This post was supposed to be called ‘Super Cannolis” and just in time for the Super Bowl. Yes, we concocted a savory play on the traditional sweet Italian confection and it was going to be the new nacho or the new buffalo wing. Mashed potato, scallion, and bacon bits would be stuffed into a crispy shell made out of a thinly sliced piece of potato. Sounds delicious right? Well, they tasted ok…but our ‘crispy’ shells were chewy and they were, well, ugly. Being the designers that we are, aesthetics are important and we couldn’t cope with the idea of featuring a Rampant Cuisine creation that made our eyes cringe.
Not to worry…a tasty post still follows! We had a back-up plan! In honor of the upcoming big game (would someone please let me know who’s playing?) we made an American staple: tater tots. Not just any tater tots though, these tots have cheese, diced jalapeno, green onion and a dash of cayenne pepper for some kick! The perfect Super Bowl finger food! Unfortunately rolling our tots into the barrel shape that we are all accustomed to was way harder than expected so we ended up with tater tots that more closely resembled hush puppies. In homage to their appearance we have decided to name our creation “Hush Tots” or maybe “Puppy Tots”… or how about “Tot Puppies”?
Ok, we will go with “Tater Puppies”.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Think that red wine isn’t an appropriate beverage to sip while watching football? This pairing might make you think again. This light and fruity Malbec was an amazing contrast to the fried-ness of the Hush Tots. The sweetness in the wine cooled the jalapeno and cayenne and the flavors of cheese and potato in the tots deepened the taste and complexity of the wine. Touchdown! (I know, I know…that was bad.)
Rating: 8.75 out of 10
I thought it only appropriate to pair a classic American beer like Anchor Steam Beer with a classic American food like tater tots. You can sit on your couch with that cheese wedge on your head and pop those tasty Tater Puppies into your mouth and then wash it down with this tasty beer. Anchor Steam Beer is a balanced, clean, thirst quenching beer. The malt and hop flavors are moderate but have a great balance that make this an easy beer to drink and great for washing down fried food.
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 large russet potato, grated
1 egg, whisked
6 tbs. flour
cayenne pepper, to taste
garlic and onion powder, to taste
grated cheddar cheese, chopped jalapenos, and green onions, to taste
In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 375 degrees F. (Use a Candy/Frying thermometer…they only cost around $5 at the supermarket!)
Finely shred the potato and season with salt and pepper. Put the potato into a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Put the potato into a medium-sized bowl along with the egg and mix well. Add the flour and stir to combine. Stir in the cayenne, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper, cheese, and jalapenos to taste. The mixture should be workable but dry. Form the potato into tots and fry, in batches, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from fryer and drain on a paper towel lined tray. Immediately season with salt and pepper, to taste.