Watch 'Cooking With
PEI Potatoes'

with Heather Moyse

R.A. Rose & Sons profiled on Episode 3 Food Country with
Chef Michael Smith

PEI Flavours

Preparation Methods for Potatoes

To Boil

In a heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid, cook potatoes in about 2.5cm (1") of boiling water for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender. Drain immediately to prevent soggy potatoes.

To Steam

Place a wire rack or steamer in a large saucepan. Add water, bring to a boil, add potatoes and cook tightly covered 30-40 minutes or until fork tender. Steaming is an excellent way to save nutrients.

To Mash

Drain and peel boiled or steamed potatoes. Mash using a potato masher, electric mixer, ricer, or food processor. Gradually add some milk and beat until light and fluffy. The amount of milk used will depend on the texture and moistness of the potatoes. Butter, salt and pepper or other seasonings may be added "to taste".

To Bake

Choose uniform sized potatoes. Pierce the skins several times to allow steam to escape. Do not wrap in foil unless barbecuing, since this produces steamed not baked potatoes. Bake potatoes directly on the oven rack or a baking sheet until fork tender. Remove potatoes from the oven, make an "X" on one side with a fork or knife. Fluff potato with a fork or "blossom" the potato by pushing the ends toward the centre.

The following range of oven temperatures lets you bake potatoes along with the rest of the meal. Bake at:

220°C (425°F) for 40-50 minutes
190°C (375°F) for 50-60 minutes
160°C (325°F) for 75-85 minutes

To decrease baking time up to half, place metal skewers or prongs through each potato.

To Pan Roast

Boil or steam potatoes for 10 minutes, drain and peel. Place in a shallow pan, brush with melted butter or vegetable oil. Potatoes may be seasoned to taste with your choice of herbs and spices; garlic, chili powder, tarragon, rosemary, salt or pepper. Bake uncovered at 200°C (400°F) for 45 minutes, turning and basting occasionally until fork-tender.

If roasting with meat, arrange raw halved or quartered potatoes around meat in roasting pan about 1½ hours before serving. Turn and baste often with pan drippings.

To French Fry

Peel and cut raw potato into 6mm (¼") thick strips. Put strips in cold water to keep them crisp and white. Drain and dry well. Heat 10cm (4") of vegetable oil to 190°C (375°F) in a deep fat fryer. Place one layer of potato strips in wire basket, immerse in hot oil. Fry 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil, shake well to drain, place fries on paper towel or heavy paper. Salt lightly if desired and serve immediately or keep warm in 150°C (300°F) oven until serving time.

To Double Fry

Prepare potatoes as for regular fries. Preheat oil only to 180°C (350°F). Fry strips for 3-5 minutes or until limp but not brown. Drain well and place on paper towels. Cool at least 5 minutes or refrigerate for browning later. To re-fry, heat oil to 190°C (375°F). Immerse a single layer of fries in hot oil 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Drain well, place on paper towels, season and serve.

Oven Fries

Wash potatoes well and cut into strips or wedges. Toss with vegetable oil (15ml / 1tbsp for 4 medium potatoes) until coated. Spread evenly on baking sheet(s) in a single layer and bake at 220°C (425°F) for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Turn potatoes over once during baking. Paprika, garlic powder or parmesan cheese is optional. If adding, toss with potatoes and oil before baking.

To Microboil

Peel, if desired and quarter potatoes. Place a single layer on a microwave safe dish. Add 15ml (1 tbsp) of water, cover with plastic wrap and cook on full power, High (100%) for 5-7 minutes* for 1 medium potato or 10 minutes for 2 potatoes. Let stand 2 minutes.

* Times were tested in a 700 watt microwave oven. Check your manual for suggested cooking times.

To Microbake

Choose uniform sized, regularly shaped potatoes. Wash, dry and pierce skins. Place potato(es) on paper towel or microwave rack in the center of oven. For 2 or more potatoes, arrange like spokes of a wheel with the small ends towards the center. Cook on High (100%) for:

4-6 minutes* - 1 potato
6-8 minutes* - 2 potatoes
8-12 minutes* - 3 potatoes

For even cooking, turn potatoes half way through cooking. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Test for doneness.

* Times were tested in a 700 watt microwave oven. Check your manual for suggested cooking times.

To Freeze

Cooked potatoes such as mashed, baked, stuffed potatoes with milk, sour cream or cream cheese added freeze best. Potato patties or French fries also freeze well.

Raw potatoes or cooked, cubed potatoes in dishes such as soups, stews do not freeze well. They tend to fall apart when thawed and reheated.