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Cooking With Potatoes

Potatoes are an important ingredient in a variety of recipes, whether in a strict potato dish or as one of the list of ingredients. This is a guide about cooking with potatoes.


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By 5 found this helpful
December 17, 2009

When I buy a bag of potatoes, I go ahead and boil as many as I think I might use that week. I place them in a colander in the refrigerator and, when ready to use, I either dice or shred them and just brown in some olive oil. This eliminates the time it takes to peel and cook right at meal time. Big time saver.

By Susan from Columbia, SC

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January 12, 2015

If you are boiling potatoes to mash, it doesn't take long to dice the raw, peeled potatoes instead of halving or quartering them. It really speeds up boiling time.

Having said this, I did read of someone who took it a bit further. They grated their potatoes, and the result was grey wallpaper paste! So half inch cubes is probably the best option.

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November 9, 2009

How many times have you stood in front of the potatoes in the store and wondered what the difference was in all those different varieties of potatoes? Or maybe you're a beginner at cooking and would like to know which potato is better for potato salad and which is best for baked potatoes. Well, I am here with your answers.


The potato is America's most popular vegetable, they can be boiled, baked, fried, microwaved, steamed, or roasted, with or without their peels. Many people love what we call the "fully loaded" potato with butter, sour cream and cheddar cheese, but left to themselves they're quite low in calories and loaded with nutrients. The potato contains many vitamins and minerals.

A medium-sized 150g (5.3 oz) potato with the skin provides 27mg of vitamin C (45% of the Daily Value (DV)), 620mg of potassium (18% of DV), 0.2mg vitamin B6 (10% of DV) and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. The fiber content of a potato with skin (2g) is equivalent to that of many whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals.


Storing Potatoes

Well-matured potatoes without defects are the best keepers. Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, well-ventilated area. They will keep about a week at room temperature and for several weeks at 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Potatoes can be stored for up to 6 months. Refrigerator temperatures are too low, which converts the potato's starch into sugar, resulting in a sweet taste. The extra sugar also causes potatoes to darken prematurely while frying. (This process can sometimes be reversed by storing the potatoes at room temperature for a week to 10 days.)

If potatoes have green patches, cut them off, as they have been exposed too long to direct lighting and will have a faintly bitter taste. The rest of the potato will taste fine. Good storage potatoes include Norkotah, Goldrush, Butte, Katahdin, Caribe, and Red Norland. Storing potatoes come from mature plants whose leafy tops have yellowed and died back. Storing potatoes should be dried or cured before they are stored. Potatoes are usually cured for a period of 4 to 5 days at about 60-70 degrees F (16-21 degrees C). Curing allows cuts and surface injuries of the tuber to "heal." A cellar is ideal, but any place where they won't be exposed to excessive heat or light will help prevent spoiling.

Using Potatoes

Here are some very basic Potato Recipes but first here is some very useful information about potato equivalents: This should help you figure out how many potatoes you will need for a crowd.

Basic Mashed Potatoes

Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. (If using red potatoes, it is not necessary to peel them). In a large heavy saucepan, simmer potatoes in salted water (cover by 1 inch) for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain in a colander. In pan or bowl, combine potatoes, butter, and 3/4 cup milk. With a potato masher, mash potatoes until smooth, adding more milk if necessary to make creamy. In pan, reheat potatoes over moderately low heat, stirring, and season with salt and pepper.

Basic Baked Potato

Scrub unpeeled potatoes with water. Rub with shortening to soften up skins (If you want, optional). Wrap in aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees F for 1- 1 1/2 hours. Or pierce potatoes with a fork to allow steam to escape. Arrange an inch apart in circle shape on a paper towel. Microwave 12- 15 minutes.

