Tot-O-Rama isn’t a contest, it’s a celebration! This basic Potato Tot recipe is inspired by some of the world’s greatest chefs to ever take on the Tot: Iron Chef Michael Symon, Chef Mark Zeitouni, whose tots won the grand prize at the 2010 South Beach Food & Wine Festival, and a Chef that needs no introduction, Chef John Mitzewich of FoodWishes.com. For added instruction and entertainment, watch Tot-O-Rama!
Ingredients for Tots:
2 ten ounce Idaho Russet Potatoes
2 tbsp chopped green onion
salt & pepper to taste
Panko bread crumbs / mashed potato flakes
oil for frying
Notes: Each 10 ounce potato makes 15-20 Tots. This is a very basic recipe. Try other seasonings to suit your taste.
1) Peel, chop and boil Idaho Russets about half way through. You don’t want to cook the potatoes all the way through because they’ll finish cooking during the deep fry.
2) Begin mashing the potatoes and add chopped green onion, pepper and salt. It’s a little more difficult to mash these potatoes because they aren’t cooked all the way through. Continue mashing until potatoes resemble course crumbs.
3) Form the tots, pressing and shaping them just hard enough so they stay together. The more gently you form the tots, the lighter and airier your tots will be.
4) Decide on the coating. Panko; equal parts Panko and Mashed Potato Flakes; or, leave your tots naked! Roll tots in the selected coating. The warmth of the partially cooked potatoes helps the coating to stick.
5) Preheat several inches of oil to 350(F) for deep frying. Fry the tots in small batches until they are golden brown and crispy. They cook quickly!
6) Remove tots from the oil and put them on paper towels to help absorb any excess oil. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
7) Share and enjoy.
TOT-O-RAMA RECIPE INSPIRATION
Iron Chef Michael Symon has the most straightforward recipe with the exception of adding lump crab meat. The Panko gives these Tots the texture and flavor I remember as a kid — these definitely had the crunchiest outside.
Chef Mark Zeitouni’s award winning recipe is complex in technique and ingredients, but gives the best tip of partially cooking and handling the potatoes. The naked tot is very impressive. It has pretty good crunch even though there’s no coating.
The addition of Mashed Potato Flakes and Panko inspired by Chef John’s Crunchy Onion Ring Recipe has more depth of potato flavor and a bonus crunch from the Panko. Although Chef John hasn’t made a Tot of his own, we can only hope we’ve inspired a future video recipe from YouTube’s favorite chef.
Are you gonna eat your tots, Pedro? Watch the Tot-O-Rama!