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Subject: Boiling Potatoes Whole or Cubed for Salad
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Thierry Gerbault 
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 09:23:48 GMT
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What is the rationale for boiling potatoes whole for potato salad, then 
peeling and cutting in cubes while hot?

Having tried boiling both whole and peeled cubed potatoes, I find the 
latter far more evenly done, giving a better texture to the salad.  I 
can't say that I've noticed a taste difference.

Regardless of cooking method, I usually marinate the warm cubes of 
potatoes in a light vinaigrette, then add remaining ingredients and 
dressing when cool.

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (sheldon)
Date: 08 Feb 2002 14:23:06 GMT
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When it comes to individual taste there is no rationale, do as suits yourself.

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From: Steve Holland 
Date: 08 Feb 2002 15:42:13 +0100
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Thierry Gerbault writes:
>What is the rationale for boiling potatoes whole for potato salad, then 
>peeling and cutting in cubes while hot?

     The potatoes tend to hold together better if they have not been
peeled when they are boiled.  Some people claim that potatoes taste
better if they are boiled unpeeled, but I've never noticed that.
Personally, I find it much easier to peel them first, but it is mostly
a matter of preference.

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From: nobody[at]nevermind.com (Fishface)
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 17:54:32 GMT
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Thierry Gerbault writes:
>What is the rationale for boiling potatoes whole for potato salad, then 
>peeling and cutting in cubes while hot?

I found getting potatoes cooked 'just right' for salad rather
difficult, so I calibrated based on peeled, cut-up ones. Now I don't
care whether whole and/or unpeeled are better -- I have a method that
makes potato (not mashed potato or raw potato) salad, and I'm stickin'
with it.

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From: Steve Calvin 
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 16:17:50 -0500
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Fishface wrote:
> I found getting potatoes cooked 'just right' for salad rather
> difficult, so I calibrated based on peeled, cut-up ones. Now I don't
> care whether whole and/or unpeeled are better -- I have a method that
> makes potato (not mashed potato or raw potato) salad, and I'm stickin'
> with it.

So you're not going to share your discoveries with the group?

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From: nobody[at]nevermind.com (Fishface)
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 12:43:21 GMT
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Steve Calvin  wrote:
>So you're not going to share your discoveries with the group?

I cut potatoes into roughly 1"chunks. Bring a pot of water to the
boil. Dump in potatoes. Set timer for 10 minutes. Drain potatoes, put
warm into a bowl and add seasonings, mustard, a little oil and vinegar
to be absorbed. Let cool and add celery, etc. and mayonnaise before
refrigerating. 

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From: Kendall F. Stratton III 
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 09:44:28 -0500
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Thierry Gerbault wrote:
> Having tried boiling both whole and peeled cubed potatoes, I find the
> latter far more evenly done, giving a better texture to the salad.  I
> can't say that I've noticed a taste difference.
>
> Regardless of cooking method, I usually marinate the warm cubes of
> potatoes in a light vinaigrette, then add remaining ingredients and
> dressing when cool.

That's "eggsactly" the way I cook potatoes when making potato/egg salad --
cut the 'taters into uniform-size pieces (usually with the skins left on),
rinse well and drain, add just enough water to cover, season with salt,
simmer 'til tender (I usually cook the washed eggs in the same pot), and
then dump into an ice bath for just a few seconds to stop the cooking
process.   Toss the semi-cooled, cooked 'taters with a splash of oil &
vinegar and salt & pepper and let them sit in the fridge for about an hour
before adding the veggies, chopped eggs, and *** HELLMANN'S *** mayo.
Perfect results every time!

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From: Meg Fortino 
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 15:45:14 GMT
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Not sure of any rationale other than nutrition.  Cooking the potatoes with
the skins on, I have read in numerous books, retains most of the nutrition
in the potato, whose vitamins and minerals reside immediately below the
skin.

I cook them with the skin on, mostly, but when I'm in a hurry, I peel 'em,
cube 'em, and boil 'em.


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