When Barton G. Weiss writes in The Big Dish that he loves “taking a homey everyday recipe and turning it into something special,” he might be authoring the understatement of the year. There’s not a recipe in this book that doesn’t offer a major serving of WOW.
In this little dish that’s big on flavor, the addition of lobster (not to mention cheese and chives) turns the quintessential kiddie, comfort food into elegant, champagne-worthy bites.
“You can serve these in little paper trays or cones or give them the VIP treatment in a shining silver serving compote,” Weiss writes. However you serve them, hold the ketchup.
The Big Dish: Recipes to Dazzle and Amaze from America’s Most Spectacular Restaurant
by Barton G. Weiss
Photography by Ed Anderson
Written with Angie Mosier
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and baked at 350°F for 1 hour (potatoes will not be completely cooked)
- 3⁄4 cup sour cream
- 3⁄4 cup shredded swiss cheese (about 6 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon lobster base (available online, in specialty stores, or the sauce section of your grocery)
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup diced cooked lobster meat
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 3⁄4 cup instant potato flakes, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 whole egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- 2 quarts peanut oil
- sea salt
- orange chili sauce (see note), for serving
- 1 cup orange marmalade, puréed until smooth
- 1 tablespoon Thai chili sauce
- 1 1⁄4 cups mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as a mixture of oregano and parsley
- Pinch of chili powder
- Allow the baked potatoes to cool completely. Grate them into a large bowl using a box grater. In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, shredded cheese, lobster base, and black pepper. Add the sour cream mixture to the grated potatoes. Stir in the lobster meat, chives, and 1⁄4 cup of the potato flakes and mix well.
- Put the remaining 1⁄2 cup potato flakes, flour, and beaten whole egg in 3 separate bowls. Using about 3 tablespoons for each tot, shape the mixture into small cylinders. You can use a ring mold or your hands. (You should have a total of about 24 tots.) Roll each cylinder in the flour, then the egg, and then in the potato flakes.
- Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven set over high heat until it reaches 350°F. Fry the tots in batches (a few at a time) until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tots to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Season with sea salt and serve immediately in a basket with Orange Chili Sauce.