It's Valentine's Day next Tuesday, and that, of course, means that you need to know how to make sweet potato tots. Can you think of a better way to show your love than with the delicate crunch of fried potato giving way to its sweet and creamy insides as it's dipped into a cool and smoky sauce - each nugget lovingly shaped between your fingers rather than shaken out of the freezer bag? Homemade tater tots? That's love, man.
If you're looking for the classic white potato version, well I have that for you too. We discussed those three and half years ago. Remember? I know this off the top of my head, because it was on the eve of a huge election. And Tuesday's swooningly romantic court decision made me think it was high time to revisit that recipe. I will resist calling these sweet, sweet no-on-eight-er tots, but the sentiment is there.
Sweet Potato Tots
Hey, if standing over a vat of bubbling oil doesn't make you feel like a Valentine Goddess, you can totally make these ahead of time. Once they're drained and cooled, they freeze well. Reheat them in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes, flipping half-way through cooking.
makes: about 75 - 80 tots
takes: about an hour
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 2 green onions, green and white parts, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
- mild-flavored oil for deep frying
- Wash the sweet potatoes well, cover them with water, bring to a simmer and cook until firm tender. A knife will pierce the potato with a little resistence. Alternatively, you can poke them with a knife and then cook them in the microwave, but I think it's harder to keep tabs on them this way.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, grate them with the skins on. Most of the skin will be left in your hand when you get to the end of the potato anyway. Discard the big skin, but some little shreds in there certainly won't hurt. Toss the grated potato with the onion, salt, pepper, and flour. Mix well to create a firm dough.
- To shape the potatoes into tots: take a rounded teaspoon of the potato mixture in your palm. Squeeze to squash it together. Roll it into a log, stopping along the way to flatten the ends into a stubby little barrel shape with your thumb and forefinger. Roll and flatten the ends again.
- Fill a small sauce pan with enough oil to submerge your tots. Heat over medium until very hot. When you put a tot in the oil it should immediately bubble and sizzle, and they should be beautifully brown in about 5 minutes. If they're getting too brown too quickly, turn down the heat. If they're not immediately bubbling away, then turn up the heat a bit and wait for it to get hot enough. Don't crowd them in the pan.
- Drain on paper bags or a cooling rack set in a sheet pan.
- Mix together some vegenaise, ketchup, and chipotle powder to dip. And if the thought of dipping your fried potato nuggets in mayonaise grosses you out, then a simple chipotle ketchup is also quite nice.