[Previous Thread] [Return to BigSpud: The Potato Recipe Collection Menu][Next Thread]

Subject: Silly mashed potato question
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: mugsymoesd[at]aol.com (Daisy Duke)
Date: 29 May 2002 16:26:05 GMT
--------
What is the rationale behind putting the potatoes into cold water to boil
instead of already boiling water?  I've never known the answer to this.

Also.........Emeril suggests mashing the potatoes with the butter and milk over
low heat. I have noticed they come out better when I do this, but how come?

Thanks for any insight into my silly questions.

Laurie

============================

From: Steve Martin 
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 17:11:40 +0100
--------
The latest thinking from chef Heston Blumenthal.

quote.

Butter them up

When it comes to the humble spud, beauty is definitely more than skin
deep. Mashed, crushed or puréed, they are fabulous. But before you reach
for the peeler, take a little time to understand their needs

Heston Blumenthal
Saturday February 2, 2002
The Guardian

Whether it is the ethereal, silky pommes purée of haute cuisine, the good
old-fashioned British mash or the à la mode crushed potatoes, there is a
technique for preparing the humble spud that not only gives astonishing
results but also is surprisingly convenient.
At the restaurant, we used to make potato purée twice a day, keeping it
warm in a water bath, before whisking in hot milk as and when necessary.
This whole process was not only a complete pain, but it also meant that
the leftover purée had to be discarded - an immoral and costly waste of
food, in my opinion.
In his book, The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten devotes an
entire chapter to puréed potatoes, in which he explains that manufacturers
of dried potato flakes had to find a way to minimise the amount of gluey
starch present before the potatoes were dried. Otherwise, the starch would
become concentrated during the drying process, producing a substance not
dissimilar to wallpaper paste. The process that they adopted to prevent
this disaster involved pre-soaking the potatoes at room temperature, so
that the starch contained in the potatoes begins to gelatinise. The starch
molecules then remain separate from each other during the final cooking
process, which involves putting them into salted, simmering water until
cooked. As a result, the starch, now dispersed in the potato, will not
clump together before freeing itself to make the dreaded gluey purée.
The real beauty of adapting this approach for the home or professional
kitchen is that you can make the base in advance. When you want to serve
it, simply reheat the potatoes, whisking in hot milk until the desired
consistency has been reached.
You will notice the difference between the purée produced by this method
and that from the more traditional approach. The resulting dish has a
really crumbly texture to it, with no gluey character whatsoever.
But be warned: there is one disadvantage to puréeing potatoes in this way,
and that is that the margin for error really is not great. To ensure
perfect results, either arm yourself with a trusty digital probe or a
thermometer that is calibrated to fahrenheit.

Basic recipe

This procedure forms the template from which you can produce potatoes that
are guaranteed to please.
1.5kg potatoes (Belle de Fontenay or Charlotte varieties are ideal)
Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices of about 2.5cm thick. The
important thing here is that the slices need to be of uniform thickness,
as what may appear to the eye to be only a small difference in thickness
might well be as much as 15%. This would mean that a 30-minute cooking
time for one piece may well be five minutes too short for another. After
slicing, leave the slices in a colander under cold running water for a few
minutes, to wash off any excess starch, then drain.
Now for the soaking process: fill a casserole large enough comfortably to
hold the potatoes and water. The quantity of water should be enough to
cover the potatoes by a couple of centimetres. Do not put the potatoes in
yet.
Very gently heat the pan to 175F and wait for 10 minutes to make sure that
the temperature remains constant. Now add the potatoes. The temperature
should drop to 165F. Maintain this temperature for 30 minutes. Drain the
potatoes, and immediately place in a bowl under running water until quite
cold. Now the potatoes are ready to be cooked.
Bring another pan of water to the simmer, and salt it so that it has the
taste of seawater. Add the potatoes and cook until soft. The potatoes are
ready when a knife easily penetrates them, with no resistance. Be careful
not to overcook them, else the purée will become too wet.
Drain the potatoes and run them under cold water until they have
completely cooled down. Dry them thoroughly by putting the potatoes back
in a pan on a low heat and gently shaking them. Now they are ready to be
mashed, crushed or puréed.

