We don’t eat steak very often but when we do, my wife always likes to have potatoes as the side. (Apparently, she is an all American meat-and-potato gal when it comes to steak). She usually makes oven fried (baked) potatoes. She tried several iterations using duck fat or bacon drippings in the past. Since I got two small filet mignon for dinner, she wanted potatoes but wanted to make something different. She came up with this variation of the ultimate American potato; “Tater tots”. They are essentially grated potato formed into short cylinders and deep fried. Generally this dish starts life frozen in a package on the freezer isle of the grocery store (Ore-Ida invented this in 1953). Then it is baked in the oven. (When my wife was a very young child, she thought the freezer was the source of all food including a continuous supply of pre-made tater tots). Being a bit older now, there was no way my wife was going to send me to the grocery store to get frozen tater tots. They were going to be home-made…was that even possible? Turns out tater tots are very popular and there are many recipes to make them at home from scratch. My wife consulted several of these recipes and came up with this variation. It is more like small hash-browns than tater tots.
Instead of deep frying, this was baked.
White potatoes, 5, peeled
Bacon, 2 strips, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbs. AP flour
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
Italian parsley, finely chopped, 1 tbs
Partially cook the potatoes in salted water (starting from cold water, add 5 minutes after the water comes to a boil). (Next time we may try just grating the potato raw).
Instead of making the potato mixture into short cylindrical shapes which is traditional, my wife just made a loose ball using a medium size ice cream scoop on a greased non-stick baking sheet. She then lightly pressed them flat (#2 and 3).
She baked them in a 450F for 20 minutes turning over once after 10 minutes (#4).
This was good with a crunchy outer shell and soft center. We did not taste much of the bacon, though. For the amount of work, we may be better off with our oven baked potato or I may even suggest we go for those Ore-Ida frozen original tater tots.