There are several recipes that require the potatoes to be pre-cooked, such as mashed potatoes and potato salad. The best way to cook them is to put them in a pot of water and boil them on the stove. If you are preparing several things at the same time, cook the potatoes in the microwave and keep all the burners available. Whichever you choose, the process is simple and takes no more than 20 minutes most of the time.
Method 1 of 3: Washing and Peeling Potatoes
Step 1. Wash the potatoes in the sink and scrub them
Leave the potatoes in the tub and rub them for about 20 seconds with your hands. After washing, place them in a clean pan.
- If you find it necessary, use a kitchen sponge for cleaning. But it doesn't take much effort, just give it a little wash.
- It is possible to cook any type of potato. The process is identical, but cooking time changes depending on the variety.
Step 2. Peel the potatoes if you don't want to keep the skin
Use a peeler to make the job easier. Hold the potato in your non-dominant hand (left if right-handed or right-handed if left-handed) and face up. Take the appliance with your dominant hand and position the blade over the vegetable. Pull it down slowly and with a steady hand. Repeat the process over the entire surface of the potato.
- You can cook the potatoes in their skin. It is tastier this way, but some recipes, such as mashed potatoes and potato salad, are made with them without the skin.
- It is also possible to peel off the skin only after cooking. It's easy to remove from a baked potato.
Step 3. Cut vegetables into cubes or slices to shorten cooking time
Are you in a hurry or the shape of the potatoes is not important to the dish you are preparing? Place them on a clean cutting board. Hold the potato in your non-dominant hand and carefully cut it into cubes or slices with a very sharp knife. The smaller the parts, the faster the cooking.
This technique is great for making mashed potatoes because it's much easier to mash potatoes
Method 2 of 3: Heating the Potatoes
Step 1. Place the potatoes in a pan of water
Are they small potatoes? You can also use a deep skillet. It is important that the vegetables are completely submerged.
- Do not throw the potatoes from a height greater than 10 cm in relation to the pan to avoid splashing water on the stove, on you and on the floor.
- It is necessary to leave 5 to 10 cm on the top of the pan so that the water does not overflow when it starts to boil. Is the pan too small? Replace it with a bigger one.
Step 2. Add a pinch of salt and leave the heat on high
Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt before the potatoes start to boil so that it cooks evenly and gives a little taste. Turn the knob to high heat and cover the pot or pan with a lid. Let it heat like this until it starts to bubble.
- It is possible to boil the water without covering the pot, but the lid keeps the heat inside the container and speeds up the process.
- Add garlic, bay leaves or black pepper if you want to add a little special flavor during cooking.
Step 3. Lower the heat after it starts bubbling
Is the water bubbling? Leave the heat on low or medium-low. Replace the lid and wait to cook. The time varies depending on the type of potatoes, the size and whether you cut them or left them whole.
Small, sliced potatoes cook faster than larger, whole potatoes
Step 4. Red potatoes, polka-dots and diced potatoes take 15 to 20 minutes to cook
If you have to prepare bigger, tougher potatoes, cut them into several pieces to shorten cooking time. If the cubes or slices are smaller than 5 cm, check the vegetables after ten minutes on the fire.
- It's okay to test the potatoes before they're ready. You can continue cooking even after taking one to check it out.
- English potatoes, like purple potatoes, are good for cooking because they don't get too soft when they pass a little past the cooking point and retain their original shape.
Step 5. Leave the larger potatoes on the fire for 20 to 25 minutes
If you're making bigger potatoes, wait a little longer to take the test. Cover them during the process. Some types are harder than others and need approximately half an hour to cook.
Step 6. Poke the potato with a fork to make sure it is cooked through
To see if the vegetable is in the right spot, remove it with tweezers and place it on a clean surface. Poke a fork into the middle of the potato. If the teeth go in easily, it's ready. Not well cooked yet? Put it back in the pan and cook for at least five minutes before checking again.
If the potatoes are not ready yet, but the fork goes in easily, leave another minute and test again
Step 7. Drain the water in the sink by pouring the contents of the pan into a strainer
Put a strainer over the sink. Wearing gloves, pick up the pan and turn it so that the water and potatoes fall into the strainer. Go pouring slowly. After removing all the water, put the potatoes back in the pan to season them and prepare them, or let them cool.
Many cooks like to use the potatoes right after removing the water, because the moisture is used in preparing the recipe
Method 3 of 3: Microwave Cooking Potatoes
Step 1. Wash the potatoes and peel them if you like
Put them in the sink tub and let the water run, rubbing them gently. Do you prefer to cook them with the skin? So, just do the cleaning. On the other hand, if you need to peel off the skin, hold the potato with your non-dominant hand under it. Place peeler blades over the vegetable and pull down to a 45° angle. Repeat the process until it passes through the entire surface.
- Use a clean kitchen sponge to scrub the potatoes, if you like. That way you clean them even better. However, it is not essential.
- Cooking potatoes in the microwave is not the best method because the appliance usually does not heat food evenly. But there is an advantage: you leave a burner free to prepare other things.
Step 2. Place the potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl
Fill it with water. Unpainted glass and ceramics are good materials. Take a look at the bottom of the container and see if it has an indication that it can be placed in the device. You can use any item that can be placed in the microwave. Add potatoes and fill with water until they are completely submerged.
- If nothing is written on the bottom of the container, look for a symbol with three wavy lines. It indicates that the pot can be placed in the microwave.
- If you like, add a pinch of salt. However, there is not much difference, as in the case of cooking on the stove.
Step 3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and make some holes
Cut a large piece of plastic film and place it on top of the container. Pinch around the edges to make it secure and cut off what is left. Punch four or five holes evenly spaced to allow steam to escape.
Don't forget to remove excess plastic-film with scissors
Step 4. Select the microwave's maximum power and let it heat the potatoes for five minutes
Place the bowl in the middle of the appliance and close the door. Press the power button and wait. If the microwave has a power of 800 W, wait six minutes instead of five.
Each microwave has different functions and settings. It may take more or less depending on the model and manufacturer of the device
Step 5. Remove bowl and stir in potatoes
As the container will be very hot, wear kitchen gloves and handle it very carefully. Put the bowl somewhere and gently remove the plastic-film. Stir the contents with a wooden spoon for half a minute to better circulate the water and cook all the potatoes evenly.
Potatoes should be a little soft. It's expected, but it doesn't mean they're fully cooked. They need more time in the microwave
Step 6. Put the potatoes back in the microwave to cook for another five minutes
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put on gloves. Place the container carefully in the middle and close the door. Simmer for another five minutes on high power.
Are you making small potatoes and feel they are already very tender? Let them cook for four minutes in the microwave on low power and test them with a fork
Step 7. Check if the potatoes are already good by poking them with a fork
After cooking for another five minutes, put your gloves back on and remove the bowl. Use tweezers to pull a potato out of the water and place it in a clean place. Poke it with a fork. If he gets in easily, it's ready.
- If the potatoes still look too hard, reheat them for another couple of minutes and check their status.
- The bowl will be very hot. So don't touch it without your gloves on, so you don't risk getting burned.
Step 8. Put the potatoes in a colander and let them cool
Put a strainer in the sink bowl and lift the bowl using gloves. Go on pouring the contents to get the water out. Allow the potatoes to cool or pick them up with tongs to place them elsewhere.
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