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Lobster Tater Tots

From: Executive chef/culinary director Jeff O’Neill, Barton G. restaurants, Miami and Los Angeles. This recipe appears in The Big Dish: Recipes to Dazzle and Amaze From America’s Most Spectacular Restaurant by Barton G. Weiss (Rizzoli, 2014). Yield: 6 servings.

2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and baked at 350°F for 1 hour
¾ cup sour ream
¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 Tbsp. lobster base
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup diced cooked lobster meat
2 Tbsp. fresh minced chives
¾ cup instant potato flakes, divided
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water
2 qt. peanut oil
to taste, sea salt

Allow potatoes to cool completely, then grate them into a large bowl using a box grater. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, shredded cheese, lobster base and black pepper. Add sour cream mixture to grated potatoes. Stir in lobster meat, chives and ¼ cup of the potato flakes. Mix well.

Put remaining ½ cup potato flakes, flour and beaten whole egg into three separate bowls. Using about 3 Tbsp. for each tot, shape the mixture into small cylinders, using a ring mold or your hands. This should make about 24 tots. Roll each cylinder in flour, then egg, and finally in potato flakes.

Heat oil in a 5-qt. Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 350°F. Fry tots in batches, a few at a time, until golden. Using slotted spoon, transfer tots to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season with sea salt and serve immediately with dips on the side.

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