Good old-fashioned mash

Simply add butter or olive oil, or a combination of the two, together with
some simmering milk or cream, or, again, a mixture of the two. Then mash
the potatoes as you would do normally. If you do not want to serve
immediately, add only the butter and allow the mix to cool down before
putting it in an airtight container and keeping it in the fridge. When you
want to serve, heat gently in a pan, whisking in a little more hot milk
and cream to taste.

Crushed potatoes

The aim of this dish is to end up with mashed potato that still has small
chunks in it, to give you a variation in texture. With the back of a fork,
crush the potatoes while adding butter and or olive oil, along with other
ingredients of your choice. For example, you can add chopped shallots,
confit tomatoes, chopped herbs such as parsley, chives, basil or
coriander, olives, capers or cooked bacon.
Once again, if not serving immediately, cool and refrigerate the potato
before adding the flavourings. With this dish, you can simply re-heat the
potatoes in the oven before adding the extra flavours.

Pommes purée

At the restaurant, we make this dish with just milk and butter - quite
large quantities of butter, in fact: around 400g of unsalted butter for
every kilogram of potatoes. Personally, if I was making this for the
children, I'd use less butter; say, 200g per kg of potato. If, however,
the purée is for a big lunch or special dinner, I'd increase the quantity
to 300g. Ideally, you should use a ricer for this job, although a
vegetable mill should do the trick, too.
Cut the butter into cubes of about one inch and place them in a large
bowl. With the cooked potatoes still hot, push the vegetables through the
ricer and on to the cubed butter. The ricer works best because you are not
working the potatoes across a sieve, which will produce a more gluey mash.
For the same reason, never use a food processor, unless you want your
guests to be eating the savoury equivalent of bubblegum.
At the restaurant, we then pass the purée through a flat, very fine-meshed
drum sieve, which gives it a lighter, more silky texture. It's up to you
if you want to do the same, though I'd recommend trying it at least once.
You can prepare the purée in advance up to this stage. It will keep in the
fridge for a few days.
To serve, re-heat gently in a pan while gradually whisking in a little
simmering milk. To the purée you could add melted cheese, chopped herbs or
grain mustard. The choice is yours.

end quote.

============================

From: J Quick 
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 00:55:57 GMT
--------
Steve Martin wrote:
> The latest thinking from chef Heston Blumenthal.

It's hard to tell who screwed this information up first, Blumenthal or
Steingarten.  I'll blame Blumenthal, since it's his article.

> quote.
>
> Butter them up
> [snip]
> The process that they adopted to prevent
> this disaster involved pre-soaking the potatoes at room temperature, so
> that the starch contained in the potatoes begins to gelatinise.

Presoaking the potatoes at room temp doesn't gelatinize them.  Gelatinizing
starch (with moisture) occurs around 60C-70C, not at room temp.  Above these
temperatures and approaching boiling, the starch cells will begin to lose their
structure and ability to bind to each other.  Contrary to this article, the goal
of this process is to gelatinize the starch and then slowly cool it down to
recrystalize it, which is called starch retrogradation, meaning the act of
reverting back to it's original form.

Soaking the potatoes at room temp would be to prevent discoloring due to
oxidation.

Later in the article during the description of the process, note that there
doesn't seem to be any "pre-soaking" at room temp.  The process goes from
peeling to slicing to rinsing to "soaking" (cooking) at 175 deg F., which is
much hotter than any room I'd ever want to be in.

> The starch  molecules then remain separate from each other during the final
> cooking  process, which involves putting them into salted, simmering water
> until  cooked.
> As a result, the starch, now dispersed in the potato, will not
> clump together before freeing itself to make the dreaded gluey purée.

