With the vacation season across the nook, finessing the excellent potato recipe could be the distinction between getting all the reward from your loved ones (and countless requests for the recipe) and an embarrassing stroll of disgrace as you allow the get-together with a container full of untouched leftovers of your individual dish.
To spare your self any last-minute kitchen chaos, there’s one important but tremendous straightforward cooking method that may aid you grasp this deceivingly advanced spud in a matter of seconds. And it boils all the way down to (actually) the temperature of the water you utilize to cook dinner your potatoes. So, in case you’re prepared to remodel your Russets and Yukon Golds into scrumptious—not mealy—nourishing potato dishes, pay attention up!
Learn how to boil potatoes in order that they don’t get mealy
We’re simply going to come back proper out and say it: Cease cooking potatoes as in the event that they're pasta. When making a batch of macaroni and cheese, you usually wait till a big pot of water has come to a rolling boil after which throw in your noodles—which could naturally look like the best factor to do in the case of potatoes, too. Nevertheless, this is not the case. As an alternative, it’s a one-way ticket to mealy, mushy spuds.
The excellent news is that avoiding this grim future for one among our favourite gut-friendly veggies of all time is easy: Toss them into the pot of water whereas it’s nonetheless chilly, and then convey it to a boil. Why? Because the water slowly warms up, the onerous potatoes can cook dinner right through extra evenly. If you happen to add them as soon as the water is already boiling, it’ll cook dinner the skin floor a lot quicker than the within—which can be why you constantly want so as to add just a few extra minutes to the timer as you retain discovering they’re too onerous within the heart when pierced with a knife (and slowly disintegrating on the skin).
One of the best forms of potatoes for boiling
It’s additionally essential to notice that not all potatoes share the identical traits—and a few are higher suited to making crispy roasted potatoes versus creamy mash than others. Typically talking, there are three major classes of potatoes: starchy, waxy, and all-purpose. Starchy potatoes are like Russet or Japanese candy potatoes, that are starchier on the within, have low moisture content material, and simply break down when cooked. These are perfect for frying and baking to organize dishes like french fries, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, or gnocchi.
The second sort is waxy. Suppose: New potatoes, Purple Bliss, pee wees, and fingerlings. They’re usually low in starch and excessive in moisture and have creamier flesh and waxy pores and skin. Additionally they have a tendency to carry their form higher when cooked and are finest suited to dishes like gratins, pommes anna, soups, or salads—the place you wish to hold their form intact and never disintegrate upon contact.
Lastly, all-purpose potatoes like Yukon Gold, white, and blue (or purple) potatoes can just about do all of it. These could be roasted, pan-fried, stewed, mashed; you title it. (BTW, Yukon Gold potatoes are normally the very best for mashed potatoes resulting from their well-balanced starchiness and naturally buttery taste.)
TL;DR? Of the three, waxy potatoes are finest for boiling, because the low starch content material and creamy inside assist them keep their form as they cook dinner down. On the flip aspect, starchy potatoes can simply be overcooked or waterlogged when boiled—so don’t count on them to make a wealthy and easy mashed potato.
Do you have to salt the water when boiling potatoes?
Though the best way you cook dinner potatoes and pasta isn’t the identical, they do share one factor in widespread: Salting the water is a should. When potatoes and pasta heat up, the starches in these meals can extra simply soak up flavors within the cooking liquid than when uncooked or cooled down. Because of this it’s additionally essential to salt the water—salty like the ocean—while you make potatoes, too. Until you’re okay with under-seasoned mashed potatoes…which is a criminal offense in my guide.
BTW, the rule of thumb is about one to 2 tablespoons of salt per pound of potatoes. Nevertheless, we received’t cease you from including a bit extra to ensure they’re as flavorful as could be.
An RD shares the advantages of potatoes: