cheesy colcannon tater tots
photo by Jennifer Johnson
We’ve taken a modified version of colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage, and added cheese and bacon, making for one addictive appetizer! Shredding the potatoes also gives these tots a hash brown-like texture we love.
- 1 pound russet potatoes (about 1 large), peeled and cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts, minced
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup shredded Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are parboiled. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain. Keep water in saucepan over medium heat. Add cabbage and blanch for 1-2 minutes, until softened. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cooled, finely chop cabbage.
- Place a layer of paper towels on a baking sheet. Using large holes of a box grater, shred potatoes, placing on paper towels as needed. Continue until all of potatoes are shredded. Carefully pat potatoes dry (they will be sticky), remove paper towels from baking sheet and place potatoes directly on baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes, until potatoes have dried out a bit. Remove and set aside.
- In a small sauté pan, add bacon and cook over medium-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Once cooled, finely chop bacon.
- Transfer cooled potatoes to a large bowl and add flour, scallions, parsley, cheese, and bacon. Pat dry cabbage and add to bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop, form potato mixture into tots. It’s important to squeeze each tot tightly together at first, to make sure mixture is stuck well together, and then shape. Place tots in a single layer on a baking sheet, then freeze for at least 2 hours (this keeps them from falling apart when frying).
- Heat about 1 cup vegetable oil in a shallow sauté pan with high sides or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add tots, a few at a time (don’t overcrowd pan) and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and continue until all tots are fried. Sprinkle with salt while warm and serve.
Makes approximately 18.
cook’s note: While it may seem like an extra step to place the potatoes in the oven, it really does help to dry them out, making for a crispier finished tot. Also, it’s imperative that you freeze these well before frying, otherwise they will fall apart.