Bacon and Jalapeno “Tater Tots”
If you loved Tater Tots as a kid, you’ll like the grown-up version. These have bacon and just a little bit of heat to make them addictive. Make extra because when you’re in a pinch, nothing is better than pulling some frozen tater tots out of the freezer for a quick snack or side.
8 hours, 15 minutes total time
1 hour, 15 minutes active time
Breakfast and Brunch
4 medium Russet potatoes
5 ½ ounces (3 to 4 slices) bacon
2 jalapeños, seeds removed and cut into 1/8-inch dice
½ cup cornstarch
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups canola oil
TO MAKE THE TATER TOTS
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the potatoes directly on the oven rack until just tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool the potatoes at room temperature and then refrigerate until cold (up to overnight).
Meanwhile, lay the bacon slices in a cold skillet, preferably cast-iron. Cook over medium heat, turning as needed, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes. Drain on paper towels and coarsely chop.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Peel the potatoes and remove any dark spots. Coarsely grate into a large bowl. Add the bacon, jalapeños, 5 tablespoons of the cornstarch, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Gently knead together with your hands to form a ball and dust with cornstarch.
Pinch off cork-sized pieces (1- by 1 ½-inches) of the potato mixture and put on the prepared baking sheet, being sure they aren’t touching and dusting as needed with cornstarch to prevent from sticking. Makes about 4 dozen tater tots.
Cover the top of the pan securely with plastic and freeze for at least 2 hours or up to 2 weeks. (For longer storage, once frozen transfer to a resealable storage bag.)
Pour the oil into a deep saucepan and heat to 375°F.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Working in batches to not overcrowd the pan, and turning as needed to brown on both sides, fry the tater tots until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Using a spider or a slotted spoon, transfer to the prepared baking sheet and season with salt.