December 14 2017

The Takeaway: A Sunday snack that’s a true game changer

By Steve Poses


The Philadelphia Eagles have upped their game and are driving straight for the playoffs. If you’re a fan, that means that you, too, have to take these upcoming game days to the championship level. We recently adapted this fun and crowd-pleasing recipe from one that Frog Commissary GM Mike Boris loves. (Rumor has it that the real quarterback in his kitchen is Mike’s wife, Mary Ellen.) I demonstrated it for Franklin Institute staff at a recent Staff Family Day. These little bites can mostly be prepared well in advance and finished in the oven just before serving.


Mike Boris’s Game Day Tater Tot “Cheeseburgers”

Makes 12

24 frozen tater tots
9 ounces ground beef
2 slices cheese (American, Cheddar or Monterey Jack)
1 jalapeño, cut into 12 thin slices (optional)
salt and pepper


Mini muffin tin, preferably non-stick, or coat a regular tin with butter or oil
Rimmed baking sheet
Serving platter

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place two tater tots in each compartment of the muffin tin and salt generously. They won’t fit snuggly but that’s fine. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and while still warm, press the tater tots down firmly into the muffin tin so the top is at about level with the height of the top of the muffin tin. Return to oven for two more minutes to further crisp. Remove and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Flip the tin over gently to remove the tater tots from the tin. If they get stuck, gently nudge to remove, trying to keep them intact. If one breaks, use your fingers to reform. Turn the unmolded tater tots back over onto a rimmed baking sheet so the wider end is on top, like a muffin.
  3. From the ground beef, make 12 hamburger patties, a little bigger than the diameter of the muffin by measuring 1 level tablespoon of beef for each. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cut each square piece of cheese into 9 equal squares. You want squares about the size of your little burger patties.
  5. Place a formed burger on top of each molded tater tot. Spread a generous layer of ketchup on top and an optional jalapeño slice. At this point, you can store them in the fridge for three hours. If you do so, add on to the cooking time below.
  6. Place the tray back in the oven and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and add the cheese on top. Place back in the oven until cheese is melted, about two or three minutes. Allow to cool a bit and carefully remove each tater tot “cheeseburger” from muffin tin. If the tater tot breaks apart a little, just push it back together. Serve immediately. You can hold in a warm oven. They can be served at room temperature – just not cold.

Read other December 2017 Newsletter articles

Fresh From The Oven
Seasonal Musings
Party In Focus
The Dish
At Home
Sweet Talk
By The Glass
TFI News