What kind of potatoes should I use…and how many?
You will need about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds,…about six,,,Yukon gold potatoes…
Avoid using russet potatoes…they tend to fall apart.
Yukon Gold potatoes are the best potatoes for making potato salad for many reasons, such as the facts that they…
- are creamier
- are sweeter
- cook quickly
- have a thinner skin, which means that they are easier to peel
- hold their shape well after cooking
How do I cook the potatoes?
- Do not cut or peel the potatoes before cooking them…cook them whole. This will help them maintain more of their flavor and natural sweetness.
- Add the potatoes to cold water and then bring to a boil This will give you a better consistency than if you had added the potatoes to hot, boiling water.
- Add a tablespoon to the water. This will give the potatoes more flavor. Adding salt to the cooking water brings out the flavor of the potatoes.
- Cook the potatoes for 10-15min or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork.
- Drain the potatoes.
- Set them in a bowl of ice for a couple of minutes to keep them from cooking even more.
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut into large diced pieces.
- Put the warm potatoes to a large bowl.
- Stir in a few hearty splashes of a vinegar-y liquid—such as white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or dill pickle juice—the potatoes are still warm This will give your potato salad a subtle flavor punch
- Allow the potatoes to cool for at least 15min before adding your dressing.
Dressing,,,Mix the following together…
- 1-1/2C mayonnaise
- 1/4C yellow mustard
- 1 1/2tsp celery seed
- 2tsp sugar
- 1/2tsp onion powder
- 1/4C sweet pickle relish
- salt and pepper according to taste
Extra ingredients….Once you have your cooked and chopped potatoes coated with your dressing, it’s time to add anything else that you would like in your salad, such as…
- Boiled Eggs…5 eggs peeled…This will add texture and extra creaminess.
- Celery…2 large stalks, diced…Celery adds a nice crunch.
- Dill or Sweet Pickle
- Onion…6 diced green onions or half of a sweet onion…This will add sweetness and crunch …but make sure that the onion doesn’t overpower the the flavors of the rest of the salad ingredients. You can help take the raw edge off the onion by putting the chopped onion in cool water for about ten minutes.
Finally you might want to add fresh Herbs…Herbs most commonly used in potato salad include…
Finally after combining the potatoes, the dressing, and the “stuff”…sprinkle some paprika on top….just because that’s probably how your grandmother and mother would have done it…not sure it actually adds anything to the salad except for color, right?
Now cover your salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours.
Your potato salad will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days…assuming it hasn’t been eaten by then, of course…
Mashed potatoes are to dinner fare what hash browns are to breakfast fare…and in this post, we’re gonna learn how to make the best mashed potatoes ever.
The perfect mashed potatoes are rich, super-creamy, and thick…and flavored with butter, sour cream, garlic and Parmesan cheese.
Which type of potatoes should I use?
The best variety of potato to use when making mashed potatoes is Yukon Gold….(that’s why I put mashed potatoes in this section on Yukon Gold potatoes…go figure)…because they give your mashed potatoes an even creamier texture….
Should I Cut or Peel My Potatoes?
First of all, whether or not you peel the potatoes before cutting them is purely a matter of preference. Some people like the texture that the skin adds,while other don’t…Just remember that the skin is where all the extra nutrients and flavor.s are.
Regardless if you peel them or not, you will need to cut your potatoes into evenly-sized chunks, about an inch or so thick. You do not want to boil whole potatoes Now transfer the potatoes to a large stockpot full of cold water until all of the potatoes are cut and ready to go.
How do I cook my potatoes?
Place the potatoes In a 6-quart stockpot, and cover with enough cold water that the water line sits about 1″ above the potatoes. Add 1Tbsp salt. You do not want to boil or heat the water before addiong the potatoes because they might not cook evenly.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat down to medium-low. Cook about 15min…until you can stick a knife into the middle of the potato with almost no resistance.
Draining and steaming to finish helps pull out any remaining water for a fluffy final texture. …Whether or not you cook them without peeling them first is a matter of personal preference.
So carefully drain out all of the water.
Return the drained potatoes into the hot stockpot. Set back on the stove over low heat. Gently shake the pan for about a minute to release some of the steam and moisture from the potatoes.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Set them aside until you are actually ready to mash your potatoes….this will make sure that all the liquid is evaporated.
Now what do I do?
Heat 1/3C salted butter, 1C milk, and 2tsp salt together either in a small saucepan or in the microwave until warm…but avoid boiling the milk. Set aside until ready to use. This keeps the potatoes hot and absorbs better.
Return the potatoes to the hot stockpot. Place back on the hot burner, but first turn the heat down to low. Using two oven mitts, carefully hold the handles on the stockpot and shake it gently on the burner for about a minute to help cook off some of the remaining steam within the potatoes.
Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, strong wooden spoon, or electric beaters until smooth, adding a little extra milk if needed…but be careful not to over beat or they will become gluey.
