Monday, March 14, 2016

Deep Dish Tater Tot 'Pie' Crust

Want a new and interesting crust to get creative with in the kitchen, try tater tots.  They provide a hearty and crispity crunch, slightly chewy in the centermost part of the tot kernels, perfect for loading on goodies like sauteed chicken or fish, greens, bacon, and don't get me started on cheeses.  Execution of this crust is as easy as pie and once baked, will stand alone without the baking vessel, perfect for self serve dishes and occasions.  I came up with a recipe called Country Girl's 'Sunday Dinner' Pizza, which toppings include moist and delicious sauteed chicken, mixed greens, bacon,  white cheddar and ricotta cheese, with  barbeque sauce insead of pizza sauce, stay tuned for the recipe!! Back to the crispity crunchy wonder that is this gem, the possibilities are endless, here is your playground, let's see what you can come up with!
You can adjust the texure by letting this 'crust' bake a little longer or less, depending upon what type sauce if any you want to use as a base for other ingredients.  This should present well even at room temperature.  If using a wet sauce, serve immediately after adding the pre-cooked toppings and melting the cheese, there's usually always cheese!
4 cups frozen tater tots, thawed
1 large egg, slightly beaten or 2 egg whites
1 tbsp. olive oil
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
1 tsp. onion powder, optional
cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400*F.
In a medium bowl, crumble thawed tots until coarse and even. 
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle in onion powder.
Add egg.
Toss to coat, using clean hands or fold together with a rubber spatula.
Spray desired vessel with cooking spray and press crumbles into bottom and partially up sides to create borders . I used a 3 quart dish.
Place in oven and bake until golden and crisp, about 25 minutes.  Don't forget to wash your hands again if needed.
Let cool for about 15 minutes if you plan to serve it on a flat surface like a cutting board and will be filling with neutral or cold ingredients like fresh greens, thinly sliced veggies, cheeses you don't plan to melt etc. 
PRE-COOK any items that require it, like raw meat proteins, before adding to crust!!

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