Potato Types and Uses

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by onepiece, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. onepiece

    onepiece

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    I've always used a large amount of potatoes, but to my recollection they were always Idaho potatoes. 

    Well I became interested in the other 2 main types of potatoes (Red and Yellow).

    I wanted to see what this place thinks/knows what are the best uses for each potato type, and why.

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  2. chefross

    chefross

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    Each of the potatoes you mentioned have different qualities to them.

    For instance.

    For boiled potatoes........if you try to mash red skins to much they turn gummy as the starch is released. Yukon Golds will be pretty much like Idahos in their flesh but there are some differences.

    Yukon's will break apart in small pieces whereas the Idaho tend to hold together better

    For roasting it would be up to you own tastes. Each one has their qualities.
     
  3. onepiece

    onepiece

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    I see.  I reckoned both had distinctive qualities, but I was unsure what those were.

    To my recollection Yukon (yellow) were said to be better for mashed potatoes, is that only because they break apart more?
     
  4. chefedb

    chefedb

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    There  ar numerous varieties, each contains different amounts of water and starches and sugars and flavors. Also lets not forget blue potatoes, and sweet potatoes, or fingerlings and the ever popular russets and chef potatoes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  5. onepiece

    onepiece

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    Well I made some standard Mashed Potatoes yesterday using Yukon Gold/Yellow Potatoes instead of the usual Russet/Idaho potatoes.

    Turned out great, and I'll probably only use Yukons/Yellows for Mashed Potatoes.  The color and appearance alone is worth the switch.  

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  6. french fries

    french fries

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    I also like Yukon gold better than russets for mashed potatoes and for french fries as well. 
     
  7. onepiece

    onepiece

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    Wow!  I didn't think of that.  That would probably help give the golden color most people prefer in French Fries.  

    That is the next thing on the list for the Yukons.  Will soon be trying out the Reds for a few other things (not mashed of course).
     
  8. french fries

    french fries

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    IMO there's no "of course". All recommendations are guidelines, but I rarely agree with them. I have tasted some very good mashed potatoes made with red potatoes. It all depends what you're going for. I think of different varieties as different tastes and textures, and I personally don't really agree with the general recommendations that type 1 is better for dish 1, type 2 for dish 2, etc. Well maybe I wouldn't use Russets for a potato salad and I wouldn't use reds to thicken a chowder. But for mashed and french fries, try them all, make your own experiments and your own choices. 
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  9. onepiece

    onepiece

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    Indeed.  I didn't mean I'd never try them for Mashed Potatoes, but rather it wasn't at the top of my list.  I only got a 5lb bag, which really isn't much.

    So try some of the more recommended usages on this bag and pick up another down the road for the lesser recommended.

    Since you mentioned it, what would ya use for Potato Salad if ya don't mind me asking?
     
  10. french fries

    french fries

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    I like reds for potato salad as they tend to keep their shape better. Yukons are fine though. Yukons just seem to be fine for just about any application IMO. 
     
  11. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    It depends on the potato salad style.

    When I make a german style one with a bacon fat vinaigrette, I like the russets as they break down on the edges and help it thicken up.

    For a US style mayo based one I like Yukons, with a little more firmness/medium waxiness. 

    I'm not usually a fan of the waxier red types for potato salad. Not that they're bad, I just haven't liked those as well as others. There's probably a version I haven't tried yet that I would like best with them though.

    The purple potatoes I've had as fingerlings have all been incredibly starchy, to the point of tasting dry to me. I think they'd make a good mash though as they'd suck up a ton of butter and other liquids without getting greasy or runny.

    You might find this article on potatoes in Columbia interesting.

    http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/08/20/colombian-potatoes/?hpt=hp_bn11

    And I wrote about my first experiments with Yukons Golds

    http://www.cheftalk.com/t/34619/yukon-gold-potatoes
     
  12. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    All potato varieties have their charm and function.  As far as taste goes the yukon golds have the best taste overall and I love them roasted with olive oil, butter, garlic and herbs.  I've also used them to make french fries and I would not recommend it unless you like rather soft french fries like me.  I would also not recommend them for potato salad because they practically dissolve when you mix the salad.  They're probably good for mashed although don't ask me because I can't make a good mash to save my life and tend to stick to the boxed stuff.

