Thinking Outside the Tot Box

Tater Tots get a bad rap as being cheap children’s food but these miracle potato cylinders have many culinary uses outside of being a simple side item. They’ve been a classic condiment of mine for years going great on burgers and Elio’s Pizza. But they can also take a staring role.

Recipe #1: Tator Tot and Broccoli Casserole

Take a bag of frozen (or fresh) broccoli and place it at the bottom of a loaf or 9×9 dish to defrost. In a sauce pan make a white sauce with equal parts flour and butter, a whole onion and finally some milk. No measuring cup is needed to keep the results a surprise. Add some cheese after the sauce becomes thick, off heat of course. Finally pour the sauce over the broccoli and mix thoroghly.

Empty a bag of tater tots onto a baking sheet and bake until they are barely cooked. Take the cooked tater tots and cover the casserole so that no green shows through from the top down view. Bake the whole casserole until the tots become brown and the sauce boils through. It doesn’t make the best lunch leftovers as the tots will become soggy so enjoy it while it lasts.

Recipe #2: Meat Loaf

Meat loaf is probably my favorite thing to cook as there’s really no wrong answer to the question “what else can go in this meat loaf?”  After a cookout once I took all the leftovers including hamburger patties, hot dogs, sausage and a half a bag of tortilla chips to create the base of my meatloaf. The results were mixed, but I liked the idea that almost anything is possible as long as it’s originally eatable.

Tater tots can take a lead role in the meat loaf for this creation. There’s not much to it. Unlike the casserole you don’t have to cook them beforehand. Instead, just ball them up in your hands to defrost them (I can think of less sanitary ways) and mix in with the meat. I once added pecans for an additional crunch.

One Comment

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  1. I know someone who would like to stick some things in your meatloaf. Drive-by 3rd base anyone?

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