Tater tots are grated potatoes formed into small cylinders and deep-fried, often served as a side dish. The name "tater tot" is a registered trademark of the American frozen food company Ore-Ida, but is often used as a generic term. "Tater" is short for potato.
Tater tots were invented in 1953 when American frozen food company Ore-Ida founders were trying to figure out what to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes. Today, Americans consume approximately 70,000,000 pounds of Tater Tots, or 3,710,000,000 Tots per year. [Wikipedia]
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Yield: About 40 tots
2 pounds new potatoes, left unpeeled
1 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Canola or other neutral oil
Scrub potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place in a medium pot covered with cold water and bring to a boil. Parboil potatoes until tender, drain them and let them cool slightly. Grate potatoes in a food processor, then squeeze out excess liquid.
Place potatoes in a large bowl and use a light hand to mix with potato starch or cornstarch, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, add canola oil to a depth of ½ inch in a heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium heat.
When oil is hot, form thumb-size balls of the potato mixture and fry until golden, about 15 seconds per side.
Drain on paper towels, and let tots cool. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, transfer to oven and bake until crisp, about 10 to 20 minutes, turning once.