Have I told you guys about our little vacation in Victoria this past week? I wrote about my vacation plans a few weeks ago which included - eating a lot of ice cream, pizza, fish, beer, wine, and hiking - in that order. I am happy to admit that I ate a half-ton of ice cream, consumed enough fish and chips to satisfy me for a lifetime, and sampled all the local micro brews, twice. The weather was warm and summery, with a slight cool crisp in the air that made things ever so pleasant. We did all my favorite Victoria touristy things, including a trip to our favorite winery for brunch where I order a flight of champagne at 11am. I then, with a medium-strength buzz, impulse purchased two cases of wine.
Sebastian was a trooper on his first real trip, maintaining a good level of contentment while we subjected him to our 5-hour brewery tour, countless hours of shopping, and a good amount of time eating and drinking. This trip did allow me to learn a few things about Sebastian's travel style - as long as the day ends with a slice of pizza, he is as happy as a clam. He is content for much longer if we haul him around in the baby backpack versus the stroller. And as long as there are people for him to watch, it's almost better than bringing any toy.
Since returning home from Victoria, all I can think about are tater tots. I don't know why? Maybe something deep in my subconscious was triggered during our trip, I don't know. Growing up, we never had tater tots in the house. Occasionally my mom would buy those frozen hash browns, the ones that taste like McDonald's, but that was rare. It wasn't until my final year of high-school that I became obsessed. Occasionally, I would take the bus to my boyfriend's house after school. Being teenagers, lazy and unmotivated, we'd throw a pan of tater tots into the oven for 20 minutes, and then cover them with a generous amount of ketchup. It was probably one of the culinary high points of my youth. I had that brief love affair with tater tots and then went off to college and completely forgot about them. It wasn't until my late twenties when I had the idea to create a tater-tot-nacho-platter, that I realized I could never part with them again.
I had always wondered what would happen if you added some sort of vegetable to the tot mix. If you make them from scratch would they taste better? Sometimes when you make a classic, something that's already done so right, at home in the privacy of your own kitchen, it can be a major fail. Luckily, this broccoli rabe tater tot recipe was the opposite. It was a complete win.
I was feeling an above-average level of confidence, so I decided to make some tater tots from scratch. I liked the idea of adding something green and healthy, something with a bold flavor. I opted for broccoli rabe because I really like the flavor and texture after a quick blanch and a saute in the frying pan with some salt and butter, and I thought the flavors would work so well. And with much excitement, this recipe was a huge success. The tots are savory and crispy with a delicious pop of broccoli rabe in each bite. You can make a batch ahead of time and freeze them for later snacking, or you can cook them all at once and watch as your husband devours them all in less than 10 minutes. They are amazing.
*This post was sponsored by Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the Flourishing Foodie delicious. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more broccoli rabe recipe ideas be sure to check out their website and Facebook page.
BROCCOLI RABE TATER TOTS
makes 30 tater tots
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 50 minutes
1 lb Russet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound broccoli rabe
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 cups oil for frying
Place the potatoes into a large pot filled with cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove potatoes from the water, and place into an ice bath to cool.
In a large frying pan, bring 1/2 cup water, and pinch of salt to a simmer. Cover, and simmer until broccoli rabe is tender. You may need to add a bit more water. Once the water has evaporated, drizzle the broccoli rabe with 1 tsp of olive oil. Remove from the pan and let cool. Once cool, chop finely.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to touch, grate them with a cheese grater.
Place the potatoes, broccoli rabe, flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and egg into a large bowl and combine.
Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
Shape the potato/broccoli rabe mixture with your hands into small tater tot cylindrical shapes. Lay them onto a baking sheet while the oil heats.
Once the oil is hot, place 10 tater tots into the pan at a time. Do not overcrowd. Fry on each side for 5 - 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Serve warm.