TYPES AND USES
TIPS BY TALLYRAND
I am a strong advocate for Agria potatoes for over 90%
of my potato dishes. They are a great all round potato.
They hold fairly well for roasting, have a wonderful
yellow flesh that deep fries or roasts to a gorgeous
even golden colour (as opposed to white and brown patches
with other potatoes) and as for mashing they are simply
the best! They do not absorb too much water, have an
old fashioned potato flavour and give you that great
yellow colour without having to add the butter and egg
yolk (thus decreasing the fat in your diet).
you can get them where you are, I am almost positive
that like me, you will not use other varieties again!
potato varieties differ from country to country and
are too numerous to list. Mostly these days though,
supermarkets have posters up informing you of local
potato types and their recommended uses. If bought in
bags these normally give you teh same information.
potato varieties have a different chemical make up,
making them more suited to different methods of cooking.
tend to be more the new season potatoes. They have,
as their name suggests, a waxy texture to them that
prevent them absorbing water and breaking up, as such
they are great for boiling.
tend to have more of a sweet taste as opposed to that
earthy flavour of other potatoes. The sweetness comes
from the fact they are dug up while young and small
which prevents the natural sugars converting to starch.
natural sugars will also cause them to brown unevenly
if fried, the unevenness is because the sugars on
the surface will caramelise or dextrinise before any
of the minimum starch will.
tend to be the larger, later season potatoes. Most
of the natural sugars have converted to starch, giving
them their starchiness and flour type texture. They
will absorb water more easily as they cook and the
more floury they are the more likely they are to swell
and burst when boiled. They are best used for mashing
or deep frying but not recommended for piped potato
dishes like Duchesse as they absorb too much water.
are mid way between a waxy and floury potato. They
have a more even balance of natural sugars and converted
starch. They will hold for boiling, mash well and
retain their shape and do not break up when roasted,
fried and also sautéed.
making your own? Had them come out either with soggy
middles or burnt? You are probably 99.9% correct if
you thought it has more to do with the potato than
your cooking. The problem you are having is almost
certainly because of the type of potato you are using.
I have always found that most white fleshed potatoes
when used for potato chips:
are left with white soggy patches and dark brown
brown too much by the time they are crisp
is due in part to the way the starch and sugars are
distributed within the potato. It is the natural sugar
in food that allows it to brown, either through dextrinisation
(applying dry heat for making toast) or caramelising
(applying moist heat). As a professional chef
I am a dedicated user of Agria potatoes. A yellow
fleshed variety that is a great all rounder, it has
enough starch to be a wonderful masher, sugars for
boiling, holds together well for roasting, etc and
the flesh colour gives truly amazing result for deep
frying! As to the latter, for French fries and potato
chips, etc the colour holds and fries to a superb
even golden brown, while being crisp as crisp can
do then strongly suggest looking around and finding
a store that sells either yellow flesh potatoes like
Golden Wonder or Agria . . . trust me, you will never
go back to the whatever is available or cheapest again.
for other hints for potato chips . . . if you are
not too bothered about salt, in place of normal salt
for seasoning, try one of the many flavoured salts
now available like garlic, onion, etc or maybe a nice
flaked sea salt. Better still . . . take some garlic
cloves, lightly pierce the skin with a sharp knife,
place them in an airtight container of salt, leave
for a week to make your own flavoured salt!
great mashed potatoes - Duchesse potato mix
key here is to have as dry a mash as possible at the
end, so you can then add cream, butter, etc without
ending up with a squelchy mess!
find potatoes mash better when they are cooked in
their skins. This is because the skin helps prevent
water absorption. However, the down side to this is
you need even sized potatoes, so they all cook at
the same rate. You can of course always bake them
first or microwave them.
you must cut the potatoes for boiling, cut them as
even sized as you can and approximately 5cm (2 inches)
in size. Any smaller and they absorb too much water
as they cook, any larger and either the inside does
not cook fully (meaning lumps) or by the time it has
fully cooked the outer potato has over cooked and
becomes water logged.
not cut too far ahead of time. If you leave them sitting
in water, they will absorb the water and give you
a soggy mash.
the potatoes are only just covered in water. The longer
they take too come to the boil the more likely they
are to absorb the water.
the potatoes are kept fully covered as they boil,
any potato left sticking out of the water will not
fully cook and can cause your mash to be lumpy.
the potatoes as soon as they are cooked, do not leave
them sitting in the water. A large colander is best
for this, as the greater surface area allows steam
(moisture) to escape, giving you drier potatoes. Allow
them to sit like this for five minutes before mashing.
potatoes can also be placed back into a large dry
back onto the heat with a lid
them for a few seconds and remove the lid, this will
allow any steam to escape
as necessary until little or no steam is left
can now season and flavour them as you wnat to. The
following suggestions I hope will spark many other ideas
for you . . .
ground sea salt, white pepper and nutmeg
crème fraiche or plain yoghurt
a lower cholesterol level. in place of butter try
a good olive oil (virgin or extra virgin)
capsicum, spring onion and ham
capsicum - diced or puréed
tomatoes and diced olives
favourite grated cheese, crumbled fetta or chopped
brie / camembert
cranberries or redcurrants
toasted sliced almonds or other nuts
favourite fresh chopped herb - basil, mint, coriander
tinned beetroot (drain and rinse first) - the juice
should be retained, simmered until reduced by three-quarters
and served as a sauce
pesto or your favourite potato chip/crisps dip
and Cooking Tips
and raised in Plymouth, Tallyrand started his initial
training as a chef at Plymouth College of Further Education.
It was here that he was to learn his love, his passion
for food and the culinary arts. From here he headed
to Germany to complete his apprenticeship as Commis
gave him his first taste of cooking for the rich and
famous, as half way through his first year, along with
the Sous Chef and a Chef de Partie, he was whisked off
to Cologne to help prepare meals for a political conference,
where amongst other dignitaries they cooked for Mr Brehznev,
the then powerful Russian leader. This was to prove
to be just one of the many celebrities he was to cook
for or get to know over the years . . .
you would like to find out more why not visit Tallyrand's
own web site www.tallyrand.info (link in main menu)
Email Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org