Add warm milk mixture, a little bit at a time, to the potatoes until they reach the desired consistency is reached.
Stir in 3 cloves garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, 1/2C sour cream, fresh herbs, onion, shredded cheddar, cooked bacon bits, chives…whatever you want.
Homemade French Fries…why even bother when it would be so much easier either to drive thru McDonald’s or grab a bag of frozen fries out of your freezer…the one that’s probably been hiding in there for the last couple of years at least…goal for today—clean out freezer!!!
Because we are talking about the deep frying cooking methods and potatoes, and of course the topic of French fries would eventually come up.
The perfect French fries are extra astonishingly crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside.
French fries are actually very easy to make ahead and store in your freezer that you may never buy another bag of frozen fries ever, ever again…
- Yukon Gold…that’s why we’re learning about making French fries while we are on the topic of Yukon Gold potatoes…go figure, right?
- Choose the largest ones you can find.
Why are Yukon Gold potatoes better?
- …because they are less starchy and will turn out much crispier than any other type of potato.
How many potatoes?
- Figure on two potatoes per person.
How do I slice the potatoes?
- Slice the potatoes into ½” thick sticks. The thinner you cut your fries, the crispier they will be.
- Wash the potatoes.
- Peeling them at this point is purely a matter of personal preference.
Soaking Your Potatoes
Soak the potato slices in cold water for at least one hour, perhaps even overnight. The longer, the better.
Soaking your potatoes removes the starch and will end up making your French fries extra crispy and keep them from sticking to each other when you are cooking them.
Cooking Your French Fries
Most cooks and chefs agree that the best way to getting those perfectly crispy fries that you’re craving is to double fry your potatoes—first for five or six minutes at 300° to cook the middle of the potato, and then frying them a second time at 400° to cook the outside.
Using a deep-fat thermometer will help ensure that the oil is at the proper temperature before you start adding your potatoes to the water.
Drain the potatoes.. Pat them dry with paper towels or a clean dishcloth.
Be sure to use a pot that is large and tall enough—such as a tall 8-quart soup pot, to contain the oil without overflowing when the potatoes are slipped in.
Pour enough oil into the pan that it measures about 1-1/2″ deep.
Heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 300.
Carefully drop small batches of potatoes to the hot oil. Frying too many French fries at once makes them less crispy.
The oil should bubble lightly. The temperature of the oil will drop to about 260 F after the potatoes are added.
Fry for about five minutes.
Remove from the oil using a pair of tongs or a slotted metal spoon.
Increase the heat to 400 degrees.
Fry a second time in batches about five more minutes, until they are crisp and golden-brown.
A third dish that you can make with extra baked potatoes is Baked Potato Soup.
The perfect Baked Potato Soup will be a creamy, hearty soup chock full of cheese, onion, sour cream and bacon.
So let’s get cooking…
4 large russet potatoes—baked, peeled and cubed)
Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat until crisp and browned.
Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Drain off all but 2Tbsp of the bacon grease.
Once the bacon has cooled, crumble it into small pieces..
4 tbsp unsalted Challenge Butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4C onion, diced
Melt butter i n the skillet with the bacon grease in a Dutch oven or stock pot.
Saute the onions and garlic in the butter and bacon grease over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent….about two or three minutes.
3 cups chicken stock
1C half and half
Turn the burner that you used to cook the bacon down to low.
Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook for about a minute or two.
Stir in milk, chiicken broth, and half-and-half, whisking constantly until smooth and thick,
Bring to a light simmer.
Whisk in the salt, garlic salt and pepper.
Simmer for 6min, until the mixture has thickened slightly.
1C sour cream
2C shredded cheddar
¼X chopped green onion or green onions
Stir in potatoes. Use a potato masher to mash some of the potatoes a few times to break them up a bit.
Increase the stove temperature slightly to bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Mix in sour cream, 1C cheddar cheese, some of the bacon (save the remaining cheese and bacon for topping).
Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted, stirring frequently.
If your soup is too thin and watery, add more half-and-half or instant potato flakes.
If your soup is too thick, add more chicken broth.
Remove the pot from the heat.
Remove from heat.
Top individual servings with remaining cheese, remaining bacon, green onion, and sour cream.
So let’s check our Mr. Potato Head and his fellow companions….actually the group has two different cliques—each based on the amount of starch and water that they contain.
These groups are the following…
Let’s look at the characteristics of a starchy potato…
- absorbent almost all of the butter and cream that you place on them…yum…
- break down easily when cooked
- don’t hold together very well when cooked
flesh coats your knife with a white, milky film when you cut into it
high in starch
low in moisture
The most common type of starchy potato is the russet potato, also known as an Idaho potato or Burbank potato.…russet potatoes are in fact the most common type of potato grown in the United States. Russet potatoes are the type of potato most people think of when they think about buying potatoes in the grocery store.
