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homemade cheesy tater tots

homemade cheesy tater tots

Cheesy tater tots, now? Yeah yeah new year's resolutions, I got it--everyone is on a diet....blah blah blah. Homemade cheesy tater tots will make you cheat on your new diet. That's it. LOL Kidding. I'm a foodie, it's hard for me to diet, I try I do. I doubt I will ever give up my fatty fried foods and calorie dense sweet treats. Foodie for life--word! I just have to workout more and more, and then again some more.
These fabulous cheesy tater tots I made I got inspiration from Nick over at Macheesmo (love that name). I pretty much followed his recipe, but wondered why he hadn't added cheese to the potato batter. You know? So I added cheese and did a couple other things.
So if you are looking for the BEST superbowl appetizer, oh yeah this is it. Or if you really want to make something for your friends, family or sweetheart and watch them just melt with happiness, this is it! Yes, this will impress. There is no way you can eat just 5, I mean when I made these Christmas day, they were gone in 10 minutes. That friggin good. Deep fried, crispy, cheesy, gooey, salty goodness dipped in sauces baby! Can I get an amen? Food of love people, food of friggin love.



cheesy homemade tater tots
adapted from Macheesmo
print recipe

4 Russet potatoes, peeled & chopped I used 5 medium)
1 egg (beat well in a small dish)
1/2 Cup milk (I did NOT use this)
3 TB unsalted butter (I used 5 TB)
1 Cup all-purpose flour
(½ cup sharp cheddar cheese grated fine)
Salt & Pepper
2 Large bags, plain kettle cooked chips or a few cups of Panko crumbs. (I used all Panko crumbs)

Deep-fry thermometer

Making the tots. It should be no surprise that these guys start with potatoes.
The first step for these guys is to make mashed potatoes. Now I’m not sure how they make real tater tots. I know it’s closer to a hash brown product, but mashed potatoes are a lot easier to shape and also happen to be delicious. To start, just peel and slice your potatoes.
Boil them for 10-15 minutes in salted water until the potato pieces are fork tender. Then drain them and transfer them to a bowl.
Using a fork, mush up your potatoes and let them cool for a few minutes until they are room temperature or slightly warmer. (Beat egg, well, in a small dish before adding to mix). Then add your butter, flour, egg, and (cheese). Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Filling mixed.
To make the crunchy exterior of the tot and also give it some shape, I decided to try out two different toppings: crunched up kettle chips and Panko breadcrumbs. Both worked pretty well actually.
You cannot shape these until they are coated with the Panko crumbs. Make them into the size of a teaspoon, yes that small. Just drop a few teaspoons of mashed potatoes in your bowl of crust. Roll them around until they are coated all the way around. Then you can easily pick up each tot and shape it easily in your hand. Just roll them like you would a cookie only not as much pressure. You can try making them into a cylinder shape like Nick did. Then transfer them to a baking sheet and until ready to deep fry.
Cooking the tots. Make sure your oil is at 350 degrees before you do any type of frying. This is crucial. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees then you can start frying; do not overcrowd pan though. Unless you have a large pot you really should do semi-small batches. (I fried about 10 per batch in my 8 quart pot with about 3-4 inches of oil). They should only need about 5-7 minutes per batch. Once you scoop them out of the oil, transfer them to a paper towel and salt them immediately (I did not salt them—they really did not need it). Feel free to add whatever seasoned spices you crave. Serve with sauces--any kind would work actually. Here are a couple that I used.

horsey-blue cheese dip
from vanillasugarblog.com

3 tb of horseradish sauce
2 tb of blue cheese dressing
2 tb of Hellmans mayo
2 tb of sour cream
1 -2 ts of superfine sugar
Dashes of paprika and freshly chopped chives

spicy ketchup

ketchup with a few dashes of spicy chili oil and whatever else you desire.

59 comments:

  1. really? this one can help us cheat the diet? haha

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  2. Oh my gosh, those look amazing, woman! So cheesy and goood...

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  3. I consider tater tots to be an essential part of our diet - it's what hubs and I survived on in the lean years. Making these would count as a workout in my book, justifying their cheesy goodness and total consumption. This has pretty much convinced me that deep-frying is not necessarily the work of the devil.

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  4. Can you believe that we do not have anything called tater tots in Ireland? Clearly I will have to make these!

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  5. I'm really glad to see someone did this ;) I definitely had the thought, but wanted to make sure the base would work by itself.

    Totally adding cheese next time though.

    Glad you liked it ;)

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  6. I've been waiting for these ever since your tweet and they are every bit as amazing looking as I imagined!!

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  7. Oh my. Those look unbelievably good!

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  8. Homemade taters? I've never seen someone do this! What a great idea. Tots rock! Nice job with the cheese addition too. Hope you're enjoying your weekend

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  9. These are truly addictive and dangerous.

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  10. These do look delicious, I think I would eat them all, too. And I agree with you wholeheartedly on your "no diet, eat moderately year-round" motto. It's how I feel, too. I always have home-baked goodies around when people come over. They tend to gasp, "How do you stay so slim?" Well, I bake when I know we'll have a crowd, I give a lot away, I freeze the excess, and I work out often. Who says you can't enjoy good food all the time, as long as you're not excessive about it?

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  11. Tater tots? Yes. Cheesy tater tots? Ooooooh YES please!!!!! The diet can take a back seat for these little precious beauties. hehehe...

