Watery potatoes

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by rogertb, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. rogertb

    rogertb

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    Hi chaps .... we bought a back of spuds recently - OK a 'no-name' cheap selection from a supermarket. They were rubbish, tasteless and watery. I like to cook my potatoes very well before roasting them (ie falling apart) - this generally works but with these ones they were crispy on the outside but full of tasteless mush, and cooked normally for mash - yeuk. I have had success in the past so it is, obviously, a 'varietal' problem but could it also be the time of year (eg stored too long) or whatever ? Should I buy only the well known brands ? Recipes in books and online rarely  specify variety. I guess I'll have to so some experimenting .... unless someone here has some sound advise.

    In anticipation.

    Roger 
     
  2. steve tphc

    steve tphc

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    Good grief! Food is all about the quality of your ingredients. The cookbooks people recommend usually specify the potato variety and even where its grown, i.e. Idaho potato.

    When you are inspecting a potato, feel it. It must be firm with no soft spots. It should smell good. Do not buy bags of potatoes in the supermarket. These are seconds.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Variety specification is usually of three types by cooked texture which reflects how starchy the potato is. 

    Waxy potatoes hold their shape well through roasting or boiling and are ideal for potato salad. The small red poatoes or new potatoes  are the most common ones I see that fit the "waxy category. Personally I find these a little bland compared to the other two. 

    Medium potatoes are the general purpose potatoes, but perhaps actually less common than either waxy or starchy potatoes, at least in my grocers. The Yellow Gold potatoes fit this category.

    Starchy potatoes usually are your classic russet potatoes. A potato ideal for baking or mashing. Not as good for salad. as it often crumbles and breaks down some. Purple and blue potatoes I've tried have all been very starchy. 
     
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  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    What he said.

    Plus, it sounds like overcooking to me.

    I'm less convinced that the problem comes from the spuds having been sold in a bag.... Much less convinced.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  5. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Not quite sure exactly what your cooking process is. By what method do you cook them before roasting? In this method are they whole, sliced, or diced? Basic same question about when roasting as well?
     
  6. pepper grind

    pepper grind

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    Going by previous experience, I would agree. A few years ago my friend was boiling spuds for a mash at a high temp for way too long and she was very disappointed that they turned all soupy. I've also seen it happen on a food network challenge, and it's not something you can fix by trying to boil out the liquid, but they can make a great thickener for other things if you're clever.

    I would put them in a separate bowl, fry up some ham or bacon, bit of carrot, peppers, onion, celery, and a very small amount of properly cooked extra taters for texture, add some broth, a can of your favorite beans and tomatoes, then at the last minute re-add the failed potatoes. I often overlook my potatoes on purpose for soups because I prefer a thicker soup but don't like using flour.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  7. chefanthonyd

    chefanthonyd

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    Steve said it very well, making great food starts with excellent ingredients. He's also spot on when it comes to selecting potatoes. Another point, potatoes do in fact have a season, depending on the variety, it is Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

    One last point to consider, as a professional chef I have roasted bushels of potatoes over the span of my career and have never had a problem. Additionally, I continue roasting potatoes at home using grocery store potatoes, due to a lack of options, and still no problem.

    I am not sure what method you are using to "cook your potatoes very well" but perhaps try just roasting.