From mashed to baked, this is your go to guide
Boiling, baking, mashing, roasting – there are so many ways to cook potatoes. Even though most cooking methods might seem fairly straightforward, there are lots of little ways to transform your potato dishes from so-so to spectacular.
1. Cook them with the skin on
Most of the vitamin C and the flavour is in a thin layer just under the skin, so cook potatoes with the skin on whenever possible. Even if you want to serve them peeled, or make mash, you can still boil them in their jackets, then peel them after cooking.
To get them just right, parboil them first for about 8 minutes, then drain them and rough them up a bit with a fork before putting them into a preheated roasting tray containing hot oil or fat. Give them a shake, toss the oil over them and pop them into a nice hot oven.
4. Perfect mash
What makes the perfect mash? Different people like it done in different ways, but if you like yours super-smooth, add hot milk and mash with an electric whisk. Make sure you drain the potatoes well after cooking – excess water will make your mash gluey.
To reduce cooking time, bake jacket potatoes in the oven with a metal skewer inserted through them. If you’re making more than one, make sure the potatoes are all of an even size, so they’ll all be ready at the same time.
Potato wedges are a mess-free, healthier alternative to chips. To make them extra-tasty, leave the skins on; to make them really quick, parboil the cut wedges for 5 minutes before transferring to a pre-heated oven tray, dousing with oil and baking for 20 minutes.
If you’re using unpeeled baby potatoes for potato salad, cut them into halves before adding the dressing. That way, all the flavours will be absorbed into the potatoes. It also helps if you dress the potatoes while they are still warm.
To keep potatoes at their best, store them in a paper bag to keep them out of the light while still allowing them to breathe. If your potatoes are a bit old and have gone soft, peel them then leave them in a bowl of cold water – they will soon firm up again.