It’s almost Easter and I am already looking forward to Easter leftovers. I know it may not be a holiday normally associated with leftovers, but it is in our house. We have a close friend who gives us a certificate for a free ham each Easter, I guess that makes that close friend a very, very special friend. Being a minister’s wife on Easter doesn’t leave much time in the kitchen, so I take all the “free” help I can get. Two leftovers that we always have after Easter lunch are mashed sweet potatoes and ham. I slice all the remaining ham and the ham bone gets frozen for a future pot of beans. I portion out the sliced ham for sandwiches and recipes-nothing like a hot ham and cheese sandwich on toast for me and these Ham and Sweet Potato Tots.
I don’t know what it is about tater tots, but they always make me feel like a kid. It’s as if my mind is telling me that tater tots are for children only not for adults. Do you hear that in your mind, too? Maybe it’s because there are no utensils required and they are so easy to pop in the mouth. These tater tots, made with only five ingredients and under 20 minutes, make an easy transition from breakfast to brunch and lunch to dinner. These are not your average little tot, these are hearty tots. I wanted to do a dipping sauce for this recipe, but the sauces I like with these tots vary from meal to meal. For instance, for breakfast, I like the tots with apple butter. For brunch, I like them with a poached egg and a dollop of orange marmalade. For lunch, I like them lined up in a hot dog bun with some spicy mustard, and for dinner…as is, as a perfect side.
Put on Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE Thinking Cap: No leftover mashed sweet potatoes? Use regular leftover mashed potatoes and yummy bonus if they are fully loaded. Want to turn these tater tots into an appetizer? Roll each tot into minced pecans before baking. Adjust seasonings depending on what is already in your mashed sweet potatoes like maple syrup and cinnamon. No leftover ham? Make all veggie tots. Have leftover broccoli? Grind it and add it. Have any other leftover meat like pork chops, pork tenderloin, or even steak? Grind it and add it in place of ham or add crumbled bacon. Want a quick dipping sauce? Use spicy mustard, BBQ sauce, maple syrup, honey, apple butter, or orange marmalade. Still have leftover ham? Make one of my other Easter leftover favorites: Club Sandwich Meatballs.
FOOD FUN: According to Foodimentary, as you might have guessed, “Tater Tots is a registered trademark of Ore Ida. Tater tots literally mean “baby potatoes” tatter for potato and tots for little one. Americans consume over 70 million pounds of Tots per year.” There’s no way that can be all children! Here’s a poem I found on blogspot from Double Flee A that sums it up for me, “Tater tots are good to eat, A tater tot’s a tasty treat, If you find yourself in need of fun, A tater tot’ll git ‘r done.”