Cinco de Mayo Totchos!

totchosOkay, so I know today is the 6th of May. Still, who doesn’t love more Mexican-themed dishes with tons of options for yummy toppings! Also, this recipe is unbelievably easy. It would be a great dish to make for a game-day party, I know it’s unfashionable out in California but in our household we’ve got an SEC countdown going (War Eagle!). It doesn’t take too much time so if you are looking for a snacky dish that is warm, this is a great one to make.

Tot·chos [n.] = part tater tot, part nacho. A deliciously crunchy, salty, cheesy snack.

Basically, you are making nachos, hold the chips, add tater tots!

Cinco de Mayo Totchos
Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients
2 lbs frozen tater tots
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tricolored bell peppers, minced
1 lb cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese medley
4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro
kosher salt to taste
cayenne pepper to taste

Optional toppings: Chorizo/Bacon, fake bacon, fried egg, black beans, avocado, lime, sour cream

totchosPreheat the oven to 375°F. Place the frozen tater tots in a 9×13 cake pan (if you’re halving this recipe to serve 2-4 people, just use a 9×9 brownie pan instead). Cook them until they are pretty crispy but not too browned (about 15 minutes). Add the minced garlic to the top along with the minced peppers and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. You want the garlic to brown, otherwise it will be very very strong!

totchosAdd the cheese to the top and put it back in for another 5 minutes, but watch it carefully. You want the cheese to fully melt, but not to brown. Finally, add the green onions, cilantro, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper! You can easily adjust all of these toppings to fit your tastes.

One of the things I love about this dish is that we never make it the same way twice. The first time we made a pretty plain version that was still crispy and salty, but very basic.

totchosThen we added fake bacon (or as I call it fake-on) to it, which makes it much much heartier so it tastes a little bit less like a snack to me and more like a meal or brunch side item.

totchosFinally, we settled on this combination that seems to retain a good complexity of flavor without being too heavy for a snack.

totchosIf you are making this as a game day snack, adding the fake-on, chorizo, bacon, or black beans and making it a little heartier might be exactly what you’re looking for. As I’ve said, the flexibility of this dish is amazing and you can make it differently every time!

Enjoy!

 

 

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