tater tots, part 1

And now we take a break from the epic latest Firedome post to bring you my attempt at tater tots (didn't work, but I'm close). I didn't read a thing, I just made this up as I thought it should be, a more substantial potato than a russet, egg, salt, flour, deep fry, essentially a deep fried gnocchi, right? Anyway, I did just that: yukon golds, skin on, steamed and riced, fully cooked 550 g salt, 5 g flour, 75 g egg, 1, shaken not stirred pepper, coarse cracked white mixed all and deep fried just as falafel are using a #60 scoop, some action shots ...

 Here's the riced potato and other stuff folded together with a spatula.

 Canola, about 375F.

Deep fried some with 375 degree canola oil.

Making something like this is challenging.  A food originally tasted in the lunch rooms of our youth have dubious origins; reproducing such substances may require advanced degree in science and LOTS of time.  So, one has to decide if the endpoint of such an endeavor is a duplication of what the lunch lady handed out or a toothsome, tasty, potatoey nugget somewhere between a latke and a french fry.  I'm shooting for the latter. 

I never liked Yukon Gold-derived mashed potatoes.  Although the taste is nice the texture is often not soft and smooth, but sturdier.  That's why I thought they'd make a perfect tot.  However, after steaming them and ricing,  they became very soft.  In the final deep fried tot, what happened is a perfect crust formed around what tasted like a pillow of mashed potatoes.  Tasty, but not a tot.

Having read a few preps online, my next attempt will make use of a raw potato, squished of its moisture and treated like a latke.  I'll use a coarse shredded russet or Yukon, shorten shreds, squeeze out excess water (a ricer works nicely for squishing moisture out of taters by the way), and then all the other stuff, flour, salt, egg (and maybe pancetta??).  Should be fun.  You'll all be the first to know how they come out.

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