There are actually numerous varieties of russet potatoes. A few of their characteristics are…
- easily absorb butter and milk making them ideal for mashed or baked potatoes
- just a few shallow eyes
- light, fluffy texture
- medium-to-large size
- oblong or oval shaperough net-like skin that becomes chewy when cooked
- white flesh
Cooking methods that are best for starchy potatoes include…
- Deep Frying
- Pan Frying
These cooking methods create a crisp crust and keep the interior moist.
Starchy potatoes are not good for dishes that require the potatoes to hold their shape.—such as potato salads, soups, stews, and potatoes au gratin—because the flesh flakes and easily separates after cooking.
However, these potatoes are great for making…
- baked potatoes
- French fries
- potato chips
- mashed potatoes
So let’s start actually cooking by using the cooking method that we are currently talking about—deep frying—by frying up some potato chips and French fries..
Münchner Schnitzel…or Munich schnitzel) for those of us who took German in school or lived there and still can’t umlaut…is a type of schnitzel that that is prepared with horseradish and/or mustard before brading.
- 4 pork chops
1 tsp mustard, spicy brown1 tsp horseradish sauce
.Poud out or cube pork chops. Season with salt and pepper
Combine horseradish and mustard..
Spread onto the pork chops.
Refrigerate for at least one hour,
Start melting 6Tbsp butter in your skillet so that it will be hot when you add the meat.
Set up your breading station.
Stir together eggs and milk.
Place your breading ingredients in the appropriate bowls.
Bread your pork chops.
Pan fry your chops until they are golden brown on each side. Sserve, offvering mustard as a condfiment.
Panfrying is an easy and straightforward dry cooking method that is used all over the world, giving us such great foods as breaded pork chops and chicken cutlets.
Panfrying allows you to get dinner on the table more quickly than several of the other cooking methods that we have or will be discussing…as long as you prepare as much as possible before throwing the first pork chop into the oil…and as long as the food that you will be cooking is actually food suited for this cooking method.
Panfrying simply involves cooking food in a heavy pan containing a small amount of hot oil over moderate heat until it is brown on one side, then flipping it over so that the other side browns also.
The oil should only cover half of the food’s height, unlike deep frying where the food is completely suspended in oil. The fact that the food actually touches the bottom of the pan means that the crust will be even darker than if it had been floating in the oil.
Panfried foods are often covered with some sort of breading before being added to the hot oil…(more on this later)…
This layer creates a barrier that prevents the oil from soaking into the food and making it greasy
As food is panfried, the moisture contained in the inside part of the meat turns into steam and then has a battle with the very hot oil surrounding it. The steam fights to keep the oil out, while the oil fights to keep the moisture in.
Actually I was a little puzzled about why frying would be considered as a “dry cooking method” even though the food is cooked in liquid.
Supposedly this is the case because oil is actually a fat that contains no water at all.
Even though both oil and water are liquids, oil behaves much differently than water.
Fewer flavor compounds found in food dissolve in oil. This means that foods cooked in oil are less likely to lose their flavor than those same foods cooked in water.
Save water for making stocks and broths, since so much of the flavor originally found in the food will be dissolved into the water anyway..
The goal of panfrying is to maintain a moist interior while at the same time creating a crisp, tasty, golden-brown crust, Pan-fried foods are favored for these browned surfaces, crisp coatings, and tender interiors.
Panfrying is an effective way to not only retain the moisture and tenderness that these cuts of meat such as pork chops should have, but also to add rich, caramelized flavor.
Food that has been panfried correctly should have a moist interior and a crispy exterior that you refuse to share with anybody.
One primary difference between panfrying and sauteeing, that we talked about in this previous post, is that panfrying uses lower heat.
This lower heat is important because panfrying involves cooking whole pieces of meat, not food that has already been cut into smaller pieces before cooking. If your temperature is too high, the exterior of the food will overcook while the interior of the food will be undercoked…(ever cut into a hot piece of chieken only to find that the interior is still pink)…
In these next few posts, we will discuss the right equipment, the proper oils, which foods are best for panfrying…and how frying food can be done so that it isn’t quite as bad for my diabetic husband and my own big fat butt…
Zhejiang cuisine tends to be the simplest of all Chinese regional cuisines.
The focus of Zhejiang cuisine seems to be simplicity. The people of the region focus more on serving fresh seasonal produce served crispy, perhaps even raw or almost raw…much like Japanese food….fresh seafood…and
Zhejiang cuisine tends to be fresh, soft, and smooth with a mellow fragrance.,.,, with a good balance between saltiness and umami
Zhejiang cuisine uses a wide variety of cooking methods—including braising, sautéing, stewing, steaming, and deep-frying.
As far as meat, Zhejiang cuisins uses many different varieties of fresh seafood and freshwater fish caught from local rivers.
As far as sauce, Zhejiang cuisine tends to focus on simple marinades—such as a simple mixture of vinegar and sugar—instead of the more complicated sauces and marinades found in other Chinese regional cuisines.
As far as spices, Zhejiang cuisine tends to be lightly seasoned and veer on the salty side..
Examples of foods that you might find include…