Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chipotle Bacon Cheddar Tots

Chipotle Bacon Cheddar Tots
Take tater tots south of the border with these tasty treats! A perfect beginning to any Southwest or Mexican Fiesta, my Chipotle Bacon Cheddar Tots are spicy, salty, crunchy and savory. Philly is the perfect binding agent, adds tons of tangy flavor and gives the inside a smooth, creamy texture. The bacon and cheddar are the perfect compliment to the chipotle chile powder, and the cilantro garnish gives it the perfect splash of color. Ole! 
Prep time: 20 minutes / Cook time: 40 minutes / Servings: 12

Chipotle Bacon Cheddar Tots
  • 2 medium Russett potatoes
  • 1/2 pound(s) of bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup(s) of shredded cheddar cheese, plus 2 tbsp. for garnish
  • 1 tsp. of chipotle chile powder
  • 6 ounce(s) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup(s) of all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 8 oz. box of Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup(s) of finely chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1 quart(s) of vegetable oil (for frying)
  1. Heat a large skillet on high heat. Add the bacon and continue to cook on high heat for 7-10 minutes until the bacon is crispy and brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, remove bacon from drippings with a slotted spoon and add to a large mixing bowl. Reserve drippings.
  2. Peel potatoes. Grate the potatoes using a cheese grater or food processor. Add to the mixing bowl.
  3. Add cheddar cheese and chipotle chile powder to mixing bowl.
  4. Soften the Philadelphia Cream Cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds and add to the mixing bowl. Season entire mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Stir all ingredients well until combined.
  5. Using a small spoon or your hands, create small, round bite size tater tots (mixture will make about 48 tots). Place them on a cookie sheet and set aside.
  6. Using three separate plates, create three breading stations. Spread the flour onto the first, the eggs onto the second, and the bread crumbs onto the thrid.
  7. In a deep fryer or large frying pan, combine the bacon drippings and 1 quart of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees.
  8. In batches of about 6-10 tots at a time, dredge the tots through the flour, shake of excess, dip in egg mixture, then dredge through the panko bread crumbs and shake off excess.
  9. Fry the tots in the oil, in batches of about 6-10 tots, for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl lined with a paper towel.
  10. To serve: Place the tots on a serving dish, garnish with extra cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro.
Chipotle Bacon Cheddar Tots

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