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  12. Now this is heaven!!! Yum.

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  13. These look perfect for a cocktail party too!

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  14. I am one of those on a diet.my cousins and I have a "biggest loser" diet with pot money. I have to get back to you on this after our contest.lol!

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  15. You would have loved the workout I did the other day (minus the 1 minute cardio burst intervals). I don't do diets either, but I am eating healthy with the occasional indulgence. These sound pretty good mama.

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  16. oh my goodness, i can't think of any better way to spoil the old diet. i'm with you, there are just things i can't give up!

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  17. WORD TO YA MOTHA!! Food for life , even if my hips dont like it.
    I am soooo going to make these...one of these days!

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  18. Amen! This recipe is just what I need! We're only eating real foods now (all homemade, nothing processed) and my son is missing his tots. He likes the homemade shoestring fries I make, but these will make him happy, happy, happy...

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  19. Much better than Burger King's!

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  20. I love that you made these for Christmas. They look awesome Dawn!

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  21. I know what you mean. I still eat fattening foods but just cut down on the portions. It's way to hard to give up on those goodies.

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  22. Those taters tots look so perfectly golden brown and crispy and good!

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  23. I'm with you on the Superbowl treats. These are perfect, and you said it yourself, just work hard and keep it in balance. Life and eating is like being a weeble wobble, just don't fall down :)

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  24. Homemade tater tots?! awesome! I'm with you, I could never diet but I do try to eat in moderation

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  25. horsey blue cheese - I like that name...these sound pretty mighty good and I will be making them!~

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  26. Dawn, Dawn...won't you be my little sister? Oh, lady. You are Good.

    (She skips off, adding cheesy tater tots to the menu...La la laaaaaa!)

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  27. I want this Dawn! I want a big bowl of this and I want it now!!!!! I'm also not dieting, so can I have it?????

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  28. he he. We're like totally the same person. Except for the 150 abs....I can do maybe 10 sit ups. I'm not one of the January dieters (or anytime dieters for that manner) and intense exercise would call for a paramedic or two. These look so delicious. I love goodies fried in panko!

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  29. My hubs loves tots! I will have to make these for him. Well done!

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  30. Those look too elegant to be called Tater tots! Fantastic!

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  31. Man - Dawn - these looks absolutely amazing.

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  32. amen! and amen. i can truly say i've never considered making my own tater tots--'tis the curse of the lazy, as these look mountains better than the frozen kind. bravo, milady.

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  33. I am a foodie for life too - now if only I loved exercise as much as food.

    These cheesy tots look amazing - my kids would LOVE them and so would I.

    Your photos look fantastic Dawn,

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  34. YEAH THESE WERE REALLY GOOD!!!

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  35. These look SO delicious. I would love to gorge on a plate of them right now ;D

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  36. These balls look absolutely fantastic!

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  37. Yum! These are scrumptious little crispy fried treats! So perfect for superbowl!

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  38. I will gladly take these off your hands! I love these cheesy treats so golden and fabulous.

    I am not dieting either, my diet is generally good but I am enjoying baking at the moment so I want my cake. :-D

    Great recipe!

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  39. What a clever twist on a snack favorite.

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  40. Oh yeah! Sod the "minute on the lips, lifetime on the hips" rubbish! Bring on the good stuff! Love it!

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  41. You know, if anyone can some people break their diets, it would be you - hey, that is a compliment. Gosh you do know how to torture.

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  42. After seeing this I am convinced that we are identical twins, sharing the same identical taste buds, separated at birth.

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  43. Diet! What diet???!!!! These sound superlicious!!

    I'm enjoying your blog.

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  44. Awesome! Love the sauce with these too. I can't diet either, just watch all year round and when I get a little round I cut back on some junky things and keep the good stuff. I would keep this recipe and cut out spinach;-)

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  45. Yummm! What a delicious snack! I love cheese.

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  46. Umm...those things look AMAZING. Enough said.

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  47. Tater tots?!! Yes please!! These look fabulous!

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  48. Is this finally going to be my downfall?

    Love those dips, too.

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  49. Wow homemade tater tots!! And they are cheesy?! I used to love going to Taco time and get their cheesy tots! Now that I live in CA we don't have taco time nearby but your tots look even better than theirs so I will have to try it! Thanks.

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  50. oh, I hate running too! I think my running speed is as fast as my walking speed. I'm so out of shape that I once got arm pain after baking 120 cupcakes from squeezing the icecream scoop when portioning out the batter... sooo embarassing!

    Those cheesy tater tots look so yummy!!

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  51. I just ran into the other room to describe these to my boyfriend - we happen to have panko breadcrumbs in the pantry, we'd be stupid not to make these!

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  52. I do love tater tots, and I do LOVE potatoes and cheese...so I see these in my future.

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  53. Oh these look so amazing too. Your food just begs to be eaten!

    I made those pork balls. They were very delicious. I want to make them again as they disappeared before I had a chance to take a photo.

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  54. So the chef at teh restaurant I work at makes these...they're called Tot's Tater Balls (named after me because Tot is my nickname) but yours look way yummier! I can't wait to try them out at home!

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  55. cheese+potatoes=heaven! Yummy! Cant wait to try these out!

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  56. yummy....you are talented !

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  57. We need to make these again too !!!!

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