Cooking with Potatoes: Everything You Need to KnowNovember 12, 2020
by Katherine Sousa Tips and Tricks
Learn everything you need to know about cooking with potatoes, the humble but mighty root vegetable staple in nearly every kitchen.
From russet to sweet, potatoes come in all shapes and sizes but one thing they have in common is their versatility. The humble but mighty potato is a force in the kitchen and a staple in many HelloFresh recipes. Whether they’re baked, mashed, stuffed, or fried – potatoes are the ultimate cooking canvas.
Our guide to cooking with potatoes has everything you need to know to cook perfect potatoes every time. So next time your recipe calls for potatoes, you know what to do.
Fun Potato Facts…
- The word potato is derived from the Spanish word ‘patata’.
- The Incas were the first people to cultivate potatoes, roughly around 8,000 BC to 5,000 BC.
- Potatoes are the fourth most important crop on Earth after rice, corn and wheat. The global harvest exceeds 300 million metric tonnes per year.
- In 1995, potato plants were taken into space with the space shuttle Columbia. This marked the first time any food was ever grown in space.
- Sweet potato belongs in the morning glory family, while white potatoes are part of the nightshade family alongside tomatoes, eggplants, and chili peppers.
Which potato should I use?
- Baked: Starchy potatoes, like Russet and sweet potatoes, or all-purpose potatoes like Yukon gold, are best for baking.
- Mashed: Like baking, starchy potatoes are best for mashing. Potatoes like russets or all-purpose Yukon golds yield a fluffy, smooth, and flavour-packed mash.
- Fried: If making french fries, we highly recommend using Russet potatoes here. Russets are high in starch and low in moisture making them perfect for frying.
- Boiled: If using for a mash later, starchy potatoes like russet or Idaho are great options. However starchy potatoes won’t hold their shape well after boiling. If you want to use the boiled potatoes for a potato salad or casserole, we recommend using waxy potatoes like new potatoes or fingerling.
- Roasted: Waxy potatoes are ideal for roasting. Potatoes like new potatoes, fingerling, or red bliss.
Our top tips for cooking with potatoes:
- Is your sauce or soup over-salted? Save the dish by adding a peeled potato to it. Simmer for 15 minutes, and the potato will absorb some of the extra sodium.
- Cooked potatoes should be easily pierced with a fork or knife.
- For a flavourful mash, add herbs and cheese. You can also substitute the milk for sour cream or yogurt!
- Boost your roasted potato flavour with tasty toppings like garlic, rosemary, olive oil, paprika, chives, sour cream, or bacon.
- Store your potatoes in a dark cabinet in your kitchen. Be sure not to rinse your potatoes until you’re ready to cook with them to avoid premature decay.