Are you ready for this?
I don’t think you’re ready for this. I am not convinced. There is just too much awesomeness bundled up in this dish. You sure you can handle it? Let’s see…
So. I put tater tots in my waffle iron. It sounded like a crazy/kind of genius idea at the time. I felt kind of crazy doing it. I was majorly skeptical that it would work. I first saw the idea in my Food & Wine magazine, and while I was floored at how delicious the waffles looked, I was just unsure about the whole thing.
I wasn’t sure that it would work. I imagined myself standing in my kitchen, cursing under my breath (or very loudly, if I’m being completely honest), as semi-cooked potato grossness oozed out the sides of my waffle iron. I imagined a lot of potato sticking to my waffle iron and the resulting waffles taking on a sort of….soggy texture.
Then, I talked myself into it. And thank goodness for that.
I have never been so happy to be so wrong in my life. These turned out SO MUCH BETTER than I was expecting. I ended up with fluffy and tender potatoes crisped up within an inch of their lives and then topped with some of my favorite things. Speaking of that, you can take these tater tot waffles in a million and one directions. They’re basically just a super crispy, giant hash brown. I went a basic route and topped mine with bacon, eggs, and a drizzle of truffle oil (I was feeling fancy!). But you could do just about anything with these.
Top them with salmon and crème fraîche. Go nuts with the meats. Load up on sausage, prosciutto, ham. Oooooo! Or! Go in a dinner direction and top these like tacos! Your favorite pulled pork, cheese sauce, and fresh toppings. Oh, and don’t forget the guacamole. I mean. Really??? I’m dying over these ideas.
So yeah, I am definitely a believer in the tater tot waffle now. It’s fun, different, and totally delicious (duh). Plus, people just get EXCITED over waffles. I am now convinced that I could waffle just about anything and my kid will eat it. Hah. Broccoli waffles, anyone? Anyone?
My basic route of bacon and eggs worked like a charm for me. I have talked about this before, but I am NOT a sausage person. Unless it’s chorizo. All that fennel gets in my way with more traditional sausage. And breakfast sausage basically makes me want to hurl my plate through a window. Don’t come near me with that stuff. BACON ALL THE WAY.
Thankfully, my husband is on the same wavelength with breakfast meats. We LOST IT over this breakfast. The waffle was extremely crispy and seasoned well. Seriously, the best hash brown I’d ever had. And then I topped it with crispy strips of bacon and delicate, super-runny-yolked poached eggs, a drizzle of truffle oil, and some fresh chives. A crack or two of black pepper and a sprinkle of salt and we were in BUSINESS.
There’s something so magical about that moment when you break open a poached egg and the yolk sort of warmly cascades all over everything, coating it in all its buttery, silky glory. I am in awe of it every time. And I eat eggs almost every day of my life.
It’s the little things, right?
And while that is definitely true, there is nothing little about these tater tot waffles, literally and figuratively speaking. They are breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner perfection.
I didn’t think I could handle it. But after one attempt, I know I can and will put tater tots in my waffle iron. The results are staggeringly YUMMY.
I have faith in you. Make this happen.
8 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Nonstick cooking spray
1 (32-oz) bag of frozen tater tots, defrosted
Salt and pepper
Truffle oil, for garnish
Chopped scallions or chives, for garnish
Fill a shallow pot with water and bring to a simmer. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crispy and rendered. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate and set aside until you are ready to serve.
To the pot of simmering water, add the white vinegar. Keeping the water at a simmer (not a boil), create a whirlpool by stirring the water in a circular motion with a slotted spoon. Crack each egg into a small bowl or ramekin and then carefully drop them, one at a time, into the gently swirling and simmering water. Poach the eggs for 4 minutes, remove from the water with the slotted spoon, and carefully set on a paper-towel lined plate until you are ready to serve.
Heat a waffle iron and preheat the oven to 200°F.
Spray the waffle iron liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Spread roughly 2 cups of the tater tots on the iron in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper.
Close the waffle iron and cook on medium-high until the waffle is crisp, about 5 minutes.
Open the waffle iron and fill in any holes in the waffle with more tater tots, then close the iron again, and cook until golden and crispy, roughly 2-3 minutes more.
Transfer the waffle to a baking sheet; keep warm in the oven while you make the remaining waffles.
Halve each waffle. Place a waffle half on each serving plate and top with the crispy bacon, a poached egg, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a drizzle of truffle oil, and lots of chopped scallions/chives. Serve immediately while warm.
You really want to take the time to defrost the tater tots before attempting to waffle them. For these waffles, I set the bag of tater tots out at room temperature, unopened, for about an hour. Then they were ready!
Tater tot waffle recipe from Food & Wine.