This recipe is one that I made for my brother, as he’s the one who mentioned it to me and asked if I could whip up a recipe for him. I must admit when he first asked me about Tater Tots, I had no idea what he was talking about but it sure looked like a tasty treat! I personally really like potato croquettes so I wasn’t too sure if I would end up liking Tater Tots but they were an absolute delight! Crunchy on the outside, fragile and soft on the inside: fantastic! I read that they are considered kid’s food in a lot of places, but as I didn’t grow up with them I personally don’t get it, especially when you add loads of herbs and spices like garlic powder, as kids generally don’t tend to like it that much. I’ll for sure be making more ‘grown-up’ tater tots inspired recipes in the future, with the first one up being a sweet potato version!
It reminded me a bit of rösti, a Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes, in the style of a fritter. It was originally a breakfast dish, commonly eaten by farmers in the canton of Bern, but is now eaten all over Switzerland and around the world. In a smiliar way English countries have adopted hash browns as part of their breakfast. The main difference here is mostly the shape, and the fact there’s no eggs involved, which is often the case for hash browns and unlike potato croquettes, the core is not made from mash but rather from grated potatoes.
I used Irish Rooster Potatoes, red-skinned potatoes with a yellow flesh, as they give a lovely floury texture and deep earthy flavour. “Rich in carbohydrates, Rooster potatoes are a fantastic fuel for our working bodies. Unadulterated and unprocessed, they are one of the best and most delicious sources of starchy energy in our diets. Roosters also contain some protein, little or no fat and have almost twice the amount of fibre as the same amount of brown rice. They are also a source of potassium, important for a healthy blood pressure and contribute a significant amount of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and important for immune health.” – Best in Season
Whatever kind you end up going for, make sure they are more floury/mealy than waxy. Waxy potatoes hold their shape and have a firm bite, so they’re great for salads or for boiling. Floury potatoes end up fluffy when they’re cooked, making them perfect for chips, roast potatoes or baking. But then you also have varieties that fall in the centre, with both waxy and firm qualities. These make great all-rounders, and tend to have the creamy consistency needed for a smooth mash. Rooster potatoes are part of that last category, as they are a 6 on the scale of waxy – floury (9 being very floury).
One last tip I’m going to give: don’t deep fry these tots! Pan frying them will give them a better flavour and an ideal crunchiness!
Serves: 4 people
- 1kg rooster potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour (I used Doves farm Gluten Free flour)
- fresh parsley
- vegetable oil or sunflower oil
- Optional: garlic powder
*Tip: if you want to save them for later, only fry them until golden, not brown. Let them cool down and then place them in the freezer
Peel potatoes and place them in a pot and fill with cold water. Place a lid on and bring to a steady boil over a high heat. Par boil for about 6 minutes before draining and allowing to cool completely. Once cool, grate them finely on a (box) grater. I wouldn’t recommend using a food processor, unless you have a good one that won’t over-mix the potatoes, as you do want to keep that grated texture. Pat them dry with a towel and try to get as much water out of them as possible.
Add flour and herbs and spices to the potatoes. Don’t add any more flour than recommended, as this will make them stick together less and you won’t have that lovely crunchy potato exterior.
Now it’s time to start shaping them! This was the only tricky part for me, as they were just so sticky it was hard to handle them, but I got there in the end so don’t get frustrated.
Heat up oil in a deep pan, make sure you have a good layer of oil, enough to cover about half of the size of the tots will be fine, but I prefer to use less oil myself. Fry for 5-6 minutes until golden brown (make sure to flip them over so both sides get cooked) and place them on kitchen paper to remove some of the oil before serving them. Finish with some freshly cut parsley and serve with your favourite dip, my favourite is Cork’s Farm Fresh Foods’ Chipotle Sauce, which is locally produced in Carrigtwohill.
To my brother: enjoy! I hope you like them!
Ps: Looking for some veggies to serve with the tots? I recommend roasted carrots.