This Spud's For You Too

ed note — Since this episode has a complex story line, you'll notice more text describing action than normal.


GUEST: Frances Anderson

[It's a dark and stormy night. Alton's truck has apparently broken down. He retrieves a big case and covers his head with a big envelope shielding his head and heads off into the darkness for help.]

AB: [to self] Oh, bother!

Andersen Residence

[AB drags case up steps, knocks on the door's window]

FRANCIS ANDERSON: [comes to door but doesn't open it]
AB: Ma'am, I'm sorry to bother you, but my truck broke down just up your ...
FA: [answering door in curlers and bathrobe, surprised] You're not Alton Brown,
      host of Good Eats?
AB: [embarrassed]
Well, actually, I, uh ...
FA: [Closes door]
AB: [quickly reconsidering approach] ... get that a lot. But, but it's a mistake. I,
      I've never even heard of Good ... [catching himself] argh ... that guy! [Turns
      to leave]

FA: [returns dressed and primping hair] You were pulling my leg. I know who you
      are. I am Frances Andersen and I am your biggest fan.
AB: [relieved] Oh, ho.
FA: Bart, my boyfriend, he loves your potato recipes ...
AB: Really?
FA: ... probably because he's a potato farmer.
AB: Really? That's exciting. Nasty piece of night out, don't you think?
FA: Yeah. You know, I wish you'd come up with more potato dishes though.
AB: Yeah?
FA: He's getting pretty bored and you know what they say: "the quickest way to a
      man's heart ...
AB: ... through his stomach?
FA: Yeah.
AB: [noting that they are still shaking hands] Wow, that's quite a grip you have
      there. You know, I tell you what. If you'll let me come in and use your phone
      to call a tow truck, we will talk spuds a plenty until he gets here.
FA: Well, why don't you come on in, your gonna catch your death.
AB: Jeez.
FA: [to self as she closes the door] I just rescued Mr. Good Eats. [gasps]

Andersen Residence, The Kitchen

FA: [on phone] Ed, listen. I've got Alton Brown here. The Good Eats guy.
     Well, his truck just broke down up the road and he just knocked on my door.
     No, no, no, don't come tonight. Come by and tow it tomorrow in the morning.

AB: So, can he make it out tonight?
FA: Nope. One of his heifers Is calving. You know how that is.
AB: Oh.
FA: So, I guess you'll have to stay the night.
AB: Here?
FA: Well, the nearest hotel is 15 miles. Besides, it will give us time.
AB: [worried] To?
FA: To cook, silly.
AB: Huh, okay. [noting stuff on table] Hey, Where did you get THIS stuff? [remote
      controlled truck and cans from Egg Files II: Man With A Flan]

FA: Oh, your prop guys have this fabulous website.
AB: Oh they do, do they? Wow, some spuds you got lady.
FA: I even poked holes in them and rolled them in oil and salt, just like in the
AB: [noticing chicken on back counter] Uh, yeah. Are those all just for you
      and Bart?
FA: Actually, just Bart.
AB: Really? Well, you know you could convert this into a cornucopia of good eats.
FA: Like what?
AB: Well, like soup for instance.
FA: Bart loves soup.
AB: Yeah, well the key is that we've got to break the meat down as much as
      possible while damaging as few of the starch granules as possible.
FA: Why?
AB: Well, otherwise you'll turn it into library paste, which definitely is not [egging
      her on to finish the sentence]
AB & FA: ... good eats.
AB: Yeah, perfect. Okay, I'm gonna go get my case. Here is your shiny new ricer.

FA: What's a ricer and what's a ricer have to do
      with potatoes?

Potato Ricer

AB: Well, open that plunger thing there. Great.
      See those dice [sic] in there, those dies? Take
      those out. Anything that gets run through this
      thing, runs through these and they all come
      out looking like rice. Here, use the small one
      for potatoes. Just drop it right back down,
      put the collar back in. Yep, you've got to
      twist it. There you go. Okay, grab your
      potato. Get ready to put it in. Cut side first,
      there you go. Got a work bowl?

