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DIY tailgate trends: Make totchos this football season

Posted by Melissa Massello  September 27, 2013 08:00 PM

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Photo: Melissa Massello/Shoestring

Football season is in full swing, which means weekends are for setting out serious spreads of food for friends and family and wearing stretchy pants in front of the TV. In with the cold weather and out with the calorie counting!

If you pay attention to food trends or spend any time on Pinterest, then you've probably heard about the hottest thing for game day since Buffalo chicken dip: "Totchos," or tater tot nachos.

The origins of totchos might still be up for debate — several chefs in Pacific Northwest cities like Portland and Seattle have taken credit (which would make sense as Tater Tots were invented by Ore-Ida in Ontario, Oregon in 1953) while Atlanta restaurant The Nook claims to owns the trademark — but no one can deny the popularity of totchos, which has spread like wildfire this year from coast to coast.

Totchos are an affordable crowd-pleaser (especially if you have kids or friends who are gluten free, like me!), take only minutes to prepare, and have as many potential combinations as Napoleon Dynamite references.

CLASSIC TOTCHOS
Serves 4-6


  • 1 32-ounce bag of Tater Tots or potato puffs

  • 2 ripe avocados, cubed

  • 1 jar corn & black bean salsa

  • Sliced jalapenos to taste

  • Chopped scallions to taste

  • Sour cream (optional)

In the spirit of investigative journalism, I tested this recipe on several groups of (very willing) friends this summer, finding three things to be truly universal: frying the tots until super crispy (instead of baking them) allows them to hold up to the weight of the toppings without turning into mush in a matter of minutes; adding wet toppings like salsa and sour cream should be done at the very last second before serving (for the same reason); and you won't have any leftovers, ever. (If you are making totchos for someone who is gluten intolerant or has Celiac disease, do make sure to double check the ingredients on the prepared frozen tots for wheat flour.)

Watching the game on a big screen somewhere? Want to do a little more recon before home recipe development? Don't fret. While they don't call them "totchos," plenty of pubs and restaurants around the city serve tots in various innovative twists on the classic — the universal favorite seems to be the totcho-like tater tot platters at The Lower Depths in Allston, which come in five variations like the Mexicana (tots covered in queso fresco, pickled jalapenos, guacamole & salsa), the Kenmore (tots covered in melted cheese, applewood smoked bacon, chipotle aioli & scallions), and the Poutine (tots covered in gravy, fried cheese curds, melted cheese & scallions).

GO PATS!

Montillio's Cupcakes

Photo: Cake by Monitilio's of Boston

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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