Roasted Onion Potatoes

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the potatoes in a roasting pan and bake for 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place garlic on large square of foil. Drizzle with oil. Wrap foil around garlic to enclose. Bake garlic until soft, about 40 minutes. Cool garlic. Separate cloves. Press garlic cloves between fingertips to release from skins. Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain; return potatoes to same pot. Add garlic and mash together. Bring half and half to simmer in small saucepan. Add half and half and butter to potatoes; stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To make this dish faster, use ready made mashed potatoes in the bag from the grocery store.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 2, 2009

Wash and cook potatoes until tender. Peel and dice. Cook minced onions until tender, but not brown, in melted butter.

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May 2, 2008

A few drops of lemon juice in the water will whiten boiled potatoes.

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June 24, 20050 found this helpful

My tip is actually a time saving tip with cooking. I make several potato dishes each week. Fried potatoes, oven fried with seasonings, baked, mashed, hash-browns, etc.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
July 31, 2010

Why do potatoes turn black after you have peeled them and cooked them?

By Connie Parks from Bristol, TN


July 31, 20100 found this helpful

It is something to do with the starch; it oxidizes when the air touches it. To correct the problem, wash the potatoes with cold water when you peel or slice them to remove the starch.

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August 3, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes it is the pot or container you use. Try using a non-aluminum cooking vessel. Immediately put potatoes in cold water while peeling remainder of potatoes. Cover the potatoes completely with water and rinsing with cold water. Do not use disposable aluminum pans to serve in if making for a crowd.

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August 3, 20100 found this helpful

When you remove the peel, the air turns the potato black. Place them in cold water after peeling. Adding some salt helps also. Other foods also turn black when peeled, such as apples, etc. Lemon juice or salt also prevents discoloration.

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December 17, 20090 found this helpful

Does anyone know if one can pre-cook or partially cook potatoes to be mashed for upcoming dinner? If so, will they taste as good as freshly cooked potatoes? Thanx for any tips on this. Luvyabye


Pre-cooking Potatoes

This is a family favorite -- a "must have", at our family dinners. You don't taste the cream cheese, it just makes the potatoes very creamy. My husband would not eat these if he could taste the cream cheese since he does not like it.

Baked Mashed Potatoes

Cook and mash potatoes. Add warmed milk and 3/4 cup of melted butter, salt and pepper and blend. Whip in softened cream cheese. Place in a greased 9x13" baking dish or pan, brush top with remaining butter and sprinkle with paprika and/or parsley. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees, for 30-40 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

These potatoes can be made two days before serving. Just reheat in the oven for about 1 hour. If using Pyrex glass dish, place in oven before preheating. If oven is already in use, bring the glass dish to room temperature. This will prevent the dish from breaking. You can bake this at various temperatures, it just needs to be heated thoroughly -- watch so it doesn't burn. Different spices can be added. I sometimes add a small container of French onion dip along with the other ingredients. This also freezes well, if there are any leftovers. Enjoy! (12/23/2004)

By it'

Pre-cooking Potatoes

You can also cook you potatoes in a crockpot so that you can put them on in the morning then in the afternoon they are hot and ready to be mashed. (12/23/2004)

By Shannon Fox

Pre-cooking Potatoes

Thanx for the recipe, mkymlp, it looks delicious. The crockpot is a great idea, Shannon in NC, unfortunately, I don't have a crockpot :( Thanx for taking the time to respond to this question. (12/24/2004)

By SL Edens

Pre-cooking Potatoes

Hi. If what you want is baked potatoes, you can bake them in 15 minutes in the microwave. If what you want is mashed, bake the potatoes in the am, then add the milk, s and p, butter etc. in the evening. I scrub the potatoes real well (don't peel), poke them all over with a fork, and then cook them 5 minutes right on the clean floor of my microwave. Roll them partly over, zap them another 5 minutes, and repeat. When done, the potatoes should be soft like baked potatoes! If you want mashed, bake them in the am and then put them in the frig. In the evening, cut them open, scoop out the flesh, put it in a pot with the other ingredients, smash with fork, and cook until hot. (12/25/2004)

By Judith

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