Choose Smallest Die

FA: You got it.
AB: Good, good and squeeze. Your world will never be the same again.

AB: [bending down next to refrigerator] Okay, let's shop for some software, shall
FA: You got it. [opens refrigerator and unwittingly knocks AB to the ground]
AB: Okay. Butter?
FA: Butter.
AB: Great. Butter. Leeks. Fresh leeks are ...
FA: Oh, fresh leeks. Leeks.
AB: Hey, those look pretty nice. Okay. Uh ... hey, is this chicken stock?
FA: Of course.
AB: Homemade?
FA: Of course. Bart's brother, Brad, is a chicken farmer.
AB: Oh, that's nice. Buttermilk?
FA: Buttermilk.
AB: Good. Sour cream?
FA: Sour cream.
AB: Excellent. Parmesan cheese?
FA: Parm ...
AB: Look down there.
FA: Oh, parmesan cheese.
AB: All right. Do you have any chives, just by chance?
FA: Chives.
AB: Oh, let me guess, Bart's brother, Clive, is a chive farmer. And some garlic?
FA: Oh, I never keep garlic in the refrigerator.
AB: Good girl.
FA: In a drawer.

AB: Okay. [looking in refrigerator] You know, I
      can't help but notice that you've got a lot of
      leftover containers in here labeled with Good
      Eats titles.
FA: Uh huh.
AB: [worried] Uh huh ...

Pork Fiction
Crustacean Nation


FA: [at stove] Butter's melted.

3 Tbs. Melted Butter

AB: Okay, you've say you've watched a few Good
      Eats episodes, what's next?
FA: Well, the leeks and garlic are aromatics, so I'll
      cook them in butter over medium heat.

1 1/2 Cups Fine Diced Leeks
1 1/2 Tbs. Minced Garlic

AB: And what else would we add to that?
FA: Kosher salt.
AB: Why?
FA: To draw out the flavor and aroma?

Kosher Salt

AB: Actually, the moisture. It helps them to soften. Always add salt to a ... what
      do you call this?
FA: Sweating.
AB: You have been paying attention!

FA: It's soft.

Sweat Till Translucent

AB: Good. [AB looks at 'his' log made into a box on the table]
FA: I almost got outbid on that!
AB: Okay, what goes next?
FA: Well, I wouldn't want to add potatoes, because they'd absorb the butter and
AB: That's true.
FA: And I wouldn't want to add the sour cream because I don't want to cook the
      sour cream. And the buttermilk would curdle.
AB: Krrrgh.

FA: Ah, chicken stock.
AB: Mmm, you're right. Six cups. And raise
      your heat and bring that to a simmer, okay?
      And then we've got a liquid base to add the
      other ingredients to, right?
FA: Great.

6 Cups Chicken Stock

Bring To A Simmer

FA: Umm. It's simmering.
AB: [hauling 'his' Good Eats briefcase to the counter] I have got one just like this.
FA: Not anymore.
AB: All right, so what's next?
FA: Well, we add the rest of the ingredients.
AB: Dump them all in there, huh?
FA: Sure.
AB: Well, we could. But, you know, if we just dump the buttermilk in there,
      there's still a chance that because of its acidity and heat in there, it still could
      curdle. And of course if we drop the sour cream right in there, it's just gonna
      float around like the big blob of fat that it really is. And as for potatoes, ...
      well, let's do it this way. Why don't we just ... do you have a whisk?
FA: Sure. Right in there.

AB: Here, you hold that [spatula]. If we were to
      take the buttermilk and pour it into the
      potatoes, the starch of the potatoes might
      help prevent the buttermilk from curdling,
FA: Right.
AB: And then, of course, this stuff is pretty
      chunky, so why don't we just put all that right
      in there. Okay. And while we're at it, we
      might as well put in the parmesan cheese,
FA: Yum.

