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Cooking potatoes

 
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Jan
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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 3:23 pm    Post subject: Cooking potatoes Reply with quote

How best to prepare potatoes for potato salad? We're curious about difference in results of boiling potatoes whole versus cutting in half or smaller pieces. In previous post, I noticed the explanation of salt in water raising thermal temperature for cooking pasta. What differences are there if potatoes are salted after cooking while still hot, warm or cold? Adding mayonnaise or salad dressing while warm or after chilling? Any other information you wish to share about making potato salad. Thanks, this is a very informative site.

Jan and Jim
Not engineers, but interested in basic understanding of what makes a difference.
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McDee



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following is a mix of personal preference and the gospel of my chef instructors Smile

Start potatoes in cold, salty water. Plunge a room temperature spud into boiling water and you over-cook the outside before the inside is done. The salt helps prevent nutrients leaching into the water as well as raising the boiling temperature slightly.

I prefer to cook the potatoes whole with the skin on. It takes longer, but minimizes waterlogging. The more surfaces you expose to the water, the more it will absorb.

For potato salad, I would shock the cooked spuds in an ice bath once they're done to minimize carry-over cooking, therefore, I'd add the dressing once they're cool. On the other hand, Grandma used to add the dressing while the potatoes were still hot so that they'd soak up the dressing more quickly. Maybe compromise and under-cook them slightly...hmmm. Sounds like an experiment in the making.

Off to the store to pick up some spuds.
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Jan
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:43 am    Post subject: Cooking Potatoes...... Reply with quote

Hi McDee... thanks for your response. We're making potato salad again today.

After reading your reply, Jim commented that because we cut the potatoes up the last time is likely why we had watery potato salad after a couple of days. The extra water absorbed by the potatoes diluted the dressing.

Before reading your message, we had already started two pots of potatoes to test the difference. Think we'll leave a little of each batch as leftovers for a test.

Another question that comes to mind 'I wonder what herb and veggie combinations are wonderful in potato salad?'

Jim and Jan
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dellastreet
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: potato salad Reply with quote

I prefer mustard potato salad.
I put cut-up sweet gherkins (Mt Olives brand is the best) in my potato salad; sometimes I add small pieces of pimento. Onion, celery and bell pepper. If I have it on hand, I also add sour cream sometimes.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The variety of potato you choose will make a difference. Some varieties become mushy with cooking, others stay more firm.
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lethu90



Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By not peeling them before you cook them the starch helps to keep them from being mushy. especially with russets. Red potaoes are good for potato salad cause you can get away with not peeling them. their skins are thin , its a firmer potato not as starchy tho.When checking for doneness remove potatoes while they are a little firm in the middle but not raw if you let them sit for 10- 15 mins they still cook ., and yes a lil warm when you add you mixed wet ingredients, adds so much more flavor, also adjusting seasoning in just your wet ingredients is easier then puttin everything together and finding out you added to less or too much of something.

Last edited by lethu90 on Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dude111



Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like INSTANT potatoes the best Smile (No lumps)


Welcome to the site bud!
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yocona



Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always cut my potatoes before boiling, and almost always use red potatoes because they contain less starch. Regardless of the type of potato, the pieces will stay firm if you put a little vinegar in the boiling water.
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diymonkey



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I peal them and cut them in cubes. Then drop them in cold water and turn on the hot plate.
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RubeChilds



Joined: 24 Dec 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something I find helpful that I hadn't noticed in previous posts is to gently cook the potato, in whatever form you desire, peeled and diced, quartered, or whole.

Bring salted water and potatoes, covered to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, uncovered. Cook until tender. If they're whole I'll prick with a fork -- it should enter effortlessly and with little resistance. If they are diced or cut and peeled, I like to bring it out of the water and pinch it (also my method to check doneness of pasta). If it flakes or comes apart, they are done. The calm hot environment prevents any kind of starch loss and/or water saturation.

As long as the water is well salted, it is my opinion, that adding dressing to still hot potatoes doesn't make much of a difference. This method is probably done to reduce handling of mushy over cooked potatoes.
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gaixareku



Joined: 18 Jan 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:06 am    Post subject: cooking Reply with quote

in low heat.
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