Potatoes Food Recipes
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For the best results when cooking potatoes,
be aware that there are different kinds of potatoes, and that some
varieties lend themselves to certain types of dishes much better than
Some recipes specify the use of new, waxy, firm-fleshed, floury or old
potatoes. Such distinctions can sound bewildering, but rest assured: they
are not. The basic distinction to make is between waxy and floury
Waxy potatoes are high in moisture, and contain less starch than floury
potatoes. They have relatively thin skins and a yellowy, almost waxy
flesh. Being firm fleshed, waxy potatoes boil well and will not come
apart if cooked a few minutes longer than recommended; they also make
wonderful salad potatoes and are perfect for casseroles and rôsti.
However, they are not much good for mashing or making into chips. Some
varieties of waxy potato include bintji, pink fir apple, as well as
potatoes labeled as 'salad' and 'new' potatoes.
Floury potatoes have a low moisture and sugar content, and because they
are high in starch, they fluff up nicely when baked or mashed. They turn
golden when fried or roasted, and are good for making chips. Most 'old'
potatoes are floury. Russet, spunta and nicola potatoes are some common
varieties of floury potatoes.
Whatever variety you buy, choose potatoes that feel firm and heavy to the
touch, and discard any that have soft spots, sprouting or discoloration.
Always reject potatoes with green skins, as they have developed an
alkaloid that can result in illness. Store potatoes in a cool, dry place
away from light, and always remove them from any plastic packaging they
may be sold in as the plastic will hasten their deterioration. Remember
too that while the potato is a highly nutritious vegetable, overcooking
and bad storage will destroy nutrients, especially vitamin C.
Removing the water and solids from butter makes it less likely to bum.
Ghee is a form of clarified butter. To make 100 g clarified butter, cut
180 g butter into small cubes. Place in a small pan set in a larger pot
of water over low heat Melt the butter without stirring. Skim the foam,
without stirring the butter. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Pour
off the dear yellow liquid, being very careful to leave the milky
sediment behind in the pan. Discard the sediment and refrigerate the
clarified butter in an airtight container.
Slicing by hand
Trimming and shaping potatoes before slicing helps give an attractive,
even appearance to the dish. Peel the potatoes using a vegetable peeler
or sharp knife. Using a potato peeler or sharp knife, trim the potato to
on even shape. Using a large sharp knife cut the potato into slices about
2 mm thick.
Cutting large potatoes in this way ensures even, quick cooking, as well
as impressive presentation. Slice off the base of the potato to steady
it. Make deep, thin parallel cuts across the potato, reaching almost to
the bottom. The potato should hold together like the pages of a book.
Using a mandolin
This time-saving device has adjustable blades for slicing, shredding and
waffle-cutting. Attach the potato to the mandolin guard. This will make
it easier and safer to work with. For thin slices, work the potato
against the straight blade, set to the thickness specified in the recipe.
For long thin strips, work the potato against the shredding blade.
Gaufrette means waffle. These potato baskets are used to hold a variety
of vegetables and garnishes. Arrange the thinly sliced potatoes in the
larger basket, and place the smaller basket inside. Holding the handles
firmly, carefully lower the boskets under the hot oil and fry until
This technique gives a lovely, uniform appearance to potatoes and ensures
they cook at the same rate. Cut the potatoes lengthways into quarters.
Holding a potato quarter in one hand, use a turning knife or small knife
to trim off the edges and corners. In a curving motion, cut the potato
from top to bottom, turning as you go. The classic shape is oval, and
about the size of a small egg.
Potatoes may be puréed in several ways—but do not use a food processor as
the result will be gluggy. Hold a sieve securely over a bowl and press
the cooked potatoes through using a wooden spoon. Place the cooked
potatoes in a mouli set over a bowl. Turn the handle to force the potato
through. Push the cooked potatoes a little at a time through a ricer,
into o large bowl. Continue turning the potato portion until you have a
Making potato croquettes
Fluffy inside, and crisp outside, croquettes are a lovely way of using up
leftover potatoes. An easy way to divide the croquette mixture into even
portions is to make o coke out of the mixture and cut into even surfaces.
You can then shape each portion to the required shape and size. Gently
toss or roll the croquettes in the flour, and shake off any excess. Dip
the croquettes in the beaten egg, then in the breadcrumbs or almond
mixture, shaking off any excess. If the mixture is a little too soft to
hold its shape, coat again in egg and breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until
ready to cook.
Fill the fryer only one-third full of oil: do not leave it unattended.
Dry food thoroughly before deep-frying. Preheat the oil in a deep-fat
fryer or deep saucepan to 180°C. Place a bread cube in the oil: if it
sizzles and turns golden brown in 15 seconds, the oil is hot enough.
Place the potatoes or croquettes in a basket and carefully immerse them
in the oil. Deep-fry in batches until golden and crisp, according to the
time specified in the recipe. Shake off the excess oil, drain on crumpled
paper towels and keep warm on a wire rack, uncovered, while frying the