4 Baked Potatoes, Riced
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated

AB: There you go. Okay, with all that together,
      just beat that into a paste like that and that's
      also gonna help to break up the potatoes a
      little bit more, right?
FA: Right.
AB: It's kind of an emulsion, like salad dressing.
      Now just help me get that in there. There.
      Now, that's pretty much it. Bring it back to a

Bring Back To A Simmer

FA: Great. Then we puree it?
AB: Why would we puree it?
FA: Why not?
AB: Okay. Well, if we stick a blender in there or pour it into a food processor or
      whatever, we're just gonna beat up more of those starch granules we were
      gonna talk about. And that's okay for right when we serve it. But it's gonna
      start getting gluey and start setting up hard right there on the table and you
      can forget about leftovers. They'll be like racquetballs. This way, there'll still
      be some toothsome-ness. You'll bite down, you'll get a nice little bite of
      potato. And you know, Bart's gonna like that because ...
AB & FA: .. Bart's a potato farmer.
AB: Yeah, that's right.

The Incas measured time according to how long it took potatoes to cook.

Andersen Residence, The Kitchen

AB: Okay.
FA: Is it finished?
AB: Almost. Got any vinegar?
FA: What kind.
AB: Sherry.
FA: Don't call me Sherry. Just kidding.
AB: Oh, perfect.
AB: Okay. Two tablespoons.

2 Tbs. Sherry Vinegar

FA: Why now?
AB: Well, because, if we had added this during the cooking process, it would have
      curdled the buttermilk for sure. But now that the starch has had extra time to
      cook, it'll be perfectly safe. May I serve you?
FA: Please do.

[cut to outside, feet walking up stairs]

AB: There we go.
FA: Hmm.

[cut to outside, feet walking up stairs]

AB: Chive action should be nice.
AB: Would madam like some pepper?
FA: Please do.

1/4 Cup Minced
Chives For Garnish

AB: You know, I really have to thank you for taking me in. This was a really nasty
      night. Look, we've ended up with ...

[cut to outside, feet walking up stairs]

FA: [hears knocking on the door] Oh my gosh. It's Bart! He's early. No, we're late.
      Come on.
AB: I want to eat my soup, what's the problem. Oh ...
FA: [drags him to a bedroom and throws Alton in] Hide in here. If he finds you
      here ... Oh, he's so jealous. Oh, jeez. Make yourself comfortable.
AB: Comfortable? I can't even breathe.
FA: Coming Bart darling!

Later That Same Night: Bedroom

FA: Good news A. B.
AB: Oh, what?
FA: Bart loves the soup.
AB: Oh, that's great.
FA: And he invited me to the church social tomorrow.
AB: Oh that's great, too.
FA: Well, I agreed to make the potato salad.
AB: That's great.
FA: Because I knew you'd help me.
AB: That's not gonna happen. If the potato salad is going to be any good, you gotta
      make it the night before. It's, it's two a.m.
FA: Well, we better get a move on!
AB: Oohhh. [looks at large crustacean pillow] Hey, I suppose you're gonna tell me
      you got this on the internet?
FA: I told you I was your biggest fan.

Andersen Residence, The Kitchen

AB: So, which potatoes do we choose?
FA: Oh, waxy potatoes, like these red ones.
AB: Yeah.
FA: They stay firm when cooked, fewer balloons.
AB: Fewer balloons. Well, you're kind of right. They've got a lower starch content
      and higher internal moisture, which means they'll soak up less of the cooking
      water and that means they won't fall apart. So, put her here.

AB: I like to go with mostly these small little guys.
FA: Why are you picking the little ones?

2 1/2 lbs. Small Red Bliss Potatoes

AB: Well, because smaller cooks faster, right? And the way I see it, if you get
      them all the same size, they're all gonna be done at the same time and that
      makes our job a lot easier. So, put these in a pot and add just enough cold
      water to cover.

