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I Tried Making My Own Potato Smiles And Started A Small Fire

Look what you made me do, McCain.

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Hey guys! Remember Potato Smiles?

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Cast your mind back to the '90s and '00s. These bad boys were the literal best thing that you could buy in the frozen section of the supermarket. Hash browns could never. But then, for some unknown reason, McCain Australia decided to discontinue them. I guess they like pain and suffering????

I'm aware that you can still buy Potato Smiles in other countries around the world, but Australians have been missing them for nearly a decade.

So, anyway, I decided that I should just try my hand at cooking them myself. How hard could it be???

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HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAAH famous last words.

I found a bunch of different recipes online but most of them all pretty much said the same thing.

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The ingredients were things I already had at home: potatoes, flour, cornflour, an egg, and breadcrumbs. (OK, I didn't have breadcrumbs. So I just whizzed up a piece of old bread in my NutriBullet and it worked fine. It was rye bread but I'd recommend white bread if you have it.)

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This was the recipe I followed, but I ended up using pretty different quantities to make the batter the right consistency.

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I used three potatoes, steamed and mashed, 1/4 cup flour, 3 tbsp cornflour, 3 tbsp breadcrumbs, and one egg. Then I mashed all that shit together and added about half a cup more of flour until I had the right consistency.

Sounds like a lot of flour, right? Well I tried using less and it turned into a sticky mess that I couldn't roll out flat even when I tried.

You're meant to roll the "dough" out between two sheets of baking paper but I truly struggled.



I'd like to point out that I'm actually pretty good at baking and cooking but for some reason I was having a lot of trouble.

Anyway, once you roll it out, that's when you get to cut out potato heads and make some potato faces.

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Using a straw and a spoon, every recipe I found made it seem like a pretty straightforward process. But for some reason the "smiles" I made just looked like grumpy old men?

Once you have all your smiles or your tray of old man faces, then it's time to deep-fry them.

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OK so... I have never deep-fried anything in my life. I figured that all it really takes is just filling a pan with some oil and heating it up. I worked at Macca's for a year and from memory that's how we made fries.

So I figured it'd be super easy to do that in my kitchen. And let me reiterate... no one has ever taught me to deep-fry before so please be forgiving of my stupidity while I continue the story.

I filled up a pan with oil, and heated it up with the lid on. It got hot, so I took the lid off. And it burst into flames.

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I don't have an image of this because I was busy panicking so please enjoy this artist's impression.

It was a pretty small fire. In hindsight, I should have just put the lid back on and turned off the heat. BUT my dumb ass thought that I could put out a fire with water. (Don't judge me, I was freaking out that I was about to burn down my mum's kitchen.)

Anyway, as I'm sure you could have guessed, once I poured water onto flaming oil, there was quite the explosion. My kitchen was COVERED in flames for like two seconds before burning out. Those two seconds were probably the scariest of my life and I honestly just stood there screaming "FUUUUUCCCKKKK". Anyway, the flames put themselves out, thank God, and nothing was really damaged.

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Except that my kitchen was COVERED in black, oily soot. It was everywhere. I listened to an entire podcast series while cleaning that shit up.

Also it turns out that paint expands when it comes into contact with heat. So my ceiling basically absorbed all the black shit, and even though I got it professionally cleaned, I'm going to have to get it repainted too. Great.



So picture this: I'm standing there in my black kitchen which smells like cheap cooking oil, and I don't even have potato smiles to eat as a consolation prize??????

I decided to rub a little oil on each smile, and bake them in the oven.

I realise that "baked mashed potato" doesn't sound that appetising, but I sure as shit wasn't going to try frying anything again.



FYI, I baked them for about 25 minutes at 180ºC. They didn't taste bad but they didn't taste like the Smiles I remember.

(Please don't be mean to me in the comments. I've had a bad week.)

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