Potatoes are probably the most common food. This vegetable takes pride of place in any national cuisine.
It is nutritious, healthy, and available in the warm and in the cold season. But in order for potatoes to preserve as many nutrients and vitamins as possible, it needs to be cooked properly.
How to choose boiled potatoes
To boiled potatoes were tasty, you need to follow a few rules:
- Choose tubers with a smooth surface. They must be free from mechanical damage, not pitted, clean and dry.
- There should be no eyes on potatoes. In sprouted tubers, starch quickly turns into sugar, and therefore such potatoes have a sweet taste.
- Also, this vegetable should not be stored in the refrigerator. Or, before use, it must be kept at room temperature for two days. The same is done with slightly frozen potatoes: they keep it at a temperature of + 18 ° for about a week, and then its taste improves.
- Do not use green potatoes. In these tubers contain toxic nitrogenous substance solanine, which in large quantities can cause poisoning.
- If, however, potatoes with a greenish tinge of the peel or pulp are used (although it is better not to practice this), then it should not be cooked in an unpeeled form, but it is necessary to cut off all the green places. When cooking such tubers solanine goes into the broth, but if cooked with the peel, then this substance partially remains in it.
- If potatoes need to be boiled for mashing, then varieties with high starch content are used, as these tubers are boiled soft.
- To keep most of the vitamins and minerals in potatoes, it is not recommended to keep it long in water after cleaning.
- Purified tubers are placed under a stream of cold water. After this manipulation, the boiled potatoes will become crumbly.
- For cutting potatoes, use stainless steel knives.
- You can not cook this vegetable in an aluminum or copper pan. For this purpose it is better to use an enameled pan, stainless steel or a pressure cooker.
How to cook potatoes
Since this vegetable is not consumed raw, and during long-term heat treatment loses most of the nutrients, it is not recommended to cook it for a long time.
- Peeled potatoes should be laid not in cold water, but in boiling. Then it will cook faster. And so that the water does not stop boiling, the tubers or slices are dipped into the pot in small portions.
- Potatoes are sliced just before heat treatment. The pieces should be the same, so that they are prepared at the same time. And also it improves the appearance of the dish.
- Cook potatoes with a moderate boil. At the same time, the lid must be closed so that the steam does not leave. Therefore, the tubers are not recommended to fill with water completely. After all, the main role in cooking vegetables is steam, which accumulates on the walls of the pan and the inside of the lid.
- In order to preserve more vitamin C in potatoes, it does not need to be stirred, because then the water is saturated with air, which this vitamin destroys.
- To preserve the maximum amount of useful substances, it is best to cook steamed potatoes. You can use this method: after 15 minutes since the start of cooking, almost all the water from the pan is drained, leaving only a little at the bottom. The fire is reduced to a minimum and bring the potatoes to readiness with steam. At the same time the lid should be tightly closed.
- If the recipe does not indicate the method of slicing potatoes, then boil it whole or cut into large pieces. So it contains more vitamins.
- Potatoes for salads are boiled in the skin. And in order to make it easier to peel, the tubers taken out of the pot are immediately doused with cold water, and then the skin is easily cleaned.
- Potatoes are boiled in salted water. Salt improves its taste and retains most of its nutrients. But young potatoes can be boiled without salt, because vitamin C is almost not destroyed in it.
- When boiling sprouted potatoes, the first water, not boiling, needs to be drained, otherwise it will not taste good.
- In order for the mashed potatoes not to darken during cooking, it should only be diluted with hot milk.
- Mashed potatoes will be light and fluffy if cooked while potatoes are hot.
How much to boil potatoes
The cooking time of a potato depends on its size, variety, degree of maturity and whether it is cut or not.
But most often whole tubers are boiled for 20-25 minutes from the moment of boiling. Potatoes in a double boiler will be ready in about the same amount of minutes. Young potatoes cooked much longer than the old one.
Chopped potato will be ready in 12-15 minutes.
- To prevent the potatoes from boiling soft, less starchy varieties are used to make vinaigrettes or salads.
- To keep the tubers whole, more salt is added to the water.
- It is not recommended to add soda or ammonium to water to speed up the cooking of potatoes, since they destroy vitamins.
- To improve the taste, potatoes are boiled in a small amount of water, putting a spoonful of margarine into it.
- Boiled potatoes should not be stored in broth. From this, it becomes watery and tasteless.
- It is not necessary to pour out the potato broth, because it is in it most of all trace elements. It can be used for cooking soup or sauce.
- Very often dark spots appear on boiled old potatoes. To avoid this, when cooking you need to pour a little vinegar into the water.
- A tablespoon of vinegar added to the water when cooking potatoes will help keep it whole.
- In order for boiled tubers to turn out equally soft both from the outside and the inside, they need to be boiled at a moderate boil. Then the starch in them will swell evenly, boiled potatoes will turn out smooth, and its surface will not break and will not melt.
- The taste of boiled potatoes will improve if you put two cloves of garlic and bay leaves into the water during cooking. Some housewives add dry dill, pre-tied it in several layers of gauze, and after the end of the process it is removed from the pan.
- To clean a young potato, it must be put in a bowl of cold, salted water. Or nodule first put in hot water, and then immediately in cold. There is another old, proven method: young potatoes need to be folded into a strong bag with coarse salt and rub well or just roll around the table. All skin will depart, and there will be only nodules to wash.
Salads and vinaigrettes are made from boiled potatoes. It is used to make soups, main dishes. Boiled potatoes are added to sweet dishes and served for dessert.