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Subject: Puffer for potato starch?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: spope33[at]speedymail.org (Steve Pope)
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 20:44:56 +0000 (UTC)
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I sometimes like to thicken a sauce by directly adding
potato starch to it, then stirring.  This works reasonably
well, but sometimes small lumps of potato starch remain
undissolved.  I notice that the occurence of lumpiness
is less if to begin with I carefully spread the starch over
the surface of the sauce in as thin a layer as possible.

What I'd like is a device that could puff a fine mist
of potato starch; I figure I could do that a few times, 
stirring it in, without getting lumps.

Any idea of what sort of device is available that would
do this?  I'm familiar with misters for liquids, such as
oil, but what about powders?

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From: Helen Harrand 
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 16:20:27 -0700
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I don't know if this is a serious question or not but have you ever thought
of using a small sieve?   Light coating, no muss, no fuss.

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From: spope33[at]speedymail.org (Steve Pope)
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 21:50:13 +0000 (UTC)
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Helen Harrand wrote:
> I don't know if this is a serious question or not but have you ever thought
> of using a small sieve?   Light coating, no muss, no fuss.

(Yes, it's a serious question.)

Great idea, I hadn't thought of that.

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From: Boron Elgar 
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 18:21:28 -0400
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Steve Pope wrote:
>Great idea, I hadn't thought of that.

The other thing you can do is remove some of the liquid you are
heating, mix it well with the potato starch and re-introduce it into
the saucepan. That is certainly a method I have used when thickening
with cornstarch.

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From: spope33[at]speedymail.org (Steve Pope)
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 22:32:06 +0000 (UTC)
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Boron Elgar wrote:
>The other thing you can do is remove some of the liquid you are
>heating, mix it well with the potato starch and re-introduce it into
>the saucepan. That is certainly a method I have used when thickening
>with cornstarch.

Yes, I sometimes do this and it does help.  

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From: Steve Wertz 
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 00:28:25 GMT
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Steve Pope wrote:
> Any idea of what sort of device is available that would
> do this?  I'm familiar with misters for liquids, such as
> oil, but what about powders?

Mix it into a paste with a little cold water, then add to the
sauce.

This is Basic Sauces 101 stuff.

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From: spope33[at]speedymail.org (Steve Pope)
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 03:32:33 +0000 (UTC)
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Steve Wertz wrote:

>Mix it into a paste with a little cold water, then add to the
>sauce.

Thanks, I'll give the a try.

>This is Basic Sauces 101 stuff.

Perhaps, but lots of sources say to add potato starch directly
to a sauce to thicken it.

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From: Mr Libido Incognito 
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 03:46:56 GMT
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Steve Pope wrote:
> >This is Basic Sauces 101 stuff.
> 
> Perhaps, but lots of sources say to add potato starch directly
> to a sauce to thicken it.

Investing in a wand/stick blender will help you not get lumpy sauces. 
Most thickening agents such as flour, corn starch, arrowroot and potato 
starch etc... need to be pre mixed in a little of the liquid you're using 
to make the sauce or you risk lumps. I find using a jar with a lid works 
well put the starch in the jar with some of the liquid...put on the lid 
and shake vigorously. This ensures a smooth paste gets added to the 
sauce....failing that use the stick blender...it'll unlump just about 
anything.

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From: spope33[at]speedymail.org (Steve Pope)
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 04:41:12 +0000 (UTC)
--------
Mr Libido Incognito wrote:
>Investing in a wand/stick blender will help you not get lumpy sauces. 
>Most thickening agents such as flour, corn starch, arrowroot and potato 
>starch etc... need to be pre mixed in a little of the liquid you're using 
>to make the sauce or you risk lumps. 

I certainly would expect flour to form lumps, unless you start with
a roux.   There's some sort of major chemistry difference between
grain flours and root starches -- I forget the details, but you
can find them in McGee.

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From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 31 Jul 2006 17:40:11 +0200
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Oh pshaw, Steve Pope was muttering about...
> Any idea of what sort of device is available that would
> do this?  I'm familiar with misters for liquids, such as
> oil, but what about powders?

Steve, I own two of these...one for sugar and one for flour.  Works well 
for me...

http://www.preparedpantry.com/browseproducts/Sugar-and-Flour-Shaker.html


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