“Tots” and Ham

Sean only likes ham if it is sliced and cooked in a skillet until carmelized a bit.  Mark and I aren’t the hugest fans of that, but it is fine.  We all eat it and think it’s fine.

Green beans, pineapple, and applesauce went well with tonight’s ham.ham and tots

The exciting part of dinner, however, was trying something new… Cauliflower TotsI called them Veggie Tots so that Mark and Sean would try them.  Our package of frozen cauliflower was small, only enough for half a recipe, so I used some potatoes to use up the other half of the ingredients.  I was sure that real potato-tater tots would go over well.

Making these was loads of fun!  Truly.  The texture of the cauliflower mix was lovely.  Mixing up the totsI was surprised how nicely both the cauliflower and potato versions combined.  It gave me the same kind of pleasure that I get from the final “fluffing ” of rice pilaf or combining cornflake crumbs and butter for a casserole.  Loved it 🙂

Mark had 3 mini-muffin pans when we got married, and this is the first time I’ve used them.  It turns out the one gray pan resulted in far better baking/crunch than the two brown pans.  Not sure why that is, but the pan definitely impacts the final texture, although all three are non-stick.Cauliflower Tots and Potato TotsHalfway through baking, I flipped each tot, one-by-one, as directed by the recipe.  The tots in the brown pans didn’t hold together very well for the flipping.  The tots in the gray pan flipped most excellently.1/2 baked Tater TotsAfter baking completely, all the tots held their shape, even the ones from the brown pans; but the ones from the gray pans were much crispier.

Cauliflower Tots

Cheesy Cauliflower Tots

The results were not as positive as I had hoped.

Sean said the “veggie tots” (i.e. cauliflower tots) tasted like nasty, bitter sausage balls.  The texture, he thought, was fine.  He said the potato tots were a little better, but he didn’t like the cheesiness.

Mark preferred the cauliflower tots, strangely enough.  But he ate some of the tater tots, as well.  In both cases, he said it was a lot of work to make a small batch of tots.

I thought these showed promise, but the seasoning was not good.  I didn’t use as much seasoning as called for, but it was still overpowering, even in the potatoes, which should stand up to seasonings pretty well.   And it was a lot of work.

So, although it was a fun experiment, we probably won’t be making these again any time soon.



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