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Cooking a potato


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7 replies to this topic

#1 acidfrog

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

Sorry for vague title but not sure what to put


Whilst taking inspiration

I wanted to have a potato that was simmered in a sauce until it took on its flavor and colour

and whilst having this idea found a blog about using pectin and calcium to form a structured skin

with out taking that into account i started off with simmering my potatoes in a stock and wine mixture

what i got was good but not perfect and also left me with a few questions which i am struggling to answer

First of the potato wasn't as dark as i would like it which i am assuming i change by reducing the sauce it is simmering in

The main one is that the potato had seemed to form an outside that had a much "firmer" texture than the centre which is perfect and completely accidental but i am wondering why this is ?

Edited by acidfrog, 05 November 2012 - 01:45 PM.


#2 HungryC

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:37 PM

It's the acidity of the wine causing the potato's outer layer to toughen. Happens when you cook potatoes in a tomato sauce as well. Learned this the hard way when making a tangy tamarind potato dish...original recipe called for parboiling the potatoes and I skipped that step. The tamarind sauce toughened the potatoes & they never got fully tender, despite practically falling into bits. The cooking liquid's acidity will also affect the potatoes' color.

#3 acidfrog

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:44 PM

do you mean the acidity will stop it from going darker ?

i had narrowed it down to the acidity but its great to know you have it spot on

would love to know what is going on ?

i may try simmering for much longer and see how firm it can stay and how soft the center can get

#4 Lisa Shock

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:42 PM

Acidity keeps the potato firm, too much acid and the potato will never get very soft. I put a tsp of vinegar in the pot of water when I boil potatoes for potato salad so they keep their shape. Much more than that and you won't get an appealing texture.

#5 acidfrog

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:43 AM

What exactly is happening then what is reacting with the acidity in the potato to do this

i was left with essentially a "skin" are you saying that i could keep boiling and it would develop no further as that would be based on amount of acid as opposed to time in the solution ?

#6 Lisa Shock

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:32 AM

Preety much, yes. There are variables with different types of potato, but, too much acid and the potatoes will seem to never finish cooking.

#7 Porthos

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:38 AM

I regularly boil 10 lbs of potatoes in a 16 qt vessel. Is 1 tsp of vinegar still enough for that volume of water and potatoes?

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#8 Lisa Shock

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:41 PM

I'd use 4sp to be safe.