Obviously food is a key part of entertaining, and I know many of you out there enjoy cooking for family and friends. The Keys To Good Cooking by Harold McGee is an interesting and informative book that will give you tips and basic understanding of cooking techniques, and different foods. This is not a cookbook, but a tool to help you make the most of your recipes.
Tips to Cooking Potatoes
I was able to get a sneak peek inside and I’ll be reading the book more thoroughly for a full review in early November. Until then, here are a few tips from the book, about cooking potatoes:
- To cook potato chunks that will stay intact when tossed for potato salad, preheat them for 30 minutes at 140-150°F/60-65°C, cool briefly before boiling, then allow to cool to warm room temperature before tossing with dressing.
- To make baked potatoes with a crisp skin, oil or butter potatoes before baking in a hot oven, 425-450°F/220-230°C. Baking without oil or in foil produces a leathery skin.
- To make crunchy oven-roasted potatoes, peel or cut into pieces, boil or steam until almost done, then coat with fat or oil and finish in a hot oven, 450°F/230°C.
- To make a smooth potato puree, press cooked potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill, add other ingredients, and stir together by hand. Use solid chunks of butter, which disperse more evenly into the potatoes than pre-melted butter. Whip with a whisk to aerate and lighten. Don’t use a food processor or blender, which breaks starch grains and produces, a thin, gluey result.