Let’s talk about everybody’s comfort food – potatoes! Universally loved, they are hearty, soft and filling and delicious whichever way you cook them. From mashed to baked, roasted to scalloped, there are endless ways to serve potatoes. Because they are so versatile, they make the perfect side dish, appetizer or main meal for any occasion.
Different types of potatoes
Potatoes fall into three basic categories – starchy, waxy and the in-between which is referred to as all-purpose. Starchy potatoes are great for baking and frying as their starch don’t hold well when they are cooked. However, they are fluffy and absorb well, making them perfect for that buttery baked potato dish or fried with oil.
The waxy type is smoother and has a waxy texture so they hold their shape well. They are more suitable for soups, stews, potato salad and scalloped potatoes where you need to boil, slice or roast them. The all-purpose potatoes are less starchy; hence they will work for most potato dishes.
Tips for cooking potatoes
- Potatoes are easy to cook and can be used in different cooking styles but there are a few basic tips to follow.
- When you’re in a hurry, cut up your potatoes in even bite sizes so it cooks evenly and quickly.
- Store your peeled raw potatoes in water. Potatoes can become slightly discoloured when the carbohydrates react to the air, so it’s best to keep it soaked in water until they are ready to be cooked.
- Boil your potatoes for quicker cooking to soften them.
- Make sure you pick the right type of potato for your recipe.
Ways to cook your potatoes
From hash browns for breakfast to potato soup for your dinner, potatoes can be served any time of the day.
Two steps are all you need to get this done. Just pierce the potato with a fork or skewer and bake it in the oven. Simple right? When it’s done, just cut it in half, sprinkle salt and pepper and a dab of butter for a simple meal. Or add a touch of luxury with your favourite toppings like cheddar cheese and broccoli or sour cream, spring onion and bacon bits.
Boil your potatoes until they are soft, drain and add in butter and salt. Mash it up, adding warm milk or cream until they reach your desired consistency. You can serve it with roasted meats or fried chicken.
Fried potatoes like French fries or wedges can easily be made at home. Just cut your potatoes into sticks or wedges and soak them in a bowl of cold water. Drain the potatoes and dap them dry with a paper towel. Then fry them twice – once at medium heat and then again on high heat till they are golden and crispy.
A simple yet hearty pancake that you can eat any time of the day. Grate your potatoes into a mixing bowl, mix in some eggs, flour, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a pan, flattening the batter down with a spatula and cook till crispy. You can add other ingredients like chopped onions, spring onions, julienne carrots and ham to bulk up.
A rich yet delicious baked potato dish using thinly sliced potatoes. Simmer the sliced potatoes in a pan with butter, heavy cream, onion and garlic. When the potatoes are tender, transfer them into a baking pan and bake them in the oven till they are golden brown.
Similar to pasta, gnocchi are pillowy potato dumplings. Making it requires a few steps. Firstly, the potatoes are boiled then mashed. Then they are made into a dough by adding flour, eggs, salt and pepper. Shape the dough into small balls and boil in a pot of water until they rise to the surface. Serve them with a basic tomato sauce for pasta or a warm butter sage dressing.