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Recipe: National Tater Tots Day

Gourmet Recipe for National Tater Tots Day

When I talk with my international culinary counterparts, they constantly rib me about the fact that we Americans do not have anything of substance to contribute to the food lexicon. I have to defend our gastronomic position in the world by reminding them that, thanks to us yanks, the world has the pleasure of enjoying a little, golden, fried nugget of potato-y goodness known at the “Tater Tot.” Tater Tots are so revered, that the Walton Family of Ohio holds this day in such high esteem, that it is comes only in second place to Christmas.

The Tater Tot was created by F. Nephi and Golden (yes, his real name) Grigg, the founders of the Ore-Ida Company. During the processing of their other potato product lines, they were constantly faced with leftover scraps that were tossed away. Recognizing that throwing these scraps away was just like tossing money into the garbage, they quickly looked for a way to recapture this loss in revenue and food waste.

The brothers mixed the scraps with flour and seasonings, and then placed the mixture into an extruder. Ore-Ida packaged the new creation, named it “Tater Tots” and placed it on store shelves in 1956. At first, the tater tots did not sell due to their cheap price, but when Ore-Ida increased the price the general public perception was that these Tater Tots must be special because of their cost.  They immediately started flying off the shelf. Today, the name “Tater Tots” is used as a generic term, but is actually a trademark of the Ore-Ida company, a division of H.J. Heinz Company.

Every year, the world consumes about 170 million pounds of tater tots, so no one can tell me that this Oregonian creation has not made its mark on the world!

What else can Tater Tots be used for?

How about…

Cajun Tater Tot Waffle topped with Fresh Avocado Lump Crab Salad

 

Ingredients

Fresh Avocado Lump Crab Salad

  • 4 ounces Lump Crab Meat
  • 1 ounce Mayonnaise
  • 1 ounce Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 ounce Avocado, diced
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 tsp Fresh Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste

Pickled Charred Tomato Chive Relish

  • 2 ounces Charred Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 ounce Red Onion, fine diced
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • Kosher Salt, to taste

Cajun Tater Tot Waffle

  • 32 ounces Frozen Tater Tots, Thawed
  • Cajun Seasoning, to taste
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • 1 ounce Fresh Parsley, chopped

Method

  • Combine all ingredients for the crab salad together and fold together lightly; careful not to break up the crab or bruise the avocado. Set aside for future use.
  • Combine all ingredients for the charred tomato relish together. Set aside for future use.
  • Preheat waffle iron, per instructions.
  • Spray top and bottom of the waffle iron with non-stick spray.
  • Place thawed tater tots in a tight, even layer into the waffle iron; making sure each one is touching each other.
  • Sprinkle Cajun seasoning, salt and parsley on top of tater tots.
  • Close the waffle iron, and follow waffle iron cooking instructions.
  • Remove the finished waffle and place on a plate.

Chef’s Tip: Top the waffle with the Avocado Lump Crab Salad and garnish with the Charred Tomato Chive Relish!

 

Questions?

If you have any questions about this recipe, flight crew culinary training or about in-flight catering, contact me at ricpeterson@airculinaire.com.

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