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Artisanal Totchos

Whether you bake them or buy them, these deep-fried grated potato balls make a terrific addition to any sporting spread



Writer: Kinsey T. Gidick is the director of Southern Moodways Alliance, an institute that studies how sad eating these totchos made her feel.

Spring Sporting season is marked by a variety of special foods, but for many Southerners, it's the tots that count. Chef Sarah Adams knows this. Her NSFW totcho recipe defies traditional tot construction and logic.

"The idea is that the tots taste like Ranch Doritos and the top is a house salad plus nacho cheese sauce because, duh," she says. Essentially Adams has created a seven layer dip totcho. But that's just one take from the esteemed chef.

If you really want to impress your guests, she suggests cutting hot dogs to the size of the tater tots and then frying them all together and topping it with chili, cheese, and onions. "That's real nasty," she says.

Of course Adams isn't the only Charlestonian who's hot to tot. Chris "Boston" DiMattia keeps guests happy at his exclusive watering hole Recovery Room with a totcho recipe made from a secret spice blend. And then there's Braised in the South food truck's barbecue chicken totchos that are in such demand, the truck sold 100 pounds of tots at the most recent food truck rodeo.

To make your own dank totchos, read on.

  • Scott Suchy

Chef Sarah Adams

Preheat your oven to 450. On a cooking pan lined with parchment or a silicon baking sheet, cook 32 oz. bag of tots for 30 mins rotating half way through. Remove tots from oven and dump into a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tsp. salt, ranch packet, and 2 tbs. nutritional yeast and return to oven for an additional 8 minutes. Fill a medium sauce pan a little over half way up with water and bring to a light bubble. Remove the lid from the 15 oz. jar of Tostitos cheese and open the 8 oz. refried bean can, place in water until heated through and cheese is runny, stirring ocassionally. Add 1 tsp.Tabasco to refried beans and stir. In a small mixing bowl whisk the taco seasoning packet and the 8 oz. sour cream until smooth, adding a splash of water if necessary. To assemble, start with refried beans lining the bottom of the plate almost to the rim, top with 1 cup guacamole, then start layering your tots. Follow by drizzling the sour cream and nacho cheese all over the tots. Top with thinly 1 bunch sliced green onions, 1 diced tomato, half a head iceberg lettuce, and 3.5 oz. jar sliced black olives.

  • Scott Suchy

BBQ Chicken
Chef Brandon Lapp

"So we actually came up with that when we were on the Great Food Truck Race show. We needed something that was quick turnaround, serve-able, and could serve a ton of folks quick."

For seasoning, we use applewood smoked chicken in our secret Bits Rub.

Marinate the chicken in blackening seasoning, braise slowly in chicken stock, and cool in the liquid, then chunk it out.

Put aged cheddar cheese sauce on the tots, then top with shredded lettuce, fresh diced tomatoes, lime crema, and house-made barbecue sauce.

  • Scott Suchy

Recovery Room-style Chris DiMattia

Our tots are cooked by our trained staff in industrial fryers at 375. Once the tots are fried, they are tossed in a secret blend of spices. Then placed on a DHEC-approved pan where they are covered in shredded, blended cheese. More tots are added then finely diced locally purchased tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, and jalapenos are scattered on top with more cheese added. Finally the dish is baked for exactly 2 minutes 17 seconds to allow the cheese to cascade down the side of the mountain of tots.

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