This is one of the more exciting (to me) posts I have done on antics in cooking to date, so I hope you all enjoy. If you have followed me for a little while, you will have noticed I use many tried and true recipes from established chefs, and very rarely create something myself. For the past three weeks I have been honing this one down, and believe I have finally hit a home run.
Truth be told however, the idea did come from a restaurant I frequent. My business travels take me to Washington D.C. often, and when I go I usually stay in Old Town Alexandria, VA. I came by a restaurant in Old Town named T.J. Stones a couple of years ago, and make it a point to stop there whenever I am in town. They have the best ever Gouda Tater Tots on the menu. I have tried and tried to coax the Executive Chef to sneak me the recipe, which not to my surprise, he was never willing to do. I settled for just looking forward to them during my trips.
Roughly 3 weeks ago I started planning my Super Bowl spread, and these tots came to my mind first. I set out on a mission to recreate them. I have made approximately 5 batches since, adding and deleting ingredients each time, with the last being on Sunday (thankfully) with what I believe were the perfect, yet still easy to make rendition. Enjoy!
(Note: The restaurant mentioned serves their tots with a horseradish buttermilk dipping sauce, which is also excellent. Since I wouldn’t even know where to start on that, I just serve mine with ranch. Works out pretty well.)
Gouda Cheddar Tater Tots
3 Russet potatoes
1 cup finely shredded Gouda cheese (regular or smoked)
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno (optional)
Corn starch (for dredging)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap potatoes in foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the outsides begin to soften, while not cooking all the way through. Remove from oven. Once cooled enough to handle, peel potatoes and shred in a bowl using the smallest holes on a box shredder. Using paper towels, slightly pat down on the shredded potatoes to remove some of the released moisture, but not all. To the potatoes, add the cheeses, salt and pepper, sour cream, and jalapenos (if using) and mix thoroughly.
Heat oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Form potato mixture into 2 inch balls. If you are making ahead, you can refrigerate them at this time. If not, once the balls are formed, roll them in cornstarch to a get a thin even coating. Fry the tots in small batches of 8-10 until golden brown, being careful not to overcrowd your oil. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Serve warm.