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Cooking 101: Potatoes

Asnow89 February 14, 2014 User blog:Asnow89

Mash them, fry them, stick them in a stew...potatoes are the ultimate versatile food. They are inexpensive, are used in most culture's key recipes, and they are the perfect side dish. Here are some of our best tips and tricks when it comes to potatoes as well as some of our favorite recipes.

What are potatoes?

The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop. The word "potato" refers to the plant itself in addition to the edible tuber. Potatoes were introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, and have since become an integral part of most of the world's food supply. It is the world's fourth-largest food crop, after maize, wheat and rice.

Types of Potatoes

There are many different types of potatoes, ranging in size, texture, and color...but here are eight of the most popular potatoes.

Tips & Tricks

  • Choose firm and plump potatoes without sprouts, blemishes, or shriveled skin.
  • Store potatoes in a cool, dry place. They will keep at room temperature for up to two weeks.
  • Don't store potatoes in a plastic bag, keep them in an open basket for prime air circulation.
  • Scrub the potato under running cold water and scrub with a brush to clean off any excess dirt
  • If you are baking potatoes, don't wrap them in foil. Instead, brush with butter and test the tenderness with a fork after baking.

Potato Recipes

Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish. Add butter and cream for the best results. Skin the potatoes, chop them up, boil them, and then mash them for the easiest results.

Recipes: Mashed Potato Cakes, Yukon Gold Glorified Mashed Potatoes, Cream Cheese and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Baked & Roasted Potatoes
Baking and roasting potatoes is one of the easiest ways to cook potatoes. If you want something simple, add olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. If you want to spice it up, check out these fun recipes!

Recipes: Mini Baked Potatoes with Mascarpone and Prosciutto Bits, Lemon Herb Potatoes, Roasted Potatoes with Bacon and Rosemary

Stews & Soups with Potatoes
Potatoes add a heartiness to most stews and soups. They cook very well in the soups and absorb the flavors of the broth.

Recipes: Beef and Potato Stew, Potato Leek Soup, Potato Carrot Soup with Sour Cream Dill Sauce

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