1largeJalapeno– seeds and ribs removed; finely diced
8ozMonterey Jack Cheese– shredded
2 ½TBSMilk– or more for thinner sauce
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Prepare the Broccoli: Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt. Add broccoli and blanch the florets for 1 minute. Transfer florets to a colander to drain and then immediately bowl filled with ice. Add enough cold water to submerge florets. Allow florets to sit in ice water bath for at least 1 minute to shock broccoli and stop cooking. Transfer florets back to the colander to drain, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to dry well.*
Once broccoli is completely dry, finely chop the florets.* Place in a medium sized mixing bowl and add the remaining tot ingredients. Mix well to thoroughly combine ingredients. Set aside.
Prepare the Coating: Set out three small bowls. In the first combine the flour with the salt and pepper. In the second bowl beat eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. Place the cooked quinoa in the third bowl.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Form and Coat the Tots: Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon measure to spoon roughly 1 ½ -2 tablespoons of broccoli mixture into your hands (It helps if you spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray). Squeeze broccoli mixture together to shape into tater tots.*
Roll tots in flour, then egg, and finally quinoa, making sure to thoroughly coat tots. Transfer coated tots onto prepared baking sheet.* Spray the tots, generously, with cooking spray.
Bake, turning half way through cooking time, for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked throughout.
For the Monterey Jack Queso: Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds- 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese and milk. Cook until cheese is melted. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time for a thinner queso. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Serve Tots with Monterey Jack Queso or condiment of choice.
*Yield: 22-24 Tots*You want to make sure the broccoli florets are very, very dry before you chop it up into little pieces. While the water was coming to a boil to blanch the broccoli, I preheated my oven to the lowest temperature and then turned it off. I blanched, drained, dried my broccoli and then arranged them on a towel lined sheet pan. I transferred them to the semi-warm oven and allowed them dry completely.*You can use a knife to finely chop the broccoli florets, or you can transfer florets to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.*When forming your tots make sure you really squeeze the ingredients together in your hands to get them to stick and stay together. After you form the broccoli and cheese tots, but before you coat them in flour, egg and quinoa, I highly recommend you refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes. It will help them keep their shape and hold together as you coat them.*After your tots are formed and rolled in the flour, egg, and quinoa, you can refrigerate them overnight… this well really ensure they stay in their tot formation during baking. I recommend you do this, but it’s not completely necessary*Broccoli Cheese Tots adapted from Skinny Taste *Nutritional Information includes both the tots and the queso dip.