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Tater Tot Recipes | Food and More with John Kessler

Bacon-wrapped tots (AJC Staff)

Since there seemed to be some interest in the subject of Tater Tots — both those served in restaurants around town and those served at home — I thought I’d share the other recipes from my t0t-stravaganza of a couple of years ago. Hope you like them.

Bacon-wrapped Tater Tots

20 servings (2 tots apiece); Hands on: 10 minutes; Total time: 35 minutes

Funny, tasty, disarming for food snobs. Think of the canapes served at Elly Mae Clampett’s wedding. Center-cut Oscar Mayer bacon is just the right size.

  • 40 Tater Tots
  • 20 slices bacon (not too long), cut in half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. allow tots to thaw on counter for 15 to 20 minutes, or defrost in microwave for 1 minute, until spearable with a toothpick.

Wrap each tot tautly with a half-slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. place the tots standing upright on a baking sheet (make sure the sheet has sides to hold the rendered bacon fat). Cook for 10 minutes. Remove and place the tots on their bacon-wrapped sides. Cook for 5 minutes and turn over to cook on the other side for 5 minutes, until crisp. Blot on paper towels and serve.

Per serving: 135 calories (percent of calories from fat, 54), 3 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 8 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 11 milligrams cholesterol, 116 milligrams sodium.

Tater Tot Hot Dish

6 to 7 servings; Hands on: 20 minutes; Total time: 1 1/2 hours

This is the basic casserole recipe that Ore-Ida suggests and millions of Midwesterners know by heart.

  • 1 pound ground hamburger meat
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (32-ounce) bag Tater Tots (frozen)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (your choice)

Brown hamburger meat; drain fat. Add cream of mushroom soup and stir together continuously. Let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. place mixture in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Lay Tater Tots neatly on top of mixture. place in preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake 45 to 60 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; melt it in the oven.

Per serving (based on 6): 554 calories (percent of calories from fat, 56), 27 grams protein, 32 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 34 grams fat (16 grams saturated), 97 milligrams cholesterol, 855 milligrams sodium.

TTC

15 servings; Hands on: 5 minutes; Total time: 50 minutes

Sheila Devaney so loves this Tater Tot casserole, she calls it TTC and eats leftovers for breakfast.

  • 2 cups shredded cheese (your choice), divided
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) can cream of potato soup
  • 1 (32-ounce) package Tater Tots (frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend 1 cup cheese with the sour cream and soup in a large mixing bowl. Toss in the tots. Spread in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Per serving: 241 calories (percent of calories from fat, 57), 7 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 16 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 32 milligrams cholesterol, 333 milligrams sodium.

Sweet Potato Cakes

8 servings; Hands on: 10 minutes; Total time: 1 1/2 hours

When I was chef at a small restaurant in Colorado, we used to serve these easy, unique cakes as a side dish to pork and duck. Regular customers often asked for extras.

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Shred the sweet potatoes with your food processor into a large mixing bowl. Add the green onions, egg, flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Form 16 cakes on the wax paper. place in freezer for at least 2 hours, until frozen solid.

Heat a half-inch of oil to 375 degrees in a high-sided skillet. Submerge the frozen cakes in hot oil until they are well-browned and lightly crisped, turning once. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Per serving: 205 calories (percent of calories from fat, 63), 3 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 14 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 27 milligrams cholesterol, 281 milligrams sodium.

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