Loaded Baked Potato Tot Waffle
The kind of bacon you use here matters. Because the fat is flavoring the waffles, look for high-quality, smoked deli bacon. This recipe is from The Riddler in San Francisco, CA.
4 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
Flaky sea salt
8 ounces thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 32-ounce bag tater tots (preferably Ore-Ida), room temperature
3 ounces sharp cheddar, coarsely grated (about ¾ cup)
Sour cream and cilantro leaves with tender stems (for serving)
Heat a medium nonstick skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high. Add scallions, season with sea salt, and cook, stirring often, until charred on all sides, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
Reduce heat to medium and cook bacon in same skillet, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towels. Strain bacon fat through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.
Heat a regular or Belgian waffle iron. Brush liberally with bacon fat. Arrange tater tots in an even layer across entire surface of waffle iron; pile another handful or two of tots over if you’re using a Belgian waffle iron. Season with salt. Press down on lid to close (use lid lock if you have one) and cook waffle until golden brown, 8–12 minutes depending on your iron.
Transfer waffle to a plate; top with cheese and let sit a minute to melt. Top with a dollop of sour cream and scatter cilantro over. Pile on scallions and bacon and serve.
Recipe by The Riddler, San Francisco, CA
Photograph by Alex Lau