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Potatoes - Preparing & Cooking

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks
© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Preparing & Cooking

Scrub

Many recipes call for unpeeled potatoes, in which case they need to be scrubbed first. Wash them in water, lightly rubbing with a small vegetable brush to remove any dirt. Be very careful not to tear the skin.


Slice

Firmly hold the potato on a cutting board with one hand and hold a chef’s knife in your other hand. Cut downward into slices as thick or thin as required. Cut slices to the same thickness so they cook evenly.


Dice

Dices are equal-sized cubes. Stack slices on top of each other and cut lengthwise to the desired thickness. Turn the stack 45 degrees and cut crosswise into equal-sized cubes.


Peel

Potatoes can be peeled before or after cooking; if cooked first, leave them until cool enough to handle before peeling. Hold the potato firmly in 1 hand and use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to cut off the skin in long strips.


Chop

The first step to good, chunky french fries is chopping large, floury potatoes into slices 12in (1cm) thick. Stack several slices on top of each other and then cut into sticks about 3in (7.5cm) long.


Grate

Both cooked and uncooked potatoes can be grated, most frequently for pan-frying like when making potato pancakes. Rub the potatoes downward over the coarse holes on a grater into a bowl.


Boil

Potatoes can be boiled peeled or unpeeled. Cut the potatoes into equal-sized pieces and put them into a pan with lightly salted cold water to cover. Cover the pan tightly, place over high heat, and bring the water to a boil.

As soon as the water boils, reduce the heat slightly, uncover the pan, and leave the potatoes to gently boil until they offer no resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.


Mash

Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain them in a colander, shaking off any excess water. Return the potatoes to the pan. Add butter, milk, and salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Re-cover the pan and let stand for 5 minutes.

Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until they are smooth and fluffy. Adjust the seasoning and add extra butter and milk, if desired. Keep hot until ready to serve.


Bake

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Scrub unpeeled, large floury potatoes, such as King Edward, and pat dry completely. Prick all over with a fork to speed up the cooking time, then rub with olive or vegetable oil.

Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 1 hour, or until they feel soft when squeezed or pierced with a knife. Remove the potatoes from the oven, cut a large, deep “X” in the top, and squeeze open. Add the topping of your choice and serve hot.


Deep-fry

For twice-fried golden French fries, heat enough oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer to 325°F (160°C). Add the potato batons and fry for 5–6 minutes, or until lightly colored. Remove the potatoes from the oil, drain well, and let cool.

Reheat the oil to 350°F (180°C). Deep-fry the potatoes again for 1–2 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown all over. Remove from the oil and drain well on folded paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.


Roast

Peel and cut the potatoes into equal-sized pieces. Put in a pan with lightly salted cold water to cover and boil for 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes well and set aside until cool enough to handle. Using a fork, score the potatoes all over.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), and place a roasting pan with a thin layer of vegetable oil inside. Turn the potatoes in the oil to coat, then roast for 1 hour, or until crisp. Use tongs or a large fork to remove the potatoes from the pan and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.


Pan-fry

Heat a thin layer of vegetable or olive oil in a frying pan set over medium-high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium, add as many potato slices that will fit in a single layer, and fry for 8–10 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden.

Using a spatula and a knife, turn the potato slices over and fry for 5 minutes, or until both sides are golden and tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain the potatoes on paper towels, season to taste with salt, and serve hot.

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