A favorite, under-utilized kitchen gadget

First, I apologize for pirating pictures from the web for this post, but the recipe described was quickly gobbled before photos could be taken!

Second, I want to talk briefly about one of my favorite kitchen gadgets…a small mechanical scoop. Basically this is a small ice cream type scooper that rarely gets use but is really nice when you need it.Mine has a black handle but you get the idea. This is perfect for making small round things where you don’t want to dirty your hands or when you have a dough that you don’t want to overwork. Perfect for dumplings, meatballs, fish balls, and last night appetizer…crab tater tots!

I got a copy of Michael Symon’s new book from Amazon for a deal and this idea/recipe had to be attempted. I love me a crab cake, I love me a tater tot…The method is interesting in that he makes a choux paste as a binder and it works great!

Crab tater tots

2 T butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
1 cup mashed potato
1/2 lb crab
Oil for frying (he deep frys, I pan fried with excellent results)
salt & pepper

Start by making the choux paste. In a non-stick pan, combine butter, water, and flour over high heat and cook stirring rapidly until everything comes together in one mass and colors slightly. Remove from heat and let cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Add the egg and stir like mad until well combined, about 1 minute. One the mixture is cool, add the potatoes and crab meat and mix well, but be gentle with the crab. Pour some panko into a dish and using the scooper, make perfectly round crab balls, roll in Panko and set aside. I suggest forming 1/2 as your oil heats and making the other half while your first batch is frying. To cook, add enough oil to a skillet to come about 1/3 of the way up the sides of your tots. Fry for about 1 1/2 minutes on the first side, then turn until brown on all sides. Transfer to a cooling rack over a baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt. Repeat with the second batch. Can be made about 1/2 hour ahead of time and reheated in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and sauce of your choice…I like a spicy aioli 🙂



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