In October of 1995, the potato became the first vegetable grown in space.

AB: As soon as these come to a boil, drop the heat to low. We just want simmer
      them, okay?
FA: Well, how long do we let them cook?

AB: Well, it's kind of hard to say. It depends on
      how much water is in the pot and how big
      the potatoes are. I'd check them in about five
      minutes and then every three minutes
      thereafter. What you want to watch for
      especially is cracked skins. If you see any you
      know you've either cooked them too hard or
      too long. [leaves]

Once simmering, check in 5 mins. and every 3 mins. thereafter.

FA: Oh. [stays and watches the pot]
AB: [returns and pulls her away] Don't watch them.

About 15 minutes later

FA: Are they done?
AB: Let's find out. Run her through [a skewer].
FA: [pushes skewer all the way through]
AB: I'd say so. Go ahead and dump them. [goes to fridge to get a bucket of ice]
FA: What's that for?
AB: [can't hear over the noise of the ice] What's that?
FA: What's that for?
AB: We gotta stop the cooking process. Ice. Put
      them in the potatoes and I'll add some water.
      We're only gonna leave this in here for maybe
      two, three minutes, just to stop the cooking.
      We want to slice them while they're warm.
FA: Oh.

Place Drained Potatoes Into Ice Bath For 2-3 mins.

3:02 pm

AB: [yawning] You peel.
FA: Ugh, I'll peel. This is the part I'm dreading.
AB: Whoa, whoa, sister, what's with this? You don't need a peeler. Just grab that
      tea towel over there.
FA: Tea towel. Tea towel?
AB: Okay, pick up a potato. Put it in there. Put it in there. Rub.
FA: [skin comes right off] Oooooh magic.
AB: Yep, magic. That's how you get them cleaned off. Okay, you peel, and I'll slice.
FA: Cool. [noting he's about to slice with an ordinary knife] Ah, ah, oh, oh, with
      that? I thought you'd have some kind of cool tool.

AB: [sighs and goes to case and returns with an
      egg slicer, opens it up and runs a potato
      through the tines]
That more like it?

An egg slicer will give you uniform slices.

FA: Nice.
AB: Yeah, it's not bad. All right, keep going.

FA: Last one.
AB: Great. You wouldn't happen to have any zip top bags around here would
FA: Right in there.
AB: Great. Good deal. And I also know you got sherry vinegar, but do you have any
      apple cider vinegar?
FA: Of course.
AB: Well, let's get some.
FA: And what's the vinegar for?
AB: Well, here's the thing. These potatoes are still warm, right? And that means
      that they're still porous. You see, once they cool down and the starch seals up,
      they're not going to porous anymore. Of course, since we are going to be
      putting a rather fatty dressing on it, It makes sense that we should turbo
      charge with a little flavor now and acidity would be perfect. So give me
      about three tablespoons.
FA: [going to retrieve measuring spoons] Tablespoons.

AB: Ah, just pour and I'll say 'when'.
FA: All right.

Soak Potatoes In
Vinegar Overnight

AB: When. Now we'll seal this up, get as much air out as possible and refrigerate
      overnight, as in we go to sleep now.
FA: [looking off] He blinded me with science.

Potatoes have been cultivated in South America for 7000 years.

Andersen Residence: 8:01 am

FA: [on phone] What? He was just out of gas? That's it?
      Can't you break something?
      [hangs up, to Alton] Good morning, sleep well?
AB: Actually, I never knew that you could put potatoes inside a mattress.
FA: Did you know that the Quacho Indians have over a thousand words for
AB: Yeah. Well, comfortable isn't one of them. What, was that Ed about my truck?
FA: Bad news, Ed says you threw a basket.
AB: Blew a gasket?
FA: That's it. You're so smart.
AB: Well, I guess we might as well get the salad dressed for you and Bart.
FA: Well, I put out the mise en place. ['place' is pronounced as an English word]
AB: [correcting her] pl-AH-ss.
FA: Pl-AH-ss. Whatever.

