Homemade Tator Tots

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 
This past Friday, hubs and I decided to stay in for a date night.  We have crazy weeks, which is usually my fault, so staying in on a weekend is sometimes a great treat.  We had dinner plans in the works with friends on Saturday, so I decided to surprise hubs with an appetizer dinner.

I love appetizers.  I love small plates.  This is because I adore trying everything I possibly can when dining.  When I got home after Zumba, hubs and I made our way into the kitchen for an evening of cooking and noshing together.  On the menu, homemade tator tots and jalapeno popper dip.  Up first, tots.  Nom.

I was inspired by blogger Eats Well With Others, who has great recipes that I like to adapt and make my own.  We began by chopping up some potatoes to make some basic, but well seasoned, mashed potatoes.

When the potatoes were done, hubs melted butter into water, then added some flour to make a paste.

Once the paste cooled for a few minutes, I added an egg before mixing it with the mashed potatoes.  I had some extra Parmesan sitting around, so I added that too and few extra spices to jazz it up.

Then, the fun (and messy part) of shaping them into "tot" form and covering them in panko.  Hubs wanted to deep fry, so he heated the oil while I shaped them.

Perfectly crisp with a soft, potato filling - delish.  We were going to add salmon at one point because we had some canned from my father-in-law, but we opted just for potato and cheese love.
Paired with honey mustard, ketchup and mustard combo, and spicy cheese dip, we dug in.  And they were delish.

Next up, jalapeno popper dip.  Trust me, if you like jalapeno poppers, you won't be disappointed.  This is like the conversion of buffalo wings to a dip - delicious.

What is your favorite pub appetizer?  Preference to tots over fries?