Now you remember trying to make hash browns from scratch, right? It's a pretty time consuming process with peeling and shredding the potatoes, soaking and squeezing them, seasoning and cooking them - forever until they get crispy!
Although they are delicious, it's not the sort of thing most people have time for on a busy weekday morning. Well these are! Let's do this!
While the waffle iron is preheating, get out and defrost the tater tots in the microwave about a 1 - 1 1/2 minutes just so they are no longer frozen. Just for reference, the ones I used were called "Alexia, All Natural, crispy seasoned potato puff with roasted garlic and cracked black pepper, with a hint of sour cream and chives." You can't go wrong with a title like that, huh?
The first time I made these, I sprayed the waffle iron with cooking spray. I found out that there is plenty enough oil already in the tater tots to prevent them from sticking, so in subsequent times, I did not use the spray. You may have to play with that depending on the brand you use. (??)
After the iron is preheated, dump the tater tots out onto it and arrange in a single layer. When you close the top of the iron, really squeeze it down so that is smashes the tater tots into one big layer. If you purchased tater tots without seasoning, I would think you would need to season them before closing the lid.. but that's why I went with the seasoned ones. In the morning, every little time saving step is worth it. For the waffle iron that I have, they took 7 - 8 minutes to cook, brown, and get crispy.
While they are cooking, you have time to pull out drinks and make that egg!
To remove them, I was a little afraid of them breaking, so I actually turned the waffle iron over and dumped them out.
Garnish as desired. The boys enjoyed theirs plain, whereas I like mine more loaded. I added a soft cooked egg, some crumbled bacon, a bit of salt and pepper, and a dollop of lite sour cream to mine. It was a complete and very satisfying breakfast!