AB: Frances, the proper potato salad is not a plop
      and stir. We need to integrate the ingredients
      in a proper order so that we get the right
      flavor in each and every bite, okay? It all
      begins with three quarters of a cup of that
      mayonnaise right there, and what a very nice
      homemade mayonnaise that is. Okay. To
      heat-en that up a little bit, a teaspoon of dry
      mustard. Excellent. Just mix that together.
      Good. Then we slowly get larger. That's two
      teaspoons of garlic and a tablespoon of
      tarragon and a quarter cup of the parsley. Fold
      that together and then we'll wait and bring in
      the other ingredients once that's integrated.
      Looks like you about got it. Okay. A quarter
      cup of the cornichons, chopped fine. Half a
      cup of the red onion, also chopped fine, and
      half a cup of your celery also chopped, well,
      very thin, almost on the bias. Good job.
AB: You got it?
FA: Got it.

3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dry Mustard
2 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 Tbs. Minced Tarragon
1/4 Cup Chopped Parley

1/4 Cup Chopped Cornichons or Sour Pickles
1/2 Cup Minced Red Onions
1/2 Cup Thin Sliced Celery

AB: Okay. Bring that down here. I'll go get the
      potatoes. Now we're going to dump this in
      with the vinegar that it soaked in, okay?
      There's also going to be a little starch that's
      come out of the potatoes. That's going to help
      hold things together. Just fold away. Now
      we're putting these in last so that we stir
      them up the least and that means they're not
      going to break apart so easily. Of course since
      we chilled them, they're holding together
      pretty nicely. Some salt and some pepper.

Add Soaked Potatoes
And Vinegar

Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper

FA: [door knocks] Oh my God, it's Bart!
AB: Oh good, I'm glad to meet ... hey, jeepers.
FA: [pushes him down the hallway] Hurry, hurry.
AB: Well, why I can't meet ...
FA: Get in there.
AB: I just want to say hi.
FA: [pushes Alton into bedroom] And stay here until I get back. And I still don't
      know why we had to chill the potatoes over night.
AB: Well, I'll tell you. It's bec ...

Andersen Residence, Living Room

AB: [on phone] Hello, is this Ed? The mechanic? Hi, yeah, my name is Alton Brown.
      You've got ... Yeah, you got my truck down there. Listen ... Hello? Hello?
FA: [storms in and throws coat on the floor] What in heck's name is a roasty?
AB: You mean a roesti?
FA: Who you talking to?
AB: [hiding phone] Uh, nobody. Uh, you know. It's just a little, kind of a Swiss,
      hash brown kind of thing.
FA: Well, that's what the big lug wants for dinner tonight.
AB: Yeah?
FA: Who do I look like, Spuds Mackenzie?
AB: Well, no. You look like a ver ...
FA: C'mon we've got work to do. [takes and twists Alton's arm]
AB: Oww. Jeez.

Andersen Residence, The Kitchen

AB: We're going to need three Yukon Gold
      potatoes. And since they are medium starch,
      they are really perfect for things like roestis.
FA: Why?
AB: Well, because they've got just enough starch
      to hold together but not so much that they
      get mushy. And you know, the really cool
      thing is if you were to park this in the
      refrigerator over night, and then make your
      roesti, the roesti you made tomorrow would
      be browner than the ones you might make

