Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Potatoes?


When I buy potatoes I always look for similar sizes so they will cook evenly.

When I buy a bag of potatoes I sort them out when I get home. I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you think about it… it makes sense.

Bag potatoes come in an assortment of sizes and if you don't sort, you will end up with random sizes that need different cooking times.

The advantage to sorting is... I can pick out the best ones for baked potatoes and set them aside for that exact purpose and other sizes for everything else.

All potatoes are not created equal... Here is a list of the usual suspects,

Russet potatoes are best for baking and mashing. These are flakier.

Yukon Gold potatoes can be baked, roasted or boiled. These are creamy.

Red or White skin potatoes are best for boiling or roasting. These are waxy.

HOW TO BAKE POTATOES
Wash and dry potatoes. Lightly coat outer skin with oil. Place potatoes directly on the rack in a 350 degree oven and cook for an hour to and hour and 15 min. depending on the size. Poke a small slit in the potato when they are done to release the steam so the potato will remain light and fluffy.

HOW TO ROAST POTATOES
Cut potatoes into chunks or wedges. Toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and fresh herbs. Spread out on a sheet pan and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 - 55 minutes or until you get the desired color.

HOW TO BOIL POTATOES
Choose similar sizes, place potatoes in a pot and cover them completely with cold tap water. Salt the water and bring them to a boil. Turn heat down a couple of notches so the water won’t jump out of the pot and cook for 25 - 30 minutes. 

Drain and let cool for about 10 minutes. This works with almost any size potato unless it is excessively large or ridiculously tiny.

Boiled potatoes are so versatile and great for breakfast, soups and casseroles. When I’m making a dish that calls for boiled potatoes, I’ll cook a few extra and keep them in my fridge for a quick add in to a meal, side dish or healthy snack.

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