- Food and Cooking
Almost instant potato bake
An almost instant potato bake recipe
Like many of my recipes, this one has a story behind it.
We have a lovely neighbor, Jimmy, who only lives here in Florida during the cooler months. In the summer he goes up to Maine where he owns and runs a restaurant. He told us that he was heading north and that he'd bring us the contents of his fridge, rather than throw the food out.
Knowing that Jimmy has a cool restaurant, I was looking forward to some truly gourmet ingredients to work with.
Now I am very grateful for his largess however what he brought, apart from a lot of lovely organic eggs and some splendid bread that I plan to use soon, were these - a pack of sharp Cheddar cheese, a lemon, a bulb of garlic, a tomato and something I've never used before ... half a bag of Onion Tater Tots.
These were defrosted so I reckoned I'd have to use them straight away - now there was a challenge!
Could I make dinner for two using those ingredients and a few oddments from the pantry? It was rather like a TV cooking show. But my goodness, it was quick to prepare, so easy too and the results were delicious. Tater Tots may well become an addition to my weekly grocery shopping list.
To serve two for a quick vegetarian dinner, lunch or snack.
- ½ bag OnionTaterTots
- ½ lemon
- 3oz. Cheddar cheese (sharp) or the cheese of your choice
- A few black olives
- 1 tomato
- 1 clove garlic
- Fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Prepare the salsa
PREHEAT THE OVEN
According to the direction on the bag, I set the oven to 425°.
TOMATO, GARLIC & CILANTRO
Chop the tomato and add to a small bowl. Do the same with the garlic clove and most of the cilantro (reserve a little of garnishing the final dish).
Cut two small wedges from the lemon to use later as a garnish and add the juice from the remainder to the bowl with the tomatoes.
HOT SAUCE & OLIVE OIL
Add these to the dish too and mix. You can use more or less hot sauce depending on your own personal tastes and the strength of the sauce you're using. Set this aside so that the flavors can mingle. As this has only taken a minute or so, the oven is probably not yet hot so go and watch TV or pour yourself a glass of wine while you're waiting :)
As you'll see below, this is the exact oven dish that I use. I've had it now for a couple of years and I use it several times a week. We also use it as a serving dish when we have bread, cheese, fruit and salad for lunch. It's a very reasonable price, strong and sturdy and is invaluable in my kitchen.
Bake the Tater Tots
ONION TATER TOTS
Arrange these in a single layer in an oven dish and place in the preheated oven for about eighteen minutes.
Grate the cheese and slice the olives. Pour another glass of wine...
Add the topping
When the tots are golden, spoon the tomato mix over the cooked potatoes.
CHEESE & OLIVES
Add the cheese and olives and cook until the tomato is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbling. Pour another glass of wine...
Garnish with the cilantro and lemon.
Serve with salad leaves.
Potatoes are a wonderful food. They are filling, nutritious and best of all, inexpensive. They are also ultimately adaptable.
This is an excellent book and will provide you with plenty of inspiration for how to make the most of this nutritious vegetable.
I remember the days when there were no specific utensils for potatoes other than peelers and mashers. Today, with a few select items, you can make the most of this healthy, filling and cheap vegetable to feed your family with ease.
I suspect that many people would benefit from that addition of more potatoes in their diet -they really are jam-packed with nutrients and goodness.