In addition to french fries and mozzarella, tater tots are another one of my guilty pleasures. But do you know how hard it is to find a decent plate of tots? First, I scour restaurant and bar menus in hopes that I find one that serves them. Once I do, I am often disappointed as they tend to be over fried or over seasoned. I do buy frozen tater tots, but even those sometimes lack the seasoning that I am looking for. Sure you can season them with salt while they are cooking but it has a tendency to roll right off. For this reason, I decided to tackle making them on my own. And what was the best part of trying them on my own? Adding cheese to them of course.
I had had a couple of disasters making homemade tater tots before. I had originally tried using parboiled potatoes thinking that if I started with raw potatoes I would have raw potatoes inside the tater tot. Well, the result of that first round was a glop of fried potato in the bottom of the frying pan. Not so good. This time around, I decided to start with raw potatoes and it seemed to work perfectly. The potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Another thing I learned while making these is to not make them a head. The first time that I made them, I prepared the mixture about an hour before dinner, put them in the refrigerator and thought nothing of it. When I went to begin frying, the potatoes had released a lot of water and my mixture was total mush. To avoid this prepare the mixture just before you are about to fry them.
Preheat 1 inch of oil in a pot.
Place chopped potatoes in a food processor and pulse about 8-10 times or until potatoes are roughly chopped but not mush. Do not over process, you don't want mashed potatoes.
Transfer processed potatoes to a bowl. Add in cheddar cheese, green onions, seasoning salt, egg and flour. The mixture will be thick. Place some of the mixture on a spoon, if you can gently push it off with you finger and it falls in one piece it is ready to go. Add more flour if needed.
Once oil reaches 375 degrees. Carefully spoon rounded teaspoonfuls of mixture into oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Sprinkle with more seasoning salt. Serve hot.
Oh and one more thing. While making these I decided that I had to get over the fact that the tater tots that I am accustomed to, are probably made by a machine so they are a little prettier than these turned out to be. These were a little bit more like tater balls. But look on the bright side, these taste a whole lot better. Enjoy!