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Mar '08

Chefs Take the Humble Tater Tot to the Next Level

From The Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Once a popular food earns its retro cachet these days, the fine dining crowd can’t be far behind. Don’t believe it? Michel Richard — the great chef at Citronelle in Washington — has five little words to shake your soul:

“Tater Tot foie gras ravioli!” the chef exclaims by telephone. “I make the Tater Tot mixture, fill it with foie gras and then sauté it until it crisps. They’re wonderful.”

Fancy stuff aside, the French-born chef professes a fondness for the freezer-bag variety of this ultimate American bite in all its plainspoken goodness.

“I love Tater Tots like you get in a burger joint,” enthuses Richard. “They’re crunchy and crispy on the outside, and creamy and moist inside. Mmmmm.”

So enamored was Richard of the little potato snacks that developing a technique to duplicate (if not improve) them has become a long and evolving professional project. The very first recipe in his James Beard Award-winning cookbook Happy in the Kitchen (Artisan, $45) — an homage called Spuddies — binds potato cubes with gelatin, which melts when fried.

You can read more of the article here.

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