As I understand it, the goal of gelatinization and retrogradation is to keep the
starch molecules together, not keep them apart.  The final high temp cooking
breaks the structure of the starch cells so they it can bind to milk, butter,
etc. when puréed/mashed.

> [snip]
> Basic recipe
> This procedure forms the template from which you can produce potatoes that
> are guaranteed to please.
> 1.5kg potatoes (Belle de Fontenay or Charlotte varieties are ideal)
> Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices of about 2.5cm thick.
> [snip slicing consistency comments]
> After slicing, leave the slices in a colander under cold running water for a few
> minutes, to wash off any excess starch, then drain.
> Now for the soaking process: fill a casserole large enough comfortably to
> hold the potatoes and water. The quantity of water should be enough to
> cover the potatoes by a couple of centimetres. Do not put the potatoes in
> yet.
> Very gently heat the pan to 175F and wait for 10 minutes to make sure that
> the temperature remains constant. Now add the potatoes. The temperature
> should drop to 165F. Maintain this temperature for 30 minutes. Drain the
> potatoes, and immediately place in a bowl under running water until quite
> cold.

Reducing the temperature a more slowly than this will retain the starch (due to
tighter recrystalization) better than shocking the potatoes in cold water.

> Now the potatoes are ready to be cooked.
> Bring another pan of water to the simmer, and salt it so that it has the
> taste of seawater. Add the potatoes and cook until soft. The potatoes are
> ready when a knife easily penetrates them, with no resistance. Be careful
> not to overcook them, else the purée will become too wet.
> Drain the potatoes and run them under cold water until they have
> completely cooled down.

Cool them down AGAIN after the final higher temp boiling!?!  The temp only needs
to be cooled once for holding them ready for final prep.  The second cooking
should be the last cooking.  Drain and immediately mash with hot milk, butter,
etc.   If adding cold milk & butter, add them to the pan and and stir on low
heat, only mashing/whipping them into the potatoes after regaining full temp.

> [Snip]
> If you do not want to serve
> immediately, add only the butter and allow the mix to cool down before
> putting it in an airtight container and keeping it in the fridge. When you
> want to serve, heat gently in a pan, whisking in a little more hot milk
> and cream to taste.

This seems to miss the whole point of the process.  The point of the first low
temp cooking is to cool them down for storage in water without losing starch.
If you don't want to serve immediately, you don't do the second cooking: you
hold them cold.  If you follow this advice the whole process is peel, slice,
rinse, cook, cool, store, cook, cool, cook, mash, cool, store, reheat.  And this
is supposed to produce a good result?  It sounds more like a Navy SOS recipe.

============================

From: Dimitri 
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 16:57:40 GMT
--------
Daisy Duke wrote:
> What is the rationale behind putting the potatoes into cold water to boil
> instead of already boiling water?  I've never known the answer to this.

The same reason you use cold water for Coffee.  Hot water is generally stale
and has lost most of the suspended oxygen, using cold water also it allows
the taters to heat gradually and cook more evenly.

============================

From: J Quick 
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 18:47:35 GMT
--------
Dimitri wrote:
> The same reason you use cold water for Coffee.  Hot water is generally stale
> and has lost most of the suspended oxygen, using cold water also it allows
> the taters to heat gradually and cook more evenly.

I don't think the rationale for cooking potatoes from cold water has anything to
do with stale water.  Stale hot tap water can indeed be a problem in some
situations, but the original message referred to boiling water, not hot tap
water.
But you are correct that it's one way to allow the potatoes to heat gradually
and cook more evenly.

Adding potatoes to hot water isn't taboo.  There are other ways to ensure even
cooking.  You can safely cook potatoes at a simmer (about 170 deg. F.) for a
much longer time without overcooking them because it's hot enough to gelatinize
the starch without bursting the cells.  This can be useful to cook potatoes in
advance without losing much starch when they are cooled and later quickly
reheated for mashed potatoes.  Lookup "starch retrogradation" for details.

