Basic Potato Tots
Who can resist fried potatoes? Eat just one french fry, hash brown, potato chip, latke, or bit of simple potato salad, and the next thing you know you’ve inhaled a man-size serving. Potato tots, with their piping hot, fluffy interior capped in a crunchy fried layer, are no exception. Don’t forget the ketchup.
This recipe was featured as part of our Make Your Own Potato Tots project.
- 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 medium), scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups canola oil, for frying
1Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake until easily pierced with a knife but still firm in the center, about 35 to 40 minutes. (If you have 3 smaller potatoes, cook them about 25 to 30 minutes.) When cool enough to handle but still hot, peel away the skin using a paring knife and discard. Shred the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, sprinkle in the flour and salt, and mix until combined.
2Measure 1 teaspoon of the potato mixture and roll into a short cylinder about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
3Line a second baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. Add enough of the oil to a large frying pan to reach about 1/4 inch up the sides and set over medium-high heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Check to see if the oil is hot by submerging the handle of a wooden spoon or wooden chopstick till it touches the bottom of the pan—the oil should bubble vigorously. When it’s ready, fry the tots in batches of 8 to 10 pieces (do not overcrowd the pan), turning once, until medium golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt. Serve immediately with your desired dipping sauce.
4To freeze, let the fried tots cool, then transfer to an airtight container or zip-top bag. Arrange in a single layer and place in the freezer. To reheat, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Evenly spread the tots in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until hot, about 15 minutes.
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