Ahhh, the starchy and deliciousness that is the tater tot got an upgrade. Tot 2.0 is big, earthy and seriously truffley.
Every soupapolooza! has a standout and this last event was no exception; I made five times the following recipe (that’s about 250 truffletots or 8.3 per guest) and there was not a single tot uneaten. Not a one, no joke. That makes the effort involved, and trust me there’s some effort involved in making 250 truffletots, all worth it. Yes, staying up until 2am boiling, ricing, piping and freezing, cutting and then freezing again was not my idea of a rocking Friday night, but “Say Yes to the Dress” was in reruns and I needed something to focus on other than viscous rayon and rhinestone tiaras. So that was good. And I got in some serious one on one time with my giant ricer which is about as romantic as anything in my life lately.
I now understand why no one really makes tater tots from scratch. This is California and the deep fryer is an exotic thing to many of my healthier friends (I feel so very sorry for these people) but the pure, unexpected joy of this little truffle potato explosion made at least two or three of my surlier party guests spontaneously smile...and maybe remember the joy of eating something with their family as a child. Only a much, much tastier version.
If I had been smarter, I would have made six times the recipe and kept a freezer bag on hand for future last minute munchie needs. How cool would it have been to bust some tots out on a casual movie night?
Truffle oil and minced black truffles make this appetizer anything but kid food.
makes about 50
recipe by T-Bones Chophouse And Lounge
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour plus additional for coating
2 large eggs
1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons finely chopped black truffle
1 1/2 teaspoons white truffle oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
Although fresh truffles are wonderful in this fun appetizer, frozen or canned truffles would make a good substitute. Look for all three at specialty foods stores, French markets, and Italian markets.
Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Add 1 cup flour; stir over medium-high heat until mixture pulls away from edges of pan, about 1 minute. Transfer to medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat dough 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well between additions. Measure 1 1/2 cups dough and reserve (discard any remaining dough).
Place potatoes in medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Boil until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Press potatoes through ricer or food mill into large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups reserved dough, chopped truffle, truffle oil, salt, and white pepper. Using electric mixer, beat dough on low speed to blend.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer dough to pastry bag fitted with 3/4-inch-diameter plain tip. Pipe dough in logs onto prepared sheet. Freeze until firm but not frozen, about 1 hour. Cut logs into 1 1/4-inch-long pieces. Toss in flour, return to sheet, cover, and freeze completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container; keep frozen.
Pour enough oil into large saucepan to measure depth of 2 inches. Heat oil to 350°F. Working in batches, cook frozen potato pieces until cooked through and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
Since I fundamentally believe that anything worth doing is worth overdoing (the one glaring exception to this rule being Scotch, trust me on this one), instead of just your average kosher/ sea salt dusting suggested at the end of this recipe, I used a truffle salt instead. Totally the right call. We got the truffles three ways in this little truffletot: fresh black truffles, white truffle oil and the black truffle salt. The holy trinity of truffle!
Right now I’m considering converting to a religion where I can be reincarnated as a truffle pig. Oh wait, that might be considered redundant.