Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots

Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots

March 31: National Tater Day

Instead of French fries with our fast food, we sometimes order tater tots as a tasty alternative side dish. Tater tots are tiny versions of hash browns and other breakfast-style potatoes, too. When wrapped in and baked with bacon, they become an even better snack. Because they are quick and easy to prepare, they are a popular appetizer for game-day get-togethers, such as when watching March Madness on television (according to Highlander and Islander’s brother, Kahuna). Bake some bacon-wrapped tater tots for casual gatherings and on National Tater Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Rachael Ray)

Ingredients

  • Frozen tater tots (we used Ore-Ida brand extra crispy tater tots)
  • Slices of bacon

Directions

Soak toothpicks in water so they do not burn in the oven. Cut each bacon strip in half. Roll the bacon around a tater tot with about half an inch overlap. Secure with a toothpick (see Notes). Continue wrapping bacon around as many tater tots as desired.

Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots

Place on a foil-lined lipped pan and bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is browned, crisp and cooked through. Remove from the oven and put on paper towels to drain any grease. Serve hot.

Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots

Notes

  • Because the tater tot is still frozen, the toothpick will not go all the way through when wrapping the bacon over it. After baking, carefully push the toothpick through the tater tot.
  • Eat bacon-wrapped tater tots in moderation! They are flavorful but fattening.
  • Bacon can be wrapped around many things besides tater tots (pineapple chunks, dates, shrimp, etc.). Try wrapping them around water chestnuts and baking them in barbecue sauce. Refer to the recipe for bacon-wrapped water chestnuts in our September blog post for International Bacon Day.
  • Say cheese! Sprinkle shredded Parmesan or cheddar cheese after baking the bacon-wrapped tater tots for additional flavor.

Kartoffelsalat (German Potato Salad)

German Potato Salad

August 19: National Potato Day

Wilkommen (Welcome) to HI Cookery’s guest chef, Lisa L., our German-American friend who currently lives in Northern Germany (two hours’ drive west of Berlin). Islander traveled to Deutschland a few years ago to be Lisa’s matron of honor and make an American-style wedding cake. What an adventure it was trying to convert measurements and read German cooking directions on packages. But Islander thoroughly enjoyed the experience of sharing the kitchen space with other non-English speaking frauen (women) from the village who were helping with the preparations for the wedding!

When Lisa recently came back to visit her American homeland, she cooked a whole German meal for her friends and family. Her menu included jägerschnitzel (fried breaded pork cutlets) with mushroom gravy, bratwurst (sausages), spätzle (egg noodles), rhubarber-schneemousse torte (rhubarb meringue cake) and kartoffelsalat (potato salad). Planning ahead for a blog recipe post on National Potato Day, Islander chronicled Lisa’s preparation of a traditional German potato salad from a generational recipe shared by a fellow frau in her village. Viel spaß damit und guten appetit (have fun and enjoy your meal)!

Recipe

(Adapted from Kerstin P.)

Ingredients

  • 8 large potatoes (3-4 pounds or 1.5-2 kilograms)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ – 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 package of cooked real bacon pieces (we have used Hormel and Oscar Mayer brands)
  • 1 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley or chives to garnish (optional)

Directions

Wash and scrub the potatoes. Fill a large pot of water enough to cover all of the potatoes. Cover the pot and boil until the potatoes are cooked through (about 15-20 minutes). Drain, cool and peel the potatoes. Cut them into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside. Combine onions, sugar, vinegar and water in a skillet and heat for about five minutes. Pour this liquid mixture into the bowl of potatoes.

German Potato Salad

Toss in the bacon pieces. Add the oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and refrigerate to allow the liquid to be absorbed and the flavors to blend with the potatoes. Garnish with parsley or chives before serving.

German Potato Salad

Notes

  • National Potato Day is also celebrated on October 27. Search our blog for more posts on potato recipes.
  • Unlike American potato salad, the German version does not contain mayonnaise as an ingredient.
  • See our blog recipe post for wienerschnitzel cooked by our friendly guest chef, Lisa L., for National Wienerschnitzel Day on September 9.

Herbs and Spices Oven Roasted Potatoes

Herbs and Spices Oven Roasted Potatoes

June 10:  Herbs and Spices Day

Islander’s daddy studied horticulture in college before joining the U.S. Navy and becoming a chef. Unfortunately, she did not inherit his talent for gardening but she grew interested in his culinary skills. Although Islander is clueless about maintaining an herb garden, she is crazy about organizing her spice rack. Those who do not have a green thumb like her can conveniently reach out for the seasonings on their shelves and sprinkle them on their favorite foods for fabulous flavor.  Our blog recipe post features such capped condiments in an aromatic side dish—herbs and spices oven roasted potatoes—for Herbs and Spices Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from All Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablepoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the oil, garlic, basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt.  Add the potatoes and stir until well coated. Place the potatoes in a foil-lined baking pan in a single layer. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally for even browning.

Herbs and Spices Oven Roasted Potatoes

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