Potatoes are one of the greatest and most versatile foods on the planet. Whether you prefer them mashed or hashed or smashed; fried or baked; scalloped or gratineed; in a salad or a casserole; or in your preferred Waffle House-style of scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, or diced, potatoes are pretty much the best. Cutting up potatoes, though, is not.
Chopping potatoes for home fries or layering in a gratin usually involves pausing your dicing and slicing to get the potatoes unstuck from your blade. Seems that the potato starch and liquid turns into a glue-like substance that causes the potato to adhere to the knife. It's a temporary aggravation, but still an aggravation, especially when you're trying to make enough potato salad to feed an entire church potluck. Luckily, Lifehacker pointed us to chef and culinary thinker J. Kenji López-Alt's recent video where he has a clever and easy solution that he has shared with the world.
The answer to the problem? Don't chop, but pull the knife through the potato. A sharp knife is undoubtedly essential, and López-Alt effortlessly quarters a potato by pulling his blade through the spud, instead of chopping downwards like many of us were taught. It's one of the little hacks that many of you are most likely already doing, but is a game changer for those of us (me) who never stumbled upon this elegant solution. Now that we know this trick, next time there's a potluck brunch, they'll be no harm in volunteering to bring the crispy potatoes.