Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blazing Tots Crafted with Peter, Bjorn and John and I'm From Barcelona

Randy: Napoleon, give me some of your tots.
Napoleon Dynamite: No, go find your own.
Randy: Come on. Give me some of your tots.
Napoleon Dynamite: No. I'm freakin' starved. I didn't get to eat anything today.

A swift kick to the pants pocket follows and Napoleon's tots are crushed creating a mashed mess.

This scenario, played out on the big screen in Napoleon Dynamite, was performed using Ore-Ida Tater Tots or some other brand that holds together nicely and is perfectly cut. If this scene was made using my version of tots, well, the hands on the set would have had a much bigger mess to clean up. My tots certainly don't look perfect, took forever to make and aren't healthy for you. But they tasted really good.

Blazing Tots (adapted from Saveur.com)

-3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
-4 cups water
-5 3/4 Tbs. flour
-1 Tbs. onion powder
-1 Tbs. garlic powder
-salt and pepper (to taste)
-peanut oil for frying

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a food processor pulse the potatoes and water until potatoes are tiny slivers (1/8 inch thick). Drain the potatoes in a strainer and shake out as much water as possible. Place potatoes on a plate and squeeze dry using a towel.

2. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over the top. Bake for five minutes.

3. Transfer potatoes to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining flour, onion powder and garlic powder.

4. Divide the potato mixture into four separate piles. Working with one pile at a time, place the mixture in the middle of a slightly wet piece of plastic wrap. Mold the pile into a log and roll tightly in the plastic wrap. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for one and a half hours. Repeat with the other three logs.

5. After an hour, pull the potato logs out and begin slicing. Using a dutch oven, whose bottom is covered with oil, fry the slices about three minutes on each side (don't worry about the potatoes holding together, we will form them into their shapes when they cool). Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place, in a mound, on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all the potato logs have been fried.

6. Pick out about a tablespoon of potato from the mound, squeeze out any excess oil and mold into a tater tot shape (or ball). Place on a cookie rack that is fitted inside a baking sheet. Repeat until all the potatoes have been shaped into balls. Return to the freezer for twenty minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place more peanut oil in the dutch oven and bring the temperature to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the tots from the freezer and place in the dutch oven (be careful of splattering oil). Fry the tots until a golden brown color. Place on a baking sheet. Continue frying until all tots are browned and on the baking sheet.

8. Bake the tots in the oven for about 12 minutes or until warmed the whole way through. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Smother with ketchup (and mustard if you're into that like I am). Inhale.

Welcome back Peter, Bjorn and John and I'm From Barcelona. Two of my favorite Swedish Indie poppers are returning this year with albums. Peter, Bjorn and John's album, Gimme Some, is due out in March. "Breaker Breaker" is a short, fast ditty that will be part of that release.

I'm From Barcelona's new album, Forever Today, will be out on April 19th. I wasn't a huge fan of their last studio album (2008's Who Killed Harry Houdini?) because it was so dark and lost a lot of the band's sunshine appeal. "Get in Line" the first single off Forever Today seems to recapture that sunshine. Hopefully the remainder of the album can follow suit. Thanks to One Thirty BPM for the link.


On a sad note, I won't be able to buy either of these albums at Vinyl Fever since they will be closing their doors in early February and the store has already sold most of it's good stuff.