Is anyone else super pumped about the fact that the leaves are turning brilliant red/orange/yellow and the nights are getting cooler? Obviously I am. My body and mind are starting to crave those cooler weather foods, like carbs galore! And soup and hearty dishes. I can’t freaking wait. It’s starting to be the time of year that I don’t mind standing over a hot stove, or running the oven for a length of time. But it also means that I freeze my tail off when I’m watching my kids play soccer. I’m the one in the crowd always totally bundled up. I blame that on my thin skin (literally) and poor circulation. What, am I 100? It seems like it sometimes! You should see it when my husband I go for a long drive together. He’s over there in a t-shirt complaining about being hot, while I’m in the other seat with like 5 layers on, gloves and hat with the heat cranked up, and still cold. It’s interesting to say the least.
Anyway, let’s talk about these tots. Anyone else seen Napolean Dynamite? All I can think of when I think of tater tots now are when he stores a handful in his pants pocket and eats them during class. I would totally do that. Minus the pants pocket part. Ha! Those were the type we all grew up on eating at school lunches, but this recipe is a lot healthier. For starters, they are baked instead of deep fried. And the amount of sodium is reduced by probably a million. At least.
I decided to do a combination of sweet potato tots, and regular potatoes. My kids haven’t inherited my love for sweet potatoes it seems. Sigh. They were both killer though. So, let’s break these down. First, you roast both kinds of potatoes until they are tender, just like a baked potato. Then, you scoop out the delicious insides and mash them (separately) with some fresh garlic, fresh Parmesan cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Then, you roll them up into your preferred shape and roll them into Panko and chili powder. Then they bake! Super simple. I drizzled a little butter with fresh chopped parsley over them once they came out of the oven and served them with ketchup for the kids.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- 3-4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- kosher salt and black pepper
- whole milk
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 1/4 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Prick the sweet potatoes and potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the preheated oven, directly on the oven racks and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a pairing knife slides in easily. Let cool.
- Once cool enough to handle, peel away the skin from the sweet potatoes and russets. Place sweet potatoes in a medium mixing bowl, and russets in a separate bowl. Mash until smooth. Place half the Parmesan cheese, and half the garlic in the sweet potatoes, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Place the remaining cheese and garlic in the russets, as well as the granulated garlic and and a good amount of salt and pepper. Mix both bowls until combined. If the russets are dry, mix in a splash of milk.
- Combine the Panko and chili powder in a pie plate or shallow bowl. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Set aside.
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the sweet potato out of the bowl, roll into a cylinder and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining sweet potato mix. The sweet potato mixture will be wet, so don’t worry about the shape . Roll the sweet potato cylinders in the Panko mixture to coat and place back on to the baking sheet. Repeat process with the russet mixture. Lightly mist each tot with olive oil or baking spray. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the parsley and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Drizzle the butter over the tots and serve immediately. Serve with ketchup or desired dipping sauce.
- Place any leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven.