AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Craving Summer, Part I - Tater Tots DATE: 1/19/2009 02:20:00 PM ----- BODY:
I know, I know. I just came back from vacation, but with a fresh 10 inches of snow on the ground, I am craving the warmer weather. “Only 2 more months,” I tell myself, before the weather starts to turn around.

In the meantime, I canned a little bit of sunshine over the summer. Some people call them tomatoes. I have a stash for moments just like this…

Last night, I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner. When asked what I could bring, she appreciatively suggested I bring a starch to accompany the steak and broccoli they were serving. I knew the steak would have some hearty spices and the broccoli with a heavy hit of lemon and garlic. I opted for tater tots, which gave me a good excuse to open a can of the smoked tomato ketchup I canned last summer. I knew that the flavors would be strong enough to hold their own with the steak, but straightforward as to not clash with the spices.

4 yukon gold potatoes
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup flour
1 – 2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 cup panko crumbs
1 cup clarified butter or canola oil

1. Put potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes.
2. When potatoes are cooked, drain them and put them through a potato ricer. The ricer will extract the skin from the potatoes, so no worries. Alternatively, you can grate the potatoes using a food processor or hand grater. In any case, grate the potatoes while they’re still warm

3. Let potatoes cool to room temperature

4. Mix potatoes with parmesan cheese, flour, salt (to taste) and egg.

5. Divide dough into 4 balls and roll potato dough into 4 logs. Cut each log into 1 inch pieces.

6. Roll each tot in panko bread crumbs. If you’d like, you can further reshape the tots to a round shape.

7. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add butter or oil. In batches, cook tots on all sides until evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Serve with ketchup.

I'm submitting this recipe to this month's Potato Ho Down, being hosted by the delightful Christie of Fig and Cherry.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger melissa DATE:1/19/2009 07:21:00 PM Oh my. I cannot believe you made your own tater tots. I'm flabbergasted. Thanks for posting a recipe!

Would love to have some of your sunshine, er, ketchup too. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Heather DATE:1/19/2009 08:21:00 PM mmmm. i am very impressed that you made your own tater tots! they look so golden and delicious! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:1/19/2009 09:06:00 PM I'm sending this to my daughter-in-law; tater tots are our grandsons' favorite food! Of course they'll have to get used to have tater tots made from real taters.... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:1/20/2009 02:45:00 AM Bring on the tater tots! The perfect ho down recipe! Thanks for playing this month! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:1/21/2009 06:52:00 PM Melissa, You should try them... I was amazed how easy they are! And come back soon, I'll be having a give-away.

Heather, Thanks!

Lydia, I hope it's not too much of an adjustment for the grandson to eat real potatoes :)

Cathy, Thanks, it was fun! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Mary DATE:1/21/2009 08:54:00 PM I never thought to make my own ater tots. I salute you :) ----- --------