3 Yukon Gold Potatoes

FA: Because?
AB: Because cold tells the potato to start converting starch into sugar, okay? And
      sugar browns quicker and deeper than starch does and, hey, to some folks
      when it comes to potatoes brown is good.
FA: [eyeing Alton] When it comes to a lot of things, Brown is good. [winks]
AB: Since I'm not going to be here come tomorrow, we'll just skip the
      refrigeration and go straight to the grating. You have a grater, right?
AB: Oh, my. You know, these things can lead to very dangerous situations.
FA: [with puppy dog eyes] You don't say.
AB: Yeah. You see, they because don't have enough legs and you push on them and
      they ... Well, it's just dangerous. I'll get another one. This, is a much better
      grater, see. It's got more sides so when you grate with it, it's a lot more
      stable. So, why don't you just give it a try there.
FA: Wow.
AB: Smooth, huh? Well, it's my gift to you for rescuing a stranded traveler.
FA: Well, I'm afraid you might be stuck here for a little while more.
AB: You grate, I'll find an onion.
FA: Great.

FA: I've grated the potatoes and the onion. It made me cry.
AB: Sorry.
AB: Here, let's take the whole thing for a spin. It's really, really crucial that this
      mixture stay dry.
FA: Why?
AB: [being backed around the spinner by FA] Well, because if it's dry then as the
      outer starch layers start to cook or gelatinize, they'll pull moisture from the
      inside to the outside which is good because then the inside will be fluffy and
      light and the outside will be crisp but not greasy. If we leave water on the
      outside then the starch will just pull that water inward and that means an
      interior that's dense and an exterior that's greasy.
FA: And what about the onions?
AB: Well, good point. See, the onion doesn't have any starch but it does contribute
      a lot of moisture to the situation. We just have to put a stop to that right now.

Marie Antoinette was known to decorate her hair with potato blossoms.

The Kitchen

AB: Okay. Well, I see you've got a half tablespoon
      of butter melted there in your non-stick pan.
      That's just swell. Now, we've got four servings
      here. So, I'm going to take about a quarter of
      this and you are going to season it with salt
      and pepper. There you go. Now you just toss
      that a little bit.

1/2 Tbs. Melted Butter

Season 1/4 Of The Mixture
At A Time

FA: Well, now, why don't we just salt it all at once, You?

AB: Well, if we salt that whole thing, You, then by
      the time we're ready for the last batch, it will
      already be soaking wet because the salt will
      pull all the moisture out and we don't want
      that. All right, now we're just going to scatter
      this in the pan. Okay. And then, then kind of
      use your spatula—don't worry I'll do it—to kind
      of pull that into a nice round shape, like that.
      Okay. Just push down. Okay. Hear how that's
      just barely sizzling? You got th ... yeah, well
      that's what you want to hear, you want to
      hear it for the next 7 minutes, okay? It's real
      important that you stay right here. I'm going
      to go check on something.

Cook For 7 Minutes

Thomas Jefferson introduced french fries to the
White House during his presidency of 1801-09.

The Kitchen

AB: Ah, smells like it's time to flip.
FA: How are you going to do that?
AB: Ahhh. Well first we're going to put a little
      butter here on top, okay.

1/2 Tbs. Butter

FA: Okay.
AB: There. Now can I have that?
FA: Of course.
AB: Now slide this onto a lid. Okay?
FA: Okay.
AB: Right.
FA: Ahh.
AB: That's it. There you go. Now just cook this for
      about another five minutes or until it looks
      like that on the underside. Then you can
      either eat it right away—a little sour cream is
      really, really nice—or if you want to cook the
      rest of the batch, just slide that right onto
      the rack inside your oven set for low, of
      course. It will stay crisp for about twenty

Cook For 5 More Minutes

Hold in a warm oven for up to 20 mins.

[knocking on the door]

AB: Why, look.
FA: It's Bart!
AB: [indifferent] I'll hide.
FA: No, we'll face him together this time, honey.
AB: Okay. I'll catch up. [scrams]

House Exterior with Ladder against Wall


[shows sheets tied and hung out the window where AB apparently escaped]

FA: [looking out the window]I may have lost the man, but I'll always have ...
      good eats.

Main transcription help from Kathyh.
Proofreading by Sue Libretti.

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Last Edited on 08/27/2010