Monday, October 03, 2011

Homemade Tater Tots - October 1, 2011

One reality of my newly-discovered food allergy is that virtually all convenience and processed foods are off-limits. Even if they don't contain obvious corny ingredients like corn starch, corn oil, corn flour, or corn syrup, they could be problematic if they contain one of many ingredients that are probably derived from corn or created using corn as part of the processing. This list is daunting and overwhelming and includes things that you see on all kinds of food ingredient lists: dextrose, vinegar (white vinegar is derived from cereal grains and if they don't tell you which kind it is fair to assume it is corn since that is the cheapest), citric acid, ascorbic acid, maltodextrin, xanthum gum, and much more. If you are curious, check out this list... it seriously made me cry the first time I looked at it.

For the most part, eliminating convenience foods is not that big a deal for me. I prefer healthy whole foods anyway and enjoy cooking from scratch. But I would be lying if I didn't admit that a part of me was really bummed to think that I'd never have some of my favorite trashy comfort foods ever again, like Tombstone pizza, or McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, or Tater Tots.... Yummm, Tater Tots... Tater Tots rock, don't they?

Imagine my happiness when the latest issue of Cook's Country magazine arrived in the mail and I saw that the fine folks there applied their America's Test Kitchen expertise to developing the perfect recipe for homemade crispy potato tots! The preparation took several hours and I nearly burned the house down when I let my oil get too hot, but they were delicious and I will definitely make them again some time. Mine didn't turn out quite as pretty as the store-bought version or the ones in their photographs, but the taste was spot on. At least one comfort food is back in my life! Now I just need to figure out how to make some homemade condensed cream-of-mushroom and I'll be eating tater tot hot dish this winter!

1 comment:

Nick said...

Oh yes. Now that you've mastered the tater tot, it is time for you to master sending them cross country.


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