============================

From: Kendall F. Stratton III 
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 13:22:52 -0400
--------
Daisy Duke wrote:

> What is the rationale behind putting the potatoes into cold water to boil
> instead of already boiling water?  I've never known the answer to this.

I use cold water so that I don't burn my little tender fingertips while
dropping the 'taters into the pot of boiling water!  ;-)

Seriously... I don't see any difference at all when boiling potatoes...
whether dropping them in boiling water or starting out with cold water.   If
I'm running behind and need to cook the potatoes quickly, I'll bring the
water to a boil while dicing the potatoes.  If I have lots of time on my
hands, I'll dice the potatoes and leave them in cold water on the stove
('til I'm ready to cook them) while preparing something else.

> Also.........Emeril suggests mashing the potatoes with the butter and milk
> over low heat. I have noticed they come out better when I do this, but how
> come?

'cuz he can't mash & serve 'em quick enough to keep 'em hot!  (with all that
yellin' of  "Yeah Babe", "Food of Love" and "Happy Happy Happy" stuff takes
too much time).  I find it much easier & quicker to just keep my mouth shut
and use the old-fashioned 'tater-masher tool and mash/serve them in the same
pot -- takes only a minute or two and they're still hot.

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 29 May 2002 18:09:57 GMT
--------
K3 writes:
>I use cold water so that I don't burn my little tender fingertips while
>dropping the 'taters into the pot of boiling water!  ;-)

With sliced/diced potatoes(or other smallish bits) water temperature matters
not a whit.  With whole spuds or largish chunks starting in cold water prevents
over cooking the exterior and undercooking the interior.

============================

From: J Quick 
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 17:26:25 GMT
--------
Daisy Duke wrote:
> What is the rationale behind putting the potatoes into cold water to boil
> instead of already boiling water?  I've never known the answer to this.

It's to prevent the surface of the potatoes from overcooking while the interior
remains undercooked.  Overcooking, in this instance, means that the exterior
will get mushy because the starch has absorbed to much water to maintain its
structure.  The additional time of bringing the water to a boil gives the
interior more time to come up to temperature, so that the potato is cooked more
evenly.  The potato will cook more evenly if you decrease the size of the pieces
so that the inside can come up to temperature more quickly (but releasing more
starch into the water as well).  Using pressure cooker is another way to more
evenly cook the potato, besides the much faster cooking speed.

> Also.........Emeril suggests mashing the potatoes with the butter and milk over
> low heat. I have noticed they come out better when I do this, but how come?

The potato starch will more readily absorb liquid when hot.  Cold milk, butter,
and sour cream can greatly decrease the temp of the potato.  Low heat allows
these additions to come up to temperature without scorching the potato (if
stirred constantly) in a single pan.  If you heat up the additions separately,
they can be added directly to the hot potatoes to get the same benefit.

This is true for other starches as well.  Corn starch doesn't thicken very much
when mixed with cold water, but quickly thickens when it's heated.  This is why
you don't add dry corn starch directly to hot liquids.  It will "seize" and
immediately turn into lumps because the starch that contacts the water so
quickly and fully absorbs the liquid before the adjacent starch can.  Mixing
corn starch with cold water allows it to absorb the water slow enough that it's
easily and fully disolved first.  The disolved starch can then be added to a hot
liquid to absorb it without lumping.

This is also why you don't want to overcook potatoes.  They will absorb too much
water and not be able to absorb the flavor and texture of the additions so well.

============================

From: cmquinn[at]deletemindspring.com (Charles Quinn)
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 18:03:59 GMT
--------
Daisy Duke wrote:
>Thanks for any insight into my silly questions.

None of the replies mentioned that steamed potatoes make better mashed. Try it 
you'll like it. I normall steam mine in my rice cooker, so the water starts 
out cold.

============================

From: J Quick 
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 18:55:47 GMT
--------
Charles Quinn wrote:
> None of the replies mentioned that steamed potatoes make better mashed. Try it
> you'll like it. I normall steam mine in my rice cooker, so the water starts
> out cold.

