We’re back! As you may or may not have noticed at all, there was no recap last week, as I was unable to blog and would truly never dream of asking anyone to sit through what has turned out to be the literal hours of YouTube required to write these.
A week off has absolutely turned out to be a real blessing in disguise, as two weeks ago the BA videos were *chef’s kiss* and this week they ended up being real miss. That rhyme is symptom of my broken brain after having to watch two separate videos this week where the test kitchen team eats things and then just talks about not liking them.
For those of you following along at home, I did make Andy’s braised short ribs with squash the other week and it was incredible. Would eat it again, now, tomorrow, and for many subsequent days.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into it. These reviews are going to be a bit more abbreviated, because as I said, last week’s offerings were superior to this weeks and I think we should talk about all of them.
“From the Test Kitchen” —Chris makes breakfast sandwiches: 5/5 Would Bon
If you’re talking to me about breakfast sandwiches, I’m listening, and Chis is talking about breakfast sandwiches. As a New Yorker he’s obligated by law to talk about a bodega sandwich, which he does. He also lets us know this will not be a bodega sandwich which is smart because nothing will ever compare. He loses me for a minute because he tries to talk to me about “onion bacon” which he himself puts in air quotes. I wish we would all stop trying to make things that aren’t bacon into bacon, because what he actually makes is delicious and would be more appealing if he just called them yummy roasted onions, or something like that.
Watching this I really can’t help but wonder when someone is going to sue BA for all of the “healthy” food they’re selling us on, which is really just more natural food loaded with salt, butter and oil. Don’t get me wrong, it is amazing, just don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining, ya know? The amount of butter and cheese that goes into this certainly disqualifies it from being remotely “healthy.” And, honestly, I don’t care. I will be making them and wrapping them just like Chris shows us to, for every brunch I attend for the next calendar year.
“Gourmet Makes” —Claire attempts to make gourmet Butterfingers: 5/5 Would Bon
It seems unfair to begin every recap of a Gourmet Makes by throwing out the hashtag #IWDFCFTBATK (I Would Die For Claire From The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen), but I’m not in business of being fair, so there it is.
Honestly my only complaint about this episode is that now for two episodes we have been given consecutive sub-30 minute videos, which is hardly enough time to be spending with Claire. We haven’t had one sub-30 since Pop Rocks, 14 episodes ago. On the other hand it means she’s happy, and if Claire is happy I guess so am I.
I was nervous after the success of Ben & Jerry’s that they were going to throw a terrible curve ball our way, but Claire really knocked Butterfingers out of the park. It was great, not just because it was successful, but also because it really seemed like if I wanted to I could recreate these at home, something I feel like was a goal at one point but then got thrown out the window in favor of entertainment of accessibility. Like, I’ll still never temper chocolate, but I’d replicate the rest of this for sure!
“Test Kitchen Talks” —Pro chefs share their top restaurant kitchen tips: 2/5 Would Bon
This is our weekly video where the test kitchen team stares into the camera and tells us things that are moderately useful and only somewhat condescending. Carla would like you to label your leftovers (maybe!), Brad wants you to salt your food (duh!), Claire wants you to use dishtowels (sure why not!). Alex and Molly give us the only real “tips” that I think are helpful which are prep your ingredients before you start to cook, and plate food in a way that makes sense for the dish.
To be honest this give me big Meeting That Could Have Been an Email vibes, and I think most of the team in the video would agree.
“It’s Alive” —Brad makes gravlax: 4/5 Would Bon
These week’s episode of It’s Alive follows in the spirit of this week’s Gourmet Makes and gives us 17 minutes of footage that is entertaining and also attainable!
I learn things about fish and bacteria and also about freezing things to kill the bacteria which honestly gave me a new perspective on frozen fish which I would have always thought would be worse than fresh. Whether it’s intentional or not between the salmon and the breakfast sandwiches, I literally cannot wait to host a brunch as soon as spring makes it warm enough for me to eat outside.
“From the Test Kitchen” —Rick makes tacos placeros: 5/5 Would Bon
Rick, whose manicure I am consistently jealous of and impressed by, wraps up the week with a video on tacos, taking special care to talk about the impact immigrants have had on the landscape of cuisine in America. A socially conscious king who has the cover of the March issue of the magazine? We have no choice but to stan.
As far as BA videos are concerned, I think this one does a great job of getting us out of the test kitchen while still making it very much about cooking. We also learn that there is such a thing as a professor of taco literacy, which may be all the inspiration I need to go back to school.
“From the Test Kitchen” —Molly makes chicken noodle soup: 5/5 would Bon
I love soup more than I love most things. Actually, I think I love soup more than I love anything, so there’s really very little chance that this video was going to disappoint me, and it definitely did not.
Some of the more general info about making broths flavorful and delicious I already knew, but I learned about butchering a chicken and cooking some of the pieces in it while the soup finished, pulling out the breasts so they wouldn’t get over done. This is going to be my dinner for the week, and I couldn’t be happier to have watched.
I’m docking half a point for the very obvious Method dish soap add that they tried to incorporate into the video as if it were something out of A Prairie Home Companion, which was given away by Molly’s over acting and also by the Method dish soap add that ran halfway through the video anyway.
“Test Kitchen Talks” —Pro chefs blindly taste ice cream: 1/5 Would Bon
The content machine strikes again! Really, the only thing I have to say about this video is: who cares?
“Molly Tries” —Molly tries to invent a new pasta shape: 4/5 Would Bon
I can only assume that whoever is editing this video is also a fan of the drag queens Trixie Mattel and Katya, because the editing on this can only be described as Unhhh-adjacent. It is absolutely wild, and at times unhinged. They literally splice in dog barking sounds as Molly drops a wiener dog shaped noodle into boiling water?
Other than that, I’d say the video is just fine, and what was entertaining about it superseded the heavy hand in the edit room. Also it provided me with my favorite thing I’ve heard from the test kitchen in a long time which is, “Penne can go fuck itself” which I absolutely agree with.