How to Make Tater Tots

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Things You'll Need

  • Potatoes, such as Russet or red skin

  • Scrubbing brush

  • Baking tray

  • Parchment paper

  • Paper towel

  • Fork

  • Paring knife

  • Grater

  • Mixing bowl

  • All-purpose flour

  • Seasoning

  • Oil

  • Medium size pan

  • Slotted spoon

Making tater tots at home eliminates the preservatives and additives in store-bought versions and produces a crisp, crunchy appetizer or side dish with a fluffy interior. Tots can be baked or fried and require basic preparation that is easy to master.

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Fried Tots

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Wash the potatoes under cold running water, scrubbing thoroughly with a brush to remove any dirt. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

Step 3

Lay the potatoes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and pierce each one with a fork.

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Step 4

Place the tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the potatoes are soft on the outside but firm in the center.

Step 5

Remove the tray from the oven and allow the potatoes to cool, then slide away the skin from each with a paring knife.

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Step 6

Shred each potato on a grater and transfer the mound of grated potato to a mixing bowl, adding flour, salt and seasoning.

Step 7

Work the mixture with your hands, then roll a small amount of potato in your palm into a cylinder, arranging each of the tots on a baking sheet as you go.

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Step 8

Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the potato tots in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan; turn them as they brown with a fork. Frying for 2 to 3 minutes should be sufficient.

Step 9

Remove the tots from the pan with a slotted spoon and dry off on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Step 10

Serve hot, ideally with ranch dressing.

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Roasted Nuggets

Step 1

Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain in a colander and leave to dry.

Step 2

Heat the oven to 450 F.

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Step 3

Skin the potatoes once they are cool and grate them into a mixing bowl. Add flour and seasoning and mix together with your hands.

Step 4

Mold small cylindrical tots with your hands and arrange them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

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Step 5

Roast for 15 minutes in the oven until golden. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Skin-on Version

Step 1

Scrub and wash small baby potatoes such as Yukon golds under cold running water, then pat dry.

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Step 2

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 3

Arrange the potatoes on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Step 4

Turn the oven up to 450 F.

Step 5

Smash each potato with the bottom of a glass tumbler. The aim is to squash them without disintegrating them entirely. A little olive oil smeared on the base of the glass will prevent sticking.

Step 6

Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and seasoning and return to the oven.

Step 7

Roast again for 15 minutes at the same temperature. Remove from the oven once the potatoes are crisp on the outside and blistered.

Tip

Cooked tater tots can be stored in a resealable bag in the freezer for up to 3 months, then reheated in the oven for use. Allow them to cool before bagging.

Warning

Do not overmix the potato with your hands or the starch will turn it sticky and give a less appealing texture.

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references & resources