Potato Tips and Hints

And now, some bits about Potatoes…

  • Choose potatoes that are firm, smooth and fairly clean
  • Choose potatoes that are blemish free.
  • Avoid potatoes with green coloring, or, barring that, remove the green bits from the meat of the potato.
  • Aviod potatoes with wrinkled or wilted skin.
  • Avoid potatoes with soft spots or cut areas.
  • Store potatoes in cool, well vented locations for two weeks.
  • Storing potatoes near onions can cause the potatoes to rot more quickly due to the interaction of the gasses that both products produce.
  • Prolonged exposure to light may cause potatoes to turn green.
  • Storing potatoes below 40 degrees F will allow the potatoes to have a sweeter taste, yet will result in a darker look when cooked.
  • Prolonged storage encourages sprouting and shriveling.
  • Trim off any sprouts or green areas before using.
  • When cooking more than one potato, make sure that the same sized potatoes are used to ensure uniform cooking times.
  • A teaspoon of lemon juice in the cooking water will keep of the potato white.
  • The water used to cook potatoes makes an excellant base for vegetable stock, as potatoes lose much of their vitamins when boiled.
  • If baking a potato, wrap in aluminum foil to have a soft skin. Bake without foil to have a crispy skin.
  • Pierce potato with a fork several times before baking to allow steam to escape.
  • Oiling the skin of a baked potato prior to placing in the oven will ensure a crispy skin.
  • Russet potatoes are best for baking.
  • For Mashed Potatoes, adding cream, butter, olive oil or sour cream adds flavor and richness, while non-fat or low-fat milk creates lighter, fluffier potatoes. Other options include buttermilk, water and white wine.
  • Potato skins contain both flavor and nutrients, and should be used as often as possible
  • Leftover mashed potatoes make great thickeners for soups and sauces.
  • Flavors that work well with potatoes include: Black Pepper, butter, chicken, dill, garlic, mayonnaise, olive oils, onions, pork, rosemary, sage, salt, shallots, sour cream, thyme, vinegar, and yogurt.

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