Speck Ham Tater Tots are a delicious, all natural, homemade alternative to store bought frozen boring tater tots. Made with Speck Alto Adige PGI, Parmesan cheese, and Italian herbs, these easy tots can be on the table in less than 20 minutes!
Speck Ham Tater Tots
These Speck Ham Tater Tots are a homemade version that’s way healthier and tastier than premade frozen store tots. When mixing these tots up, I decided to play up the whole Italian theme by adding a little Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning for some extra flavor. Speck Ham Tater Tots are so easy to make and are totally kid-friendly, yet sophisticated enough to serve at an adult dinner party. Perfect as a side dish to any entrée and I bet they would be awesome as a snack with some melted cheese on top or even chili for something really tasty.A few weeks ago Katie, my friend and fellow food blogger at A Fork’s Tale, referred me to the PR folks for the cured ham product Speck Alto Adige PGI. They asked me if I would like to receive a sample of it to use in a recipe, as well as being featured on their website as their Speck Ham April Speckulator. Well I can honesty say, they didn’t have to ask me twice before I jumped on that bandwagon. Immediately I said “YES!” and a huge hunk of beautiful delicious Speck arrived at my door. Yay!!
Speck Alto Adige PGI is made from lean pork and is only produced in the northern Italy area of South Tyrol (also known as Südtirol). The pork is naturally cured for a few weeks in a juniper and spice mixture, then lightly smoked, and finally aged by air drying for an average of 22 weeks in the cool Alpine air. Similar in taste and texture to prosciutto, this cured ham has a more intense smokiness to it, yet still maintains a mildly sweet undertone.
See that fire-branded seal on the rind? Only the best hams can be marked with a Südtirol seal, so be sure to look for it to insure the highest quality and authenticity.
Seriously, I don’t know where these tater tots have been my whole life. They are unbelievably good and I’m already thinking of changing up the recipe to include all sorts of different meats, veggies, and/or cheeses to add to the potato base and fry up.
Speck Ham Tater Tots
- 2 large Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes about 2 pounds, scrubbed and cleaned of all dirt
- 1/4 cup Speck ham, diced (can subsitute bacon, pancetta, or prosciutto)
- 2 tablespooons flour
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- oil for frying
- Precook the potatoes by pricking each potato several times all over and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes, or until a knife is easily inserted into center but not quite soft (can also precook/roast in a 400F/204C degree oven for about 30-40 minutes). Set aside and let cool completely.
- Take cooled potatoes and peel the skins off (if desired) and shred on the large holes of a box grater. Place shredded potatoes in a large bowl, add Speck ham, flour, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix well with hands until mixture is thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Place 2 inches of oil in a heavy bottomed, large pot over medium-high heat until oil reaches 350F/176C degrees. While oil is heating, make the tots by taking a small scoop of the potato mixture and form into 1 inch long cylinders. Drop each tot into the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd, and fry until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels or a paper towel lined plate.