Good point.  Steaming reduces the loss of starch into the water, making nicer
mashed potatoes.

Pressure steaming does the same thing, only in a fraction of the time (and
energy use).  Yes, I do like my pressure cookers. 

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 29 May 2002 18:09:58 GMT
--------
Daisy Duke writes:
>What is the rationale behind putting the potatoes into cold water to boil
>instead of already boiling water?  I've never known the answer to this.

Same method is preferred for boiling all large root veggies; encourages even
cooking throughout rather than cooking from outside in (which produces
overcooked outside and undercooked inside).

>Also.........Emeril suggests mashing the potatoes with the butter and milk
>over low heat. I have noticed they come out better when I do this, but how come?

Better how?

I don't do that so I can only speculate... I suggest emailing Emeril's Website.

But I do use very low heat to dry boiled potatoes before adding other
ingredients (usually in a slow oven), but then I remove potatoes from heat
before making additions... it's a good idea to have the milk and butter at room
temperature so as to prevent having cold mashed potaotes.  

Of course I prepare mashed potatoes by hand with a potato masher... it's not
possible to prepare mashed potatoes by machine (that's whipped potatoes) or
with a ricer (that's riced potatoes)... mashed potatoes have lumps, without
lumps they're not mashed potatoes.  No potato is worse than an over-worked
potato... for those who don't know how to properly prepare spuds may I suggest
dehys... if machine whipped potatoes are what you prefer it's very likely low
end dehys are what you were raised on.

============================

From: Chef Gabi 
Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 06:24:31 GMT
--------
The most damning thing that can be said about anyone's mashed potatoes
(assuming that person is a purist and uses a hand masher) is that they
have lumps!  (My father taught me how to avoid that:  skillful elbow
grease with few strokes, used on potato pieces boiled & dried of
excess moisture.)  Or should lumps be acceptable to the cook, then
they would be the perfect companion to "gray" gravy and overcooked
meat--the condemnatory triad traditionally reserved for new brides.

============================

From: Nancy Young 
Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 08:15:08 -0400
--------
Chef Gabi wrote:
> The most damning thing that can be said about anyone's mashed potatoes
> (assuming that person is a purist and uses a hand masher) is that they
> have lumps!  

Oh no, I like my mashed potatoes a little lumpy.  You can even buy
them that way, they call it Country Style (laugh).  What I cannot
stand are 'mashed' potatoes that have been whipped to glue.

============================

From: mr_pie[at]yahoo.com
Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 23:07:54 GMT
--------
Nancy Young wrote:
>Oh no, I like my mashed potatoes a little lumpy.  You can even buy
>them that way, they call it Country Style (laugh).  What I cannot
>stand are 'mashed' potatoes that have been whipped to glue.

Amen, sister!!!

============================

From: sf[at]pipeline.com (sf)
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 03:08:22 GMT
--------
Nancy Young wrote:
>Oh no, I like my mashed potatoes a little lumpy.  You can even buy
>them that way, they call it Country Style (laugh).  

I absolutely hate lumps or little pieces of skin in my mashed
potatoes.

>What I cannot
>stand are 'mashed' potatoes that have been whipped to glue.

As someone guilty of making an occasional gluey smashed potato, I can
testify it isn't don't on purpose.  It has something to do with
talking to guests and adding liquid at the same time.

============================

From: John 
Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 15:21:51 GMT
--------
Hand mashers are excellent for producing "smashed potatoes" (lumps allowed),
and potato ricers are excellent for producing the ultimate in smooth,
fluffy, mashed potatoes. ( I use the latter tool, and gently fold in warm
whole milk and melted butter.) It's a matter of personal preference.

Neither method subjects the potato to the horrors of mechanical beating,
which turns potatoes into glue.  (The absolute worst thing that a person
can do is mash potatoes in a food processor.)

