Home-made Tater Tots

Servings : Makes 40 tots

Crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside, these yummy deep-fried potato snacks are a family favourite.  I decided to try re-adapting them into a ‘home-made’ version, and the results were excellent! 

Serve these with a dipping sauce or ketchup and you have the ideal snack.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups mashed potatoes made from good white flaky potatoes like russet or yukon gold (approximately 4 medium - large potatoes)
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain/all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper or red chilli flakes (for extra spice)
  • pinch of garlic powder or cumin powder for extra flavour (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. finely choped herbs like coriander/parsley (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • oil for deep frying

Instructions

These will only turn out well with flaky potatoes, not the sticky ones.  Sticky/gluey potatoes will result in a gloopy mess that will be difficult to work with and will not taste good. Make sure you use good quality flaky/powdery potatoes.

Peel and wash the potatoes, cut them in cubes and boil them in water until just tender.  Drain COMPLETELY, then add the salt, pepper, herbs, spices, butter and milk.  Whilst still hot, mash but do not over-mix otherwise the texture of the potatoes will get gluey and we do not want that.

Measure 3 cups from the mashed potatoes, cover and chill in the fridge until completely cool. This can be done up to a day ahead.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled mashed potatoes, eggs and flour.  Stir to combine.  Again, take care not to overmix.

Put the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.  You can sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper into it.

Using a teaspoon, scoop a heaping amount of the potato mixture at a time and just drop it in the bowl of breadcrumbs.  Roll it around so that it gets coated, which will make it easier to shape into a marshmallow/cylinder shape using your hands.  Just make a light fist around the tot whilst pressing the top and bottom ends with your other hand.  They will form into cylinders like the actual tater tots are supposed to look, but you can shape them basically however you like.  Just don’t make them large, they need to be small so they cook through.  And make sure they are well coated with crumbs.

Place these tots on a tray and keep going until ALL are done.  Stick the tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes or refrigerate until ready for frying.

Heat oil to very hot, and carefully drop the tots in batches.  They will take about 5 minutes to cook and you will need to stir them a few times to make sure they are cooked all around.  If the oil is not hot enough OR if the potatoes you used are too watery, the tots will scatter in the oil.

When golden, remove from the hot oil and drain the excess oil on kitchen towels.  Serve warm with any dip of your choice.

Leftovers can be reheated in a 180C preheated oven on a baking tray.  Although they taste best when freshly made.

Enjoy!  🙂

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