“Cool Ranch” Tater Tots

By: The Local Palate
Cool Ranch Tater Tots

In a tale that was bound to end successfully, David Bancroft, 2016 James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: South and winner of the Food Network’s Iron Chef Showdown in 2017, was inspired by Doritos to create “Cool Ranch” tater tots. These tots riff on the Doritos fan-favorite flavor incorporating the iconic seasoning and a drizzle of poblano ranch. And just like Doritos, this dish works well as an appetizer or a side. Bancroft serves these at his restaurant, Bow & Arrow Barbecue in Auburn, Alabama.

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Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 quarts peanut oil
  • 8 ounces Ore-Ida Golden Tater Tots (about 25 pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons Cool Ranch Seasoning (recipe follows)
  • 1⁄4 cup Poblano Ranch Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 1 diced jalapeño (seeds optional)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Cotija cheese for serving
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • For the Cool Ranch Seasoning
  • 1-ounce packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • For the Poblano Ranch Dressing
  • 1⁄2 cup sour cream
  • 1⁄4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large poblano, roasted, peeled, and seeded
  • 1-ounce packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing
  • Special equipment:
  • Deep-fry thermometer
  1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Heat frying oil to 350 degrees in a medium saucepot or deep cast-iron pan. Fry tots until crispy golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper- towel-lined sheet; immediately season with Cool Ranch Seasoning. Place tots in serving bowl and drizzle generously with Poblano Ranch Dressing. Garnish with jalapeño, cilantro, and crumbled cotija cheese. Serve immediately while hot and crispy.

For the Cool Ranch Seasoning:

  1. Mix all spices together. Add more cayenne or omit to taste.

For the Poblano Ranch Dressing:

  1. In a blender combine sour cream, buttermilk, poblano, and contents of packet. Blend until completely smooth. In a mixing bowl, whisk together poblano sauce with mayo. Chill before serving.
  • Recipe By
    David Bancroft of Bow & Arrow BBQ in Auburn, Alabama

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