In LENS today we have a story about the resurgence of the classic snack Tater Tots. If you’re interested in making your own version, check out the recipe below. Then try the recipes for Tot dips to accompany your creation.
Lara Ferroni, author of “Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats without All the Junk,” likes to grate a little sweet potato or yam into her tots. She also keeps the potato skin on to preserve more nutrients. Her recipe, adapted from Cooks Country magazine, calls for corn flour and ground millet flour; substitute whole-wheat flour if you prefer.
• 2 pounds russet potatoes (5 to 6 medium potatoes), cut into chunks
• 1 medium sweet potato or yam (1/4 pound), cut into chunks
• 2 cups cold water
• 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 2 teaspoons each: corn flour, ground millet flour
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Safflower or peanut oil, for frying
Place the potatoes in a food processor. Pulse five or six times until coarsely ground.
Combine the cold water and 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Add potatoes; stir to coat. Drain well through a fine sieve, pushing out as much water as you can.
Transfer the potatoes to a microwave-safe bowl; microwave, four minutes. Stir; microwave, four minutes. Stir in the corn flour, millet flour, cayenne and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment; pour in the potato mixture. Spread it evenly; cool to room temperature. Chill in the freezer until frozen, at least 20 minutes. Cut into 1-by-1 1/2-inch tots.
Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a deep saucepan or skillet to 370 degrees. Fry the tots in batches, being sure not to crowd the pan, until tots are golden brown, one to two minutes. Remove the tots with a slotted spoon; place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Repeat with the remaining tots. Serve immediately.
Makes about 54 tots.
At The Knick restaurant in Milwaukee, the housemade potato tots are paired with a chipotle aioli. The owner is keeping mum on his recipe, so try this one from “The Oldways Table,“ by chef Paul O’Connell of Chez Henri in Cambridge, Mass. The original can calls for 1 small can (about 7 ounces) chipotle chilies. We found using just 2 chilies was plenty spicy. Add more as you like.
• 1 egg
• 2 egg yolks
• 2 crushed cloves garlic
• 1 tablespoon mustard
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1/2 cup each: extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil
• 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
• 2 chipotle chilies, or more to taste
• 1 red onion, finely chopped
Combine the egg, egg yolks, garlic, mustard and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. With the machine still running, add the olive oil and canola oil in a slow stream; blend until the mixture emulsifies to the consistency of mayonnaise. Add the cilantro and chilies; blend until smooth. Stir in the red onion; serve.
Makes about 2 cups.
Tangy Soy Dipping Sauce
From “Asian Dumplings,“ by Andrea Nguyen.
• 1/3 cup light (regular) soy sauce
• 2 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
• 1/8 teaspoon sugar, optional
• 1 to 3 tablespoons chili oil, optional
• 1 piece (1-inch long) fresh ginger, peeled, finely shredded, or 2 cloves garlic, minced
Combine the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste and adjust the flavors for a tart-savory balance. Add chili oil as you like for heat. Right before serving, add the ginger or garlic.
Makes about 2/3 cup.