Saturday, August 18, 2012

Potatoes, and when to peel them

Some people insist that potatoes boiled in their skins produce the best mash. I am doubtful, but perhaps this is because I have allowed the potatoes to cool before peeling: the flesh has firmed up, requiring more vigorous efforts with the masher, which has released more starch, which has given the mash a gluey quality. (Making potato salad, you should dress the potatoes with vinaigrette when they’re hot, so that their looser textures absorb more sauce.)

One possible solution, I suppose, would be to wear a rubber glove on one hand, hold the potatoes in it, and peel them with the other. But I have never found peeling cooked potatoes as easy as it is reputed to be. The skin often comes away in tiny strips, which stick to one’s fingers.

I wondered whether a potato ricer or a food mill, which will de-skin cooked tomatoes, would spare me the aggravation. So I tried both yesterday. Neither was satisfactory.

It’s back to pre-peeling, I’m afraid.


pablopatito said...

I've recently started peeling after boiling. I then use a potato ricer and don't find I require any extra effort - so I don't think your comments about a masher apply.

Nicholas Clee said...

My potatoes had all cooled by the time I had finished peeling them, so that they required extra effort to mash - and would have done whatever method I had used. I just seem to be hopeless at peeling cooked potatoes.