As a kid, my favorite after-school snack was a plate of tater tots with slices of Kraft Singles melted on top. I’d stick it in the microwave to get the cheese kind of scorched. I’m not even going to pretend that my taste has evolved beyond that, but I’ll admit it was time for a renovation.
Sometimes the simplest tweaks can completely reinvent something. In this case, the waffle iron came through. Smashing the tots into those crevices took them to a level of crispiness that I could never achieve in the oven, yet the insides stayed pillowy soft. I upgraded my cheese to cheddar, added bacon and jalapeños to the mix, and topped it all off with another tater tot waffle. With my first bite, I reverted back to childhood. Some of the cheese had even oozed out and gotten burnt on the waffle iron, just the way I like it.