Beet-Er Tots

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 8 hr 55 min (includes freezing time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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2 large golden beets

1 russet potato

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

3 tablespoons hot water

1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Freshly ground black pepper

Canola oil, for frying

Spiced Yogurt and Avocado Crema, recipe follows

Spiced Yogurt and Avocado Crema:

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lime extract, plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and cut into large chunks

1 jalapeno, seeded

1 cup Greek yogurt


Special equipment:
a deep-frying thermometer
  1. Peel the beets and potato and grate them on the coarse holes of a box grater. Toss with the salt and place in a colander. Squeeze the mixture and press with your hands to extract as much liquid as possible.
  2. Combine the hot water, gelatin powder, chili powder, onion powder and pepper to taste in a bowl and stir until dissolved. Pour the mixture over the grated beets and potatoes and mix quickly to distribute.
  3. Divide the mixture into 3 equal parts and place each on its own long sheet of plastic wrap. Form into cylinders approximately 3/4- to 1-inch thick and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer to firm, 8 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Add 2 inches of oil to a high-sided saute pan and heat over medium-high heat until it registers 375 degrees F on a deep-frying thermometer.
  5. Unwrap the rolls and slice into 1-inch pieces. Fry in batches until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Drain on a rack and sprinkle with salt before serving with the Spiced Yogurt and Avocado Crema.

Spiced Yogurt and Avocado Crema:

Yield: 2 cups
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the cilantro, oil, lime extract, cumin, salt, black pepper, avocado and jalapeno until blended together smoothly. Add the yogurt and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning with lime extract and salt.
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