This is where the Tater Tots enter the picture. Tater Tots are basically little nuggets of, yep, potatoes that have been scrubbed, peeled, cut into teeny chunks and cooked. They have the added advantage of being prepared with a little bit of flour and seasoning on the inside (which helps thicken the chowder) and fried on the inside (which adds a little something something to the flavor).
So how does this all work? As quick and deliciously as this: Put some milk and chicken broth in a pot and bring it to a simmer. Now add a generous amount of Tots (either frozen or thawed – either way will work!) and cover the pot. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring it now and then to break the Tots up as they fall apart into little teeny chunks.
Meantime, cut up a cooked ham steak into cubes, and cut the kernels off a couple of ears of corn (or if it’s not corn season and/or if you are super-tired on this particular day, you can totally use frozen corn). When the chowder has transformed from Tots floating in milk to honest-to-goodness chowder, stir the ham and corn in and simmer for another couple of minutes until everything is heated through.
Now ladle your beautiful chowder into bowls and serve it up!
And we can totally keep the whole Tater Tot thing between us.