============================

From: Marco of Polo 
Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 22:02:07 GMT
--------
Shirley Corriher ["Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking"]:

For Perfect Mashed Potatoes:
Cube and boil potatoes as usual.
After potatoes are completely done, cool by running them under cold water.
This crystallizes the starch and, therefore, the potatoes are not water
soluble.
Mash normally. The texture will be divine.

Serving hot mashed potatoes:
The key is doing the potatoes ahead of time, not preparing them last and
racing to the dinner table.
After mashing the potatoes, prepare them as you normally would, with butter,
cream, the works. Add a little more moisture than you would prefer.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil in an oven-safe dish and place in a
325-degree oven for 40 minutes.
Potatoes will be hot throughout and will stay hot through an entire meal.

============================

From: cmquinn[at]deletemindspring.com (Charles Quinn)
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 03:00:17 GMT
--------
Marco of Polo posted:
>For Perfect Mashed Potatoes:
>Cube and boil potatoes as usual.

Perfect and you say boil. Steaming is MUCH better. So I guess you can then 
call them better than perfect when they are steamed.

============================

From: Marco of Polo 
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 15:47:18 GMT
--------
Charles Quinn wrote:
> Perfect and you say boil. Steaming is MUCH better. So I guess you can then
> call them better than perfect when they are steamed.

From the United States Potato Board:  Obtain the best results -- Mashed
Potatoes, "In large saucepan, add cut-up (1-inch) potatoes to 2 inches
boiling water to cover. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, covered,
about 12 minutes or until tender; drain."

============================

From: cmquinn[at]deletemindspring.com (Charles Quinn)
Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2002 00:41:15 GMT
--------
Marco of Polo wrote:
>From the United States Potato Board:  Obtain the best results -- Mashed
>Potatoes, "In large saucepan, add cut-up (1-inch) potatoes to 2 inches
>boiling water to cover. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, covered,
>about 12 minutes or until tender; drain."

Try both steamed and boiled at the same time and report back to the ng.

In the Build the Ultimate burger thread this is what the US Beef Council says

The place to start, logically, is the meat. Ground beef is sold in
four styles based on fat content; extra lean (10 per cent fat or
less), lean (up to 17 per cent), medium (up to 23 per cent), and
regular (up to 30 per cent). 

Four styles? They make no mention of Ground Round or Sirloin. Don't believe 
some marketing organization, if you do, then beer and all those great cars out 
there will get you laid by incredible looking women. Form you own opinion 
based on facts.

============================

From: Marco of Polo 
Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2002 16:49:04 GMT
--------
Charles Quinn wrote:
> Try both steamed and boiled at the same time and report back to the ng.

BOILED wins --steamed is dry.

============================

From: Harry Demidavicius 
Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2002 18:13:12 -0600
--------
John wrote:
>Hand mashers are excellent for producing "smashed potatoes" (lumps allowed),
>and potato ricers are excellent for producing the ultimate in smooth,
>fluffy, mashed potatoes. ( I use the latter tool, and gently fold in warm
>whole milk and melted butter.) It's a matter of personal preference.

I rice & fold etc too.  A processor breaks down the potato "molecules"
which indeed creates the stuff to hang wall paper with.

============================

From: Marco of Polo 
Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 18:32:35 GMT
--------
Harry Demidavicius wrote:
> I rice & fold etc too.  A processor breaks down the potato "molecules"
> which indeed creates the stuff to hang wall paper with.

Shirley Corriher concurs and adds an electric mixer to that no-no list!

============================

From: Dr.Nofog 
Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 15:30:52 GMT
--------
We like lumpy mashed potatoes. Smooth pasty ones are awful.

============================

From: stan[at]temple.edu
Date: 29 May 2002 19:55:29 GMT
--------
Daisy Duke wrote:

> What is the rationale behind putting the potatoes into cold water to boil
> instead of already boiling water?  I've never known the answer to this.

