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Subject: Sticky shredded potatoes
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
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From: Sylvia 
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 04:05:42 GMT
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I needed to fix some potatoes quickly for dinner tonight, and the kids 
don't particularly like steamed or nuked potatoes, so I shredded them 
and then sauteed them.  But instead of nicely-browned individual shreds, 
I got clumps of gluey mass that never did brown.  What did I do wrong?

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From: JeanineAlyse29[at]webtv.net (Richard's ~JA~)
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003 21:31:01 -0700 (PDT)
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I find that grating potatoes severs the natural starch out far more than
does merely slicing them does, therefore I cold water rinse and drain
them well before patting between paper towels to dry as much as possible
before frying.  Works well every time.

   Picky ~JA~

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From: Peter Aitken 
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 13:44:16 GMT
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Richard's ~JA~ wrote:
> I find that grating potatoes severs the natural starch out far more than
> does merely slicing them does, therefore I cold water rinse and drain
> them well before patting between paper towels to dry as much as possible
> before frying.  Works well every time.

I agree. My approach is to grade them into cold water then drain, wrap in a
clean towel and wring as much water as possible out just before cooking.

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From: Julianne 
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 09:02:59 -0500
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Richard's ~JA~ wrote:
> I find that grating potatoes severs the natural starch out far more than
> does merely slicing them does, therefore I cold water rinse and drain
> them well before patting between paper towels to dry as much as possible
> before frying.  Works well every time.

I make fresh hash browns for my kid regularly.  I find that the oil MUST be
hot before putting adding the potatoes or they do come out sticky.  I mostly
buy russet potatoes and when I shred them, I leave the skin intact.  I use
canola oil or peanut oil for frying as butter and olive oil won't get as hot
without burning.

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From: Sylvia 
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 00:54:54 GMT
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Julianne wrote:
> I find that the oil MUST be hot before putting adding the potatoes or 
> they do come out sticky.

Then that's the one thing I did right.

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From: Sylvia 
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 00:53:07 GMT
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I wondered later if I should have rinsed them.  Naturally, I didn't 
think of that until AFTER they were in the pan cooking ...

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From: wardna[at]aol.com (Neil)
Date: 20 Oct 2003 10:35:42 GMT
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Sylvia wrote:
>shredded them 
>and then sauteed them

That's sort of the system for making GREAT potato pancakes, except you gather
your shreds into little clumps (pressed down lightly) and, rather than
"sautee," FRY them in a good 1/8 - 1/4 inches of hot, hot oil, flipping them
(not stir-frying them) only once, and salting them after the flip.  They should
be golden on each side.  (Drain on paper towels.)

Works best, of course, with firm, new potatoes, high in moisture.

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From: Sylvia 
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 00:53:39 GMT
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I thought potato pancakes needed to be made with precooked potatoes.

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From: wardna[at]aol.com (Neil)
Date: 21 Oct 2003 20:37:42 GMT
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Sylvia wrote:
>I thought potato pancakes needed to be made with precooked potatoes.

Not at all.  Raw shredded potatoes should be used; frying out the moisture in
hot oil is what makes them crispy.

. . . if by "potato pancakes" you mean fried shredded potatoes, not the "mashed
potato" concoctions some refer to by this term.

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From: sandynne[at]aol.com (Sandy n ne)
Date: 22 Oct 2003 03:35:49 GMT
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I shred my potatoes into a bowl of cold, salted water. Then drain it well,
spread the shredded potatoes out on a tea towel to drain a little more,
sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, then throw them  into a hot skillet
with a liberal amount of oil.  Let it set for a few minutes until well brown,
then flip the mess over a section at a time. Put the lid on the skillet and
cook a few more minutes. This is how my mom did it, so that's how I do it, and
it's fool proof. 

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From: Melba's Jammin' 
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 09:51:50 -0500
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Sylvia wrote:
> I needed to fix some potatoes quickly for dinner tonight, and the kids 
> don't particularly like steamed or nuked potatoes, so I shredded them 
> and then sauteed them.  But instead of nicely-browned individual shreds, 
> I got clumps of gluey mass that never did brown.  What did I do wrong?

All that potato starch. . . .Shred, rinse well in cool water - a couple 
times, drain, pat a little with a paper towel, fry.  Nice.

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From: TonyP 
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 17:35:10 GMT
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Sylvia wrote:
> I needed to fix some potatoes quickly for dinner tonight, and the kids 
> don't particularly like steamed or nuked potatoes, so I shredded them 
> and then sauteed them.  But instead of nicely-browned individual shreds, 
> I got clumps of gluey mass that never did brown.  What did I do wrong?

I like to par-boil the potatoes, refrigerate then shred and fry.

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From: Jimmy Tango 
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 20:24:06 GMT
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Sylvia wrote:
> I needed to fix some potatoes quickly for dinner tonight, and the kids
> don't particularly like steamed or nuked potatoes, so I shredded them
> and then sauteed them.  But instead of nicely-browned individual shreds,
> I got clumps of gluey mass that never did brown.  What did I do wrong?

You need to rinse the shreds with cold water, then drain and squeeze them
thoroughly with paper towels.  Fry, and enjoy!

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From: Tiyanath[at]yippee.com (Sapphire)
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 02:22:19 GMT
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Jimmy Tango wrote:
>You need to rinse the shreds with cold water, then drain and squeeze them
>thoroughly with paper towels.  Fry, and enjoy!

I know some people will think this is weird, but I shred the potatoes,
then soak them in cold salt water for about 15 minutes before draining
them and patting out the water with paper towels.  It saves me the
trouble of salting them while I'm cooking them.  The Hubby adds more
salt when I'm done, but I like less salt than he does (but for some
reason I always want salt on potatoes (except baked ones)).


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