Monday, June 21, 2010

Napoleon, gimme some of your tots!

I have not had tater tots in over a year. I thought they were gone from my menu forever. Most tater tots, pressed hash browns, some fries, and various other pre-made potato products are rolled or coated in flour to give them that golden brown color and crunch. Recently, I ran into someone at the health food store who told me that Ore-Ida products are gluten free. I almost did a happy dance right there in the store.

Later that week, I realized that we already had some Ore-Ida Mini Tater Tots in the basement freezer!

As luck would have it, a couple weeks ago, while at Costco, we discovered some GF Dijon and Swiss Chicken Burgers, which I decided to try out. All the components of a classic summertime meal seemed to be falling into place, short only one. Buns. In general I just forgo bread products, or, where I can, sub in a corn tortilla. But a burger on a tortilla? No, thanks. Another little bit of serendipity came into play at this point. I remembered that only a week ago, I saw the facebook post from OMG It's Gluten Free regarding the newly installed freezer case :)

Yes, it came down to a freezer case. You see, some of the products sold at OMG are only available certain times of the week, as that is when they are made. Now, however, with the arrival of this freezer, some of the products one might call "stock-up staples," such as buns, pizza crusts, frozen pizzas and pie shells, are available for our daily purchasing needs.

I stopped and talked with Julie, the owner, who told me to toast the buns for about 4 minutes for the best texture. Just looking at these adorable buns made me eager to get home and start dinner. The tops are dusted with coarse salt and herbs, the bottom are chalky white with the remnant of GF flour dusting the pan, and they have a nice crust. Like all gluten free breads, they crumb a bit, but besides toasting it, I also steamed one by wrapping a moist paper towel around it and popping it in the microwave for a few seconds. The bun soaked up the moisture and held its crumbs together

The buns are a great size, big enough to hold a large burger without all the meat hanging over the sides, which also meant there was a good meat to bread ratio in each bite. In the end, I had a chicken burger on a bun with tater tots, something that less than a year ago I would have have thought possible. So, thank you Ore-Ida, for realizing that flour is an unnecessary ingredient in tater tots. Thank you Julie, for having a good idea and running with it. Thank you A.J. (OMG chef/baker), for helping Julie's good idea make its way to my plate.

P.s.: For those of you who have been unable to stop thinking about Napoleon Dynamite since reading that title, I've provided the following clip, courtesy of Hulu. Enjoy!

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