually they worked beyond my wildest dreams. Baked, crunchy, delicious home made Tater Tots. Erik was convinced…and ate the last one!!

Seriously?

YES. Do it.

Here’s the simple recipe.

Grown Up Tater Tots

Ingredients

  • 6-8 Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups crushed Pop Chips - I think next time I'll whiz them up in the food processor to make them less chunky

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400?F.
  2. Boil potatoes in a large pot until barely fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
  3. Gradually add the milk and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until mashed, but still lumpy. You might not need to use up all the milk. It is important to keep the potatoes lumpy and a little dry so it is not so messy to roll into balls. You can do this this the night before and refrigerate the smashed potatoes.
  4. Separate the eggs, flour and potato chips in three bowls; set aside.
  5. Form the potato mixture into 1-inch balls and place on wax or parchment paper. Roll each ball first into the bowl of flour, then the egg and finishing with the chips. Once coated, form the balls into the famous tot shape. Place on baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.

Serve with ketchup…