You guys. I know the internet is full of images of things you can do with your waffle iron. I know you’ve pinned them. I’ve pinned them. And there they sit. All lonely on my pin board waiting for me to get on board and actually make them. Last week, I finally made hash browns in my waffle iron. With tater tots. And they rocked.
Let me start by saying that I’m a fan of the tot. When I was in college, there were of course certain Saturday mornings that I may have felt (ahem) a bit under the weather. The solution was almost always McDonald’s hash browns. For the uninitiated, McDonald’s hash browns are essentially just a big tater tot. The tot addiction reared its ugly head again when I was pregnant with the twins. My major food groups were chocolate milk, nachos, strawberries, and tots. (PSA: best tots ever are at The Wrangler in Fairfield, Idaho, population 384, conveniently located on the road between my house and the doctor’s office in Boise.)
Anyway, if you’ve ever made hash browns at home and ended up with a soggy mess, this trick is for you. Tater tots smashed and cooked in the waffle iron come out crispy and remarkably not greasy.
Couple of tips. First, make sure your tots are defrosted. I’m thinking this will cut down on the cooking time a bit. I put mine in the microwave for a minute or two, but they were unevenly defrosted which meant that they didn’t exactly smash together. You want your tots kind of soft but not mushy. Second, spray your waffle iron. Well. Really well. Let’s make sure those puppies can come out.
Third, I think this trick would work better in one of those fancy waffle irons that flips. I don’t have one of those. Fourth, if you have a fancy waffle iron that doesn't flip but makes shaped waffles (um, circus animals anyone?), don’t expect your shapes to be perfect on the first try.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that we served our tater tot hash browns with green eggs and ham for Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Looks disgusting, doesn’t it? The kids thought the whole meal was fantastic. Thanks Karen of the Food Charlatan for the tip on using spinach to color the eggs. Worked like a charm!
(P.S. I am definitely not the originator of this idea. I wish I was. I would tell everyone I meet how smart I am to have invented the tator tot waffle iron hash brown. If I ever meet the person who did come up with this on their own and without the help of google, I’m going to throw that person a party. But for the rest of us, give it a quick internet search. Typically, I link to my sources but in this instance, I just read a bunch of posts and gave it a whirl. Your turn!)