Beats me! Where did you get the idea that you couldn't put the potatoes
into already boiling water? That's the way I have been cooking mashed
potatoes for more years than I can remember. You just have to be cautious
not to drop the potatoes in the boiling water hard enough to splash
yourself with the water.

> Also.........Emeril suggests mashing the potatoes with the butter and milk over
> low heat. I have noticed they come out better when I do this, but how come?

As opposed to what other cooking method? That's how I have always done
mashed potatoes.

============================

From: mugsymoesd[at]aol.com (Daisy Duke)
Date: 29 May 2002 22:45:10 GMT
--------
stan@temple wrote:
>Beats me! Where did you get the idea that you couldn't put the potatoes
>into already boiling water? Th

Not that you *can't* put them in hot water, just that it's supposed to be cold.
I've done them in hot plenty of times, but I was taught to use cold.  (the only
reason I could fathom was so that I didn't burn myself).

>> Also.........Emeril suggests mashing the potatoes with the butter and milk over
>> low heat. I have noticed they come out better when I do this, but how come?
>
>As opposed to what other cookin

As opposed to turning the heat off and then mashing them, say on the counter
instead of on the stovetop.

laurie

============================

From: Pat Meadows 
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 21:19:18 GMT
--------
Daisy Duke wrote:

>What is the rationale behind putting the potatoes into cold water to boil
>instead of already boiling water?  I've never known the answer to this.

I can't think of one either.  In fact, I've never done this.
I put the potatoes into already boiling water.  Works for me.

>Also.........Emeril suggests mashing the potatoes with the butter and milk over
>low heat. I have noticed they come out better when I do this, but how come?

Better than *what*?  I don't understand the question.

============================

From: mugsymoesd[at]aol.com (Daisy Duke)
Date: 29 May 2002 22:46:13 GMT
--------
>>Also.........Emeril suggests mashing the potatoes with the butter and milk over
>>low heat. I have noticed they come out better when I do this, but how come?
>
>Better than *what*?  I don't understand the question.

Better than when I mash them on the countertop, not on the oven on low heat.   

laurie

============================

From: Pat Meadows 
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 22:59:22 GMT
--------
Daisy Duke wrote:
>Better than when I mash them on the countertop, not on the oven on low heat.   

Oh, I see.  I hadn't noticed that but we have a gas stove,
we turn off the stove, then mash the potatoes on the stove
(but the burner is off). 

We use a heavy pot (anodized aluminum) for boiling the
potatoes and it holds the heat a long time, so I think that
is probably about the same as a lighter pot on a low flame.

============================

From: MH 
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 02:43:44 GMT
--------
Pat Meadows wrote:
> I can't think of one either.  In fact, I've never done this.
> I put the potatoes into already boiling water.  Works for me.

When Mom was alive, she always made mashed potatoes with already boiling
water, and I'm pretty sure hers were better than anything Emeril makes.

============================

From: Hiroko 
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 11:26:22 -0500
--------
MH wrote:
> When Mom was alive, she always made mashed potatoes with already boiling
> water, and I'm pretty sure hers were better than anything Emeril makes.

I think it is more that you should always use cold tap water when you start.
Hot tap water has been through the water heater and may have picked up some
bad tastes

============================

From: Pauline 
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 21:16:23 GMT
--------
(How wonderful to see that Contrarianism is alive & well and thriving
at rfc.  I applaud the defense of lumpy mashed potatoes; now if
someone will take on separated Hollandaise sauce . . .)

In case there are those who wish true lumpless mashed potatoes (no
gluey goo here), Graham Kerr recounts in one of his books that his
first test for employment in a fine hotel kitchen was to make mashed
potatoes.  The boiling & draining was Part A; then "drying" the cooked
potatoes in the pan over low heat became the crucial Part B.  When the
potatoes had just the right amount of moisture evaporated from them,
they were ready to be mashed (by hand).  This procedure guaranteed no
lumps according to him (& the hotel).


[Previous Thread] [Return to BigSpud: The Potato Recipe Collection Menu][Next Thread]