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How do you boil potatoes? - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

depending on the size of the holes in the disc at the bottom of the mill,

 

Just out of curiosity, FF, what mill do you use?


If you're asking for a manufacturer I have no idea. It's a food mill with three interchangeable screens. It says "manodomestic" on it, not sure whether or not that's the brand. 

 

post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post


 

Add hot cream, mix gently to combine, then emulsify in ungodly amounts of cold, cubed, whole butter, keeping puree very hot the entire time

Season, adjust, more cream, more butter if needed, etc.

 

 


thats what I'm saying, even with the little boiled cubes, they still soak up all the cream and butter I want to add.  But I guess you can never add too much butter. 

 

So how fast could you peel 20 lbs of boiled potatoes?  

 

post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

  • Everything exposed to enough heat energy is "self steamed," by that logic.  Self steaming is why potatoes get "fluffy" when appropriately baked or fried.  Don't take this too seriously, equating microwaving to steaming is common.  It may be wrong, but it's conventionally wrong.

 

You almost had me there; my Mr. Hyde engineering side nearly emerged talking about the electromagnetic absorption spectrum of water, 100C steam has approx. 6.8 times the energy of 100C water, blah, blah, blah. Lets just say microwaving a homogeneous food like potato is unlike conventional conduction, convection or  (IR) radiation cooking even if it truly isn't steaming in the culinary sense.

 

  • Using baked potatoes for mashing has pluses and minuses.   They're nicely dry and absorb butter and dairy well, but they over work very easily.  So, better with a mill or a ricer than a smasher.  Even so, I prefer boiled potatoes because it's quicker and I can "layer" the salt; but I do dry mine before mashing.

 

I think I'm going to have to really experiment with the food mill when it arrives.

 

  • Your ideas might be more twice than half baked.  Always hard to tell.  Do you think about cheese and bacon often?

 

All the time. In fact, I was so inspired by this thread that I stopped at the mart on the way home and grabbed a few baking Russets, 2 year old cheddar, center cut bacon, fresh chives and  natural sour cream. Maybe not the healthiest meal for the body, but sometimes the soul needs nourishment too.

 

Doug



 

post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreon View Post

(...) sour cream

 

Funny, you're the second person in this thread to mention cultured dairy (someone else mentioned creme fraiche earlier). I wonder if you are watching your weight or if you simply like the taste? Personally I don't like cultured dairy (creme fraiche, sour cream, yoghurt etc...) anywhere near my mashed potatoes. When I feel guilty I'll use more milk and less butter, or less cream, but never cultured dairy.

post #35 of 44
So here is some half baked science that I picked up from America's Test Kitchen...
According to them there is two parts to a starch molecule. The part that plumps when it absorbs water and the protein( glue). When you over boil the potato( or over work the mash), the plumper expands the cell walls so the glue can escape and make everything gummy. Boiling the potatoes skin on allows the potato to better hold its structure and keep the glue inside. Similarly, steaming( forget why but I'll guess something to do with density of steam vs water) can help with the plumping problem.
Now, their recommendation for the best method of preventing the glue from being released calls for par- steaming cubed, peeled potatoes then shocking. Then steaming a second time until done. Something with the shocking inhibits the plumper's ability to absorb more water. From here you can rice or mill or whatever floats your boat.

If you've seen this episode or are more scientifically endowed, perhaps you could shed some more light or correct any errors I( or they) have made. I haven't seen the episode in more than a year and have paraphrased quite a bit. While we're being honest, I've never tried this technique myself. Been tempted, but really I'm pretty good with boiling the whole potatoes without overdoing it.

Ricer vs mill... I use the ricer. It's smaller and easier to clean. Though I suppose if I where doing larger amounts at home I could change my stance. At work, I put them through the meat grinder.

Sour cream... I cannot truly enjoy mashed potatoes without sour cream, cheese, butter, and bacon. The more the merrier! What do you really need a heart for anyway!
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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post #36 of 44

 I wonder if you are watching your weight or if you simply like the taste?

 

Strange. I've never associated these things particularly with healthy. Well, yogurt, maybe. But they all taste good, and bring an additional flavor boost to mashed spuds. Ditto when piled on top of a baked one.

 

They also affect the texture of mashed potatoes differently than milk.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #37 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

 

Funny, you're the second person in this thread to mention cultured dairy (someone else mentioned creme fraiche earlier). I wonder if you are watching your weight or if you simply like the taste? Personally I don't like cultured dairy (creme fraiche, sour cream, yoghurt etc...) anywhere near my mashed potatoes. When I feel guilty I'll use more milk and less butter, or less cream, but never cultured dairy.



