So you think you know your way around a potato, eh?
No doubt you excel at boiling, mashing, roasting, baking and twice baking …
You may make a mean potato chip or pomme frite…
Perhaps you’ve perfected some tricks with a microwave or air fryer.
But before you’re puffed too full of bragging rights, have you ever thought to subject this humble root vegetable to a blow torch, an iron, a dishwasher, a juicer or a gasoline powered generator plugged into a giant dimmer switch?
Congratulations on having avoided some truly dreadful methods for preparing a potato, judging by the results of some of Bon Appétit Contributing Editor Amiel Stanek’s more outré, tongue-in-cheek experiments, above.
Wait, maybe there aren’t really 63 ways to cook potatoes?
The preparation we’re legitimately eager to try is pickling, for spuds Stanek declares “very sweet, salty, acidic”, a welcome addition to a cheese board or a crudité plate.
And there’s an argument to be made for turning a waffle iron into a dual purpose device by making hash browns in it.
Stanek fares less well, piping pre-mashed potatoes into a Rollie ® Eggmaster, “a weird, made-for-TV device that is made expressly for cooking eggs:”
Ewww, no, why is it like that? This is disgusting!!!
If you’re wondering how that Rollie ® does with its intended ingredient, Stanek’s got an answer for you:
Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, oh my god, it looks like it’s in a condom. This is the most disgusting egg thing we have made all day…it tastes like bad seafood. I don’t know why, it tastes plastic-y. This is horrible!
Meanwhile, those in long term relationships with partners holding different views on the best way to scramble, fry or poach an egg may find themselves feeling vindicated by this episode.
Either that or horribly betrayed.
Other than potatoes and eggs, the only episode of the 10 in the Almost Every series not exclusively geared toward cooking flesh is the one devoted to pizza, which at 32 methods, ties with chicken breast. (Only whole chicken, at 24 methods, has fewer options.)
Vegans will likely feel unimpressed, in addition to left out, given that there’s nearly that many suggested hacks for melting plant-based cheese.
Perhaps a visit to Moonburger, a meatless Hudson Valley chain where Stanek is Culinary Consultant and the shakes are dairy free is in order?
Those craving ever more offbeat attacks, however, will find themselves entertained by Stanek’s efforts involving an Easy-Bake Oven (yeah, nope, not good at all), a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pizza Machine (the whole cheese sitch looks a little bit demented…bummer, dude), and a crust that’s baked around a silicone cone, then filled with a “molten, dangerous slurry” of sauce and cheese (this thing looks demonic to me, like an animal horn meant for a Satanic ritual…)
If that’s not our cue to seek out a restaurant with a wood burning oven, perhaps it’s a signal we should order out.
– Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto and Creative, Not Famous Activity Book. Follow her @AyunHalliday.