The first step to great food is great knife skills. Check out more Knife Skills this way!
With the possible exception of the Knife Sharpening Demo, this is quite possibly the most important knife skill to learn in the kitchen. Sure, you could always buy special tools to convert your everyday hot dog into a whimsical cephalopod, and undoubtedly, it's an item you'd use every day. But why pay $16 for something you can do for free?
In this video, you'll not only learn how to perform the standard frankfurter-to-mollusk conversion, you'll also learn how to give your wiener much more celestial goals by transforming them into fantastical star-shaped crispy nuggets—an essential ingredient to both salchipapas, and to the happiness of my marriage (Adri has a thing for crispy deep-fried hot dog bits).
And really, these things really are quite delicious. The octodog legs get particularly crispy, the way soppresatta or pepperoni does on a pizza. On top of that, it's an excellent way to get good, healthy seafood into your diet. Superstar camera-woman extraordinaire Lingbo can attest to that. She ate the entire batch (a welcome change after eating ice cream for lunch every day at the office, says she).
Coupled with toothpicks and an artistic swirl of ketchup, they make the perfect hor d'ouevre for a fancy dinner party, wedding shower, or even the funeral of a loved one.
I wonder how well the Dumpling-to-octopus conversion would work out?
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.