If sour cream is for the weight-conscious then give me a tub of it!  Potatoes and sour cream were meant for each other.  That little bit of tanginess really pairs well with the earthiness of the spud.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #38 of 44

I realize I just used the word "healthy" when I really was talking about nothing more than the calorie count. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with it, but I've always considered sour cream to be a "healthy" (lower calories) alternative to creme fraiche - and certainly lower in calories than butter or cream. 

 

KYH, it's funny, you mention using sour cream on top of a baked potato... and in my mind THAT works perfectly well. Go figure why I can't imagine using sour cream for mashed potatoes. Chalk it up to a cultural habit maybe? 

post #39 of 44

I don't particularly pay attention to calories when I cook. But just checked the nutrition label, and in 2 tbls of sour cream there are 50 calories from fat, and a total of 60. Is that a lot or a little?

 

True, it's only about 25% of butter's calorie count, and less than half that of heavy cream. But, even so......? I don't have any cream fraiche handy, right now, so have no idea what it's count would be. Yogurt is 130 calories per cup. I haven't a clue how that translates to a comparable sourcream/butter serving. But whole milk is only 150---70 from fat---which isn't a whole lot different.

 

Be that as it may, I don't substitute cultured dairy for the butter. I use it in addition to. So it won't have any low-calorie effects by the time I'm done.

 

Cultural habit? Who can say. There's nothing in my background, one way or the other, about this. It's just the way I do it.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #40 of 44

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

I don't particularly pay attention to calories when I cook.

You probably do, only you don't realize it because you don't think in terms of numbers. But if your mashed potatoes had 1 lbs of butter per 2 lbs of potatoes you'd most probably make smaller servings than if your mashed potatoes had 1/2 lbs of butter per 2 lbs of potatoes - and in both cases you'd be equally satisfied because you get the same amount of calories. 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Cultural habit? Who can say. There's nothing in my background, one way or the other, about this. It's just the way I do it.

I wasn't referring to your cultural habits, I was referring to mine. I don't think I've ever heard anyone in France using cultured dairy in mashed potatoes, hence my comment.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

I don't particularly pay attention to calories when I cook. But just checked the nutrition label, and in 2 tbls of sour cream there are 50 calories from fat, and a total of 60. Is that a lot or a little?

It depends: compared to what? Butter > Cream > Creme Fraiche > Sour Cream > Yogurt

post #41 of 44

This is another one where I pull out the pressure cooker at home.  Like usual the pressure cooker does the best job of holding potato flavor while manipulating the texture for the better.  Use a pressure cooker and you won't need to worry about a food mill.  Under pressure you can raise the internal temperature of a potato much higher than normal which makes a great texture where you're not just trading off between gummy and lumpy.

 

When I was making them all the time in a pro kitchen I'd steam them, mix them in a huge stand mixer, and run them through a meat grinder (which got really really hot!).

post #42 of 44

If you need to steam a large batch of potatoes, you could use a Chinese style stacked steamer.  $20-30 at a reasonably stocked Asian market.  Aluminum and typically 14 inches across or so with at least two steaming tiers.  I have several and I use them for large steaming jobs (dim sum, bao, tamales, etc.).  Every kitchen should have at least one.

post #43 of 44


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by benway View Post

This is another one where I pull out the pressure cooker at home.  Like usual the pressure cooker does the best job of holding potato flavor while manipulating the texture for the better.  Use a pressure cooker and you won't need to worry about a food mill.  Under pressure you can raise the internal temperature of a potato much higher than normal which makes a great texture where you're not just trading off between gummy and lumpy.


Great idea, thanks for sharing! I'll definitely have to try that. 

 

post #44 of 44

I must be some kind of nerd, this has really been an interesting discussion.  At home next time I think I'll try; cubed peeled potatoes in the pressure cooker, shock, couple minutes in microwave until hot, rice or mill, gently stir in hot cream and cold butter, cultured dairy optional.  Salt, white pepper, and who adds nutmeg?  I like nutmeg, even with the tang of creme fraiche. 

 

I did try a comparison of peeled, cubed and blanched vs. whole, unpeeled and steamed.  and I was surprised how much more butter and cream the steamed potatoes needed to get to the same consistency.  Seemed like the steamed potatoes also had more "potato" flavor. 

 

 

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