I came across this video on the interwebs, wherein tater tots were turned into crispity delicious waffles filled with cheese, bacon, and jalapeños fried in bacon fat (!).
What’s not to love?
So, quicklikeabunny, I got onto another part of the interwebs, and ordered a waffle machine just like the one in the video, because I wanted to take no chances…
I ordered the Belgian waffler maker used in the video, and waited, patiently, for my free, second-day delivery from the country’s largest e-retailer.
And received this country-themed “Five Hearts” waffler instead.
Undaunted, I went back on the interwebs, filed a return, noting the issue – “you’ve sent me model 840, and I ordered model 840B“, and again awaited my free, second-day delivery from the country’s largest e-retailer.
Only to be greeted by the same darned “Five Hearts” waffler.
Somewhat daunted, I, again, filed a return, again noting the issue, but selected “return” instead of “replace” because, obviously, that “B” at the back of the model number was troublesome for the nice folk at country’s largest e-retailer.
I ordered the waffler from another retailer, same price, but no free, second-day delivery, and, GLORY BE!, the correct waffler was, eventually, delivered to my door!
Note: for some reason (tho’ I have my suspicions) this particular waffler is not stocked in most of the stores selling such things in my north of Chicago neighborhood, so ordering on-line was the only option.
The rest of the story:
Waffler firmly in hand, I began to pull the stuff together to make the longed for, no-doubt delicious, tater tot waffles.
•1 bag tater tots, thawed
•1 pkg bacon
•Sharp Cheddar cheese, sliced
Slice the jalapeños (I also seeded one, to reduce the heat a bit) and set aside.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until nicely crispity then remove the slices to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Add the jalapeños to the bacon fat in the skillet and cook for four or five minutes, until browned in spots and a bit crispity on the edges.
Bacon cooked, jalapeños fried, cheese sliced, I was ready.
I popped the tots into the ‘wave in a large bowl for four minutes (as noted in the video).
Since it was the first time using my precious new waffler, I followed the manufacturer’s instructions for prepping and heating it the first time. I plugged it in. The lights went on.
The waffler had ceased to be.
Note: I should have taken this as the omen it turned out to be.
Back to being mostly undaunted, but mebbe just a bit ticked off – tot waffles were going to happen! – I rummaged around in the pantry and brought out the old, trusty waffler and sammich griller I’d bought my husband for Christmas 15 years ago or so, and that we’d used, with no trouble, ever since.
I applied cooking spray, heated the waffler according to the recipe instructions, arranged the tots on the plates, and went waffling…
The first set turned out like this:
OK, no worries, it’s just dinner at home, the waffles don’t have to be perfect, and I’ll get better at this over time, right?
So, I peel the first waffle off the maker and arrange the tots for the second (this is a layered thing, one waffle on the bottom, topped with cheese, bacon, jalapeño, a bit more cheese, then the second tot waffle on top, toasted to melt the cheese and make all things better) waffle.
Another waffler has ceased to be!
I’m thinking: “Surely this cannot be, the waffler just needs to cool down for a bit and then we will proceed to toasty, crispity, tot waffle nirvana.”
Dead as a door nail.
So. OK. Plan the second (or, I dunno, fifth at this point, I was losing track of my contingency plans).
I heated the oven to 400º, added a tablespoon or so of bacon fat to a 9×12 baking pan and popped it into the oven to melt the fat.
Once the pan was warmed and the fat melted, I used a brush the bacon fat to coat the bottom and sides of the pan evenly, and arranged the cooked, crispity kinda waffled pieces of tots over the bottom.
Following the original tot waffle formula, I topped the crispity bits with sliced cheese, then the cooked bacon slices and jalapeños, then more sliced cheese.
I topped that with the thawed, but sadly not crispity waffled tots, and popped the whole shebang into the oven for twenty minutes or so, until the top layer of tots was browned and getting to be crispity.
I pulled the (now) casserole out of the oven, and topped it with a bit more cheese, this time shredded.
A five minutes rest on the top of the stove and…
Dinner was served.
The bottom, waffled layer was nicely crispity, and you really couldn’t tell (or, like me, just really didn’t care anymore) that it was made up of tot waffle pieces.
The middle layers of cheese and bacon and jalapeños oozy and smoky and all things good.
The top layer was, let us face it, toasted tots and cheese.
Good, but not what I had pictured, lo’ those many days and deliveries and contingency plans before.
Next time, I believe I will just stick with the cheesy sex tots.