Transform Your Tots

Australians call them pom poms.
School lunches wouldn’t be the same without them.
Americans eat nearly 70,000,000 pounds of them annually.
It takes 4 potatoes to make about 50 of them.

Behold everybody’s favorite tater, the tot — a perfect representative for March’s National Frozen Food Month and March 31’s National Tater Day.

Since debuting in the 1950s, tots have elevated their popularity across the country. Thanks to a little cameo in the cult movie “Napoleon Dynamite” and a culinary re-envisioning by creative chefs in bistros, dives and brew pubs, the tot has reached a new level of respect and taste.

For evidence of the new tot phenomenon, I present to you … Totchos.
Half tater tots. Half nachos. All-star appetizer.

Totchos are a hearty spin on a classic and so easy to make. See for yourself.

First, you need a 2-lb bag of your favorite frozen tots. Spread the tots on a cookie sheet so it is covered. Bake the taters according to the directions. I recommend baking them a little longer to add a crunch factor.

With about five minutes to go, remove the tots and salt them.
Layer them with your favorite meat and cheese.
(Shredded chicken and taco meat are always great options. If you’re really crunched on time, canned chili with no beans tastes great too.)
Finish baking as per instructions.

Take out of the oven and finish building your totchos with classic nacho ingredients. Such as:

Shredded lettuce
Black olives
Diced tomatoes
Pico de gallo
Sour cream

Serve with hot sauces and salsa.
Dig in and enjoy.


— PJ Butland