Loaded Pork Belly Hawaiian Totchos
It's that time of year again when all those dudes with big muscles strap on tights and start piling on top of one another. No, silly, I'm not talking about pride weekend. I'm talking about something way gayer, NFL football season! Look, I don't know shit about football, or most other sports for that matter (ahem fat childhood, etc.), but I do know a whole lot about another part of football season - snacks! I don't really know what constitutes as a good football-watching snack. Like, I see a lot of Tostitos commercials around this time of year so I guess chips are good? Is it best to have something that doesn't require a fork to eat? Did I fuck it all up already with a messy snack? Oif! I'm over it.
So, look, I'm only calling these "Hawaiian" because they have pork belly and pineapple, which to me seems pretty Hawaiian. If it's not, I'm sorry, Hawaii, I'm using your name in vain. I know. I'm sorry. But, look, the combination of the fatty pork belly with the sweet and acidic pineapple chutney is actually super freaking mind-blowingly delicious and I think, just maybe, Hawaii, after you try these tots you'll feel kinda honored to be in the title of this post. Maybe?
Anyway, the last few days Matt and I have been running the massive bridge of stairs that stretches over a little park by our house and we have both been nearly dead after each workout, which has resulted in a massive-borderline-disgusting consumption of tater tots, which have been flowing like water in the Probably This household as I've had to make this recipe a few times to get it perfect. A river of tots, which I've been referring to as "titty tots" because I'm twelve. Sometimes this whole food blogging life is really hard you guys. Sometimes it really is. Have a sweet weekend, darlings!
Loaded Pork Belly Hawaiian Totchos
serves 4 as a snack
- About 2 lbs tater tots (recipe below) or store-bought (lol no judgement)*
- Sliced and roasted Pork belly (from 1/2 lb raw, recipe below)*
- 1/2 c Pineapple chutney (recipe below)
- 2/3 c shredded Asiago cheese
- 1/2 c sour cream
- Chopped red onion and green onion for garnish
Turn your broiler on high and place the cooked tots in a skillet or roasting pan and cover with the Asiago cheese. Broil for 3 - 5 minutes until the cheese begins to melt and turn brown. Top with pork belly, sour cream, pineapple relish, and red and green onion. Serve while warm.
For the tots
- 3 - 5 medium russet potatoes (about 2.5 lbs)
- 2 cups coconut oil or canola oil
- 2 T brown rice flour (or AP flour) + more for dusting
- 1 t cayenne pepper
- salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water until the water is about an inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil for 6 - 8 minutes. Remove from the pot and immediately place the potatoes in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let cool to room temperature before using.
- Using a cheese grater with large holes (you'll want to use the side with holes that are about 1/8" - 1/4" in diameter), shred the cooked potatoes.
- In a large bowl toss the shreds with the remaining ingredients (except the oil) until fully combined.
- Place some extra flour in a small bowl or plate to roll the tots in. Begin making the tots by grabbing a tot-sized amount of potato shreds and squeezing it tight like you're trying to smash it together to make mashed potatoes. Give it a few good squeezes to make it extra malleable. Roll into a cylinder with the palm of one hand, while using the index finger and thumb of your other hand to smoosh the bottom and top towards the center, creating a tot.
- Toss the tots in the extra flour to coat lightly, and place on a wire rack to remove any excess flour.
- In a medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the oil to about 380 degrees. I actually just eye-balled this and managed to do OK, but usually I'd recommend using an oil-thermometer. Place 5 - 6 tots in the oil at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Let fry for about 2 or 3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon or small strainer. Set aside.
For the pork belly
- 1/2 lb whole, pork belly, not sliced
- 2 T salt
- 2 - 3 T olive oil
The secret to getting crispy and tender pork belly is to roast it for a long time at a low temperature, before slicing it and crisping it in a skillet. With the oven set to 275 degrees, place the pork belly in a small high-lipped pan such as a skillet or a brownie tray. Coat with the salt and roast for two and a half hours. Remove from the oven and let cool. At this point you can store it for a few days until ready to serve. When you're ready to serve it, slice it into desired bite-sized pieces and bring a few tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a non-stick skillet, pan fry the pork belly for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the heat.
For the pineapple cilantro chutney
- 1.5 c chopped fresh pineapple (about 1/3 of a whole pineapple)
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 T whole cloves or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
In a blender or food processor, blend the pineapple to a pulp, with a few chunks remaining. Add to a small saucepan with the sugar, vinegar, and cloves or cinnamon. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 or 20 minutes, until reduced by half. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature before stirring in the cilantro. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- Actually forming each tot is kind of a bitch, but it can also be a really fun activity to do with friends or family, or something to force your child to do alone as punishment. If you don't have friends or family or children or an hour to kill doing it on your own, using store-bought tots wouldn't be the end of the world.
- I'd recommend roasting the pork belly and making the chutney (all instructions for these steps are above) the night before you plan to serve these, and storing them in the fridge overnight. That way, all you have to do the next day is prepare the tots and crisp up the belly and you're basically good to go.