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Doug Surplus

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I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Doug Surplus » Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:34 am

I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner and set the yams in the oven to bake for making cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes. (I've never found yams/sweet potatoes to taste as good boiled or microwaved). I closed the oven door and prepared to start peeling potatoes, and stopped. I thought, why not bake them as well. So I did and turned out the best mashed potatoes I've ever made or tasted. All I added to them was cream, butter, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a pinch of garlic powder.
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Mike Conner

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Mike Conner » Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:49 am

Doug,

Do you wrap them in foil first? (I'm guessing yes here).

A suggestion... after cleaning them, but just before wrapping in foil, generously spread salt on the outside while still wet/moist. I believe this helps to draw some moisture out of the potato itself and keeps the skins from getting too well done before the potato is cooked/steamed inside the foil. And, for a potato loving guy like me, keeps the moisture of the potato at a good point so you can add even more butter and such to the mashed mix (but, unless terribly overcooked, the potatos remain plenty moist).

Thanks,

Mike


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Carl Eppig

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Carl Eppig » Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:05 pm

I don't think wrapping potatoes white or sweet in foil does a thing for them. My understanding is that it is a practice left over from WWII when the cooks wrapped potatoes in foil and cooked them in hot resin. When the guys came from the war they were used to getting "baked" potatoes on their plate wrapped in foil. So wives, girlfriends, and restaurants started doing it.
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ChefCarey

Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by ChefCarey » Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:22 pm

Carl Eppig (Middleton, NH wrote:I don't think wrapping potatoes white or sweet in foil does a thing for them. My understanding is that it is a practice left over from WWII when the cooks wrapped potatoes in foil and cooked them in hot resin. When the guys came from the war they were used to getting "baked" potatoes on their plate wrapped in foil. So wives, girlfriends, and restaurants started doing it.


Actually, wrapping the potatoes in foil does do something to them. It totally destroys the starchy fluffiness inherent in the whole idea of a baked potato. The potato steams instead of bakes and the starches never fluff. The flesh of the potato will be dense and hard. And nasty.

Never wrap a potato to be baked in foil!
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Thomas

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Thomas » Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:51 pm

Thank you Chef Carey. I have argued that point in my family since I could talk--but none of them would listen!
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Larry Greenly

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Larry Greenly » Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:44 pm

ChefCarey wrote:
Carl Eppig (Middleton, NH wrote:I don't think wrapping potatoes white or sweet in foil does a thing for them. My understanding is that it is a practice left over from WWII when the cooks wrapped potatoes in foil and cooked them in hot resin. When the guys came from the war they were used to getting "baked" potatoes on their plate wrapped in foil. So wives, girlfriends, and restaurants started doing it.


Actually, wrapping the potatoes in foil does do something to them. It totally destroys the starchy fluffiness inherent in the whole idea of a baked potato. The potato steams instead of bakes and the starches never fluff. The flesh of the potato will be dense and hard. And nasty.

Never wrap a potato to be baked in foil!


I couldn't have said it better myself, and I'm wondering why I didn't. You might as well boil them if you put them in foil.
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Doug Surplus

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Doug Surplus » Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:44 pm

I don't ever wrap them in foil - that steams them instead of baking.

In this case I just scrubbed the outside of the pototaes and baked them plain, but often when baking potatoes I rub them with olive oil and season them with salt, pepper and garlic.
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Thomas

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Thomas » Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:07 pm

Doug Surplus wrote:I don't ever wrap them in foil - that steams them instead of baking.

In this case I just scrubbed the outside of the pototaes and baked them plain, but often when baking potatoes I rub them with olive oil and season them with salt, pepper and garlic.


Doug, next time try rubbing with olve oil and seasoning with thyme and garlic.
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Larry Greenly

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Larry Greenly » Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:16 pm

Doug Surplus wrote:I don't ever wrap them in foil - that steams them instead of baking.

In this case I just scrubbed the outside of the pototaes and baked them plain, but often when baking potatoes I rub them with olive oil and season them with salt, pepper and garlic.


Now that's good! As a matter of curiosity, do you use a nail or some such metal skewer when baking spuds?
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Cynthia Wenslow

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Cynthia Wenslow » Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:19 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:As a matter of curiosity, do you use a nail or some such metal skewer when baking spuds?


My mom always did, I don't.

I often rub with olive oil and herbs & spices. My mother thinks this is very radical. :roll:
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Doug Surplus

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Doug Surplus » Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:59 pm

No nails or skewers in my taters.
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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Larry Greenly » Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:03 pm

I gotta admit that I usually use a small skewer to get some extra heat into the center--and it vents the spud, to boot (I've had some explode).
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Robert J.

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Re: I'll never boil potatoes for mashing again

by Robert J. » Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:42 am

I've found that, when boiling potatoes, it is nice to leave the skin on and boil them whole. After they have boiled, then remove the skin and mash them; or run them through a food mill for a more mousse-like texture. I like to use Yukons for this.

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