    For potato salad I always use red skinned potatoes.  They keep their shape and hold up well.  I also like to simply boil them and toss them with oil and dill as a quick side dish.  Do not use them for frying because they get hard and turn dark. 

    Can't beat a good old russet for a baked potato.  It's very difficult around these parts to get the big baking potatoes, they're usually small to mid sized but we make do.
    Bacon fat vinaigrette!  Tell me more about this!  Is this just for potato salad, can I use it on salad greens?  How do you render the bacon fat without burning it?  Do you keep bacon fat on hand, in the freezer or do you have to go through the rendering process each time?  Can I stick a slice of bacon in the microwave and make it work like that?

    Now I'm picturing a fresh salad with a vinegraitte made from bacon fat, a touch of garlic, mayo, vinegar, and dijon.  Why have I never thought of this before?
     
  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a common bacon fat vinaigrette served over a wilted spinach salad.

    The bacon fat potato salad dressing I use is a Southern German/Northern Austria style dish.  Perhaps more of a "gravy" as this one uses a roux.

    For 6 cups cooked sliced potatoes still hot:

    6 strips of bacon (though I've been using less--4--the last few years)

    1/2 cup chopped onion

    2 tablespoons flour

    2 tablespoons sugar

    1 teaspoon salt or to taste

    1 teaspoon celery seed

    black pepper to taste

    1/2 cup vinegar (white is traditional, but I've trended to cider vinegar recently)

    1/2 -1 cup reserved potato water. I like it at the 1/2 cup of added water, but the original recipe used a thinner dressing.

    Cook 3 strips of bacon, reserve a few tablespoons of drippings. In the same pan as you cooked the bacon, cook the onions in the reserved baking fat until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add the flour. Stir and cook to form a roux. Add the reserved potato water, vinegar and seasoning, stirring to form a dressing. Stir in the bacon and hot potatoes stir, taste, correct and serve. Best immediately. Reheat any leftovers before serving.
     
  14. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Very interesting, not at all what I expected.  Ok honestly it doesn't sound too appetizing now that there's a roux involved truth be told but interesting indeed.
     
  15. snake666

    snake666

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    For storing:

    Store potatoes in an area that is well ventilated.

    Choose a dark location for storing potatoes, such as a cabinet, pantry, basement, or root cellar.

    If you choose to store your potatoes in the refrigerator, allow them to warm to room temperature before cooking them.
     
  16. french fries

    french fries

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    What's the point of all that copy/pasting? http://www.griggstownquailfarm.com/chuck’s-corner-45/
     
  17. kippers

    kippers

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    Hello, I live in England and grow my own spuds.Over here we have a huge variety to choose from http://varieties.potato.org.uk/varietyindex.php?page_no=1

    What you call a Storage Potato we call Main Crop, these take between 18 to 22 wks to grow.The haulm (leaves and stalks) will die and the spuds must be left in the ground for 2 wks+ for the skin to harden for storage.

    This year I grew International Kidneys for my early new pots (scrappers) they take 12 wks to mature, they will not winter store as the skin will not harden.

    Charlottes for my salad pots, King Edwards,Rooster and Cara for store. The Cara is a fantastic baking pot due to its taste and  large uniform size.

    I found this site to learn about other nations food and my first post is about UK potatoes.
     
  18. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    Thanks for the very interesting thread and posts.

    Here are two excellent websites filled with information on the potato.

    www.potatoesusa.com  ( informative post on the USA potato varieties from The USA Potato Board )

    <edit-link error> ( From the UK Potato Council with all the different species available )

    Have lovely Labor Day.

    Marge.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2012
  19. kippers

    kippers

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    Margcata the second link does not work, don't worry if you read my  post above yours you will see I included it.
     
  20. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    Kippers,

    Thank you, It functions fine from my computer both the Lap Top and the Netbook in Puglia, Italy and perfectly as well on my 2 daughters netbooks and my husband´s desk top.

    My intention has been to post the two links, being so varied and of course, the names in Usa English and UK English are so diverse.

    Odd.

    The website also offers numerous facts, the history and recipes using potatoes as a main ingredient.

    Have nice wkend.

    Margaux.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012