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Author Topic: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters  (Read 147982 times)

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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #270 on: June 09, 2013, 06:18:10 PM »
I never rinse potatoes and I use all varieties regularly.

 

Peel the potatoes and chunk them so all the pieces are about the same size. It really doesn't matter what size (I use about 1-inch squares, smaller pieces will cook quicker) same-sized chunks will ensure that all the pieces are done during the same amount of time.



I concur with the above quote. Boil the water until it is rolling, so medium and large bubbles rising from the bottom all the way to the surface. Make sure you salt the water! Boil potatoes for 20 minutes then use a slotted spoon to remove a few pieces and pierce them with a fork, when all the test pieces are tender and come apart, then drain the potatoes.
While the potatoes are in a colander, melt butter in the pot they were in, and only when the butter is melted add back the potatoes. Use a potato masher to break apart most lumps, then add milk until it is your preferred consistency.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Remove the part about peeling, and we are in full agreement.  :)
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*inviteseller

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #271 on: June 09, 2013, 06:43:45 PM »
I can't make mashed potatoes either.  People have watched me and no one can figure out what goes wrong, but I end up with spackle.  My dad said he would never eat mashed potato flakes, but yet every Christmas at my house, he does and never realizes it.  It is our families little secret!

I have had numerous kitchen disasters from simply not using my brain.  When you add water to a pan of rice a roni you are sauteing in butter, do not, I stress, do not just pour the 2 1/4 cups of water in while the pan is still on the burner on high.   I was impressed with how high the flames shot !  My friend just looked at me and asked if I had failed home ec.  I was in my 20's !

We lost a plastic Elmo plate in another moment of brain freeze.  I set it on the back burner while I opened the oven to get the chicken out.  Unfortunately, the pan on the front burner was sitting there doing nothing because I had turned on the back one instead.  I had my back to the stove while serving salad and couldn't figure out what the smell that was suddenly enveloping the room was..and I turned to see Elmo melted to the burner and flames licking the sides.  I did remember the home ec baking soda trick.  The stench stayed at least a week no matter how much I scrubbed.  This is why I now have a gas stove!

greeneyes

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #272 on: June 09, 2013, 11:43:23 PM »
When I was living in my first off-campus apartment, I discovered two things:
1) I really enjoyed baking cookies and
2) My roommates were not to be trusted with an oven. At all. The number of times I came home just in time to rescue plastic plates and takeout containers that were being heated for "just a few minutes"...

So one night I was making my favorite oatmeal raisin cookies, just for fun, but I decided that the dough needed to chill longer (I start with melted butter, makes for chewier cookies) and that I would just wake up at 6am and bake before going to campus.

Well, what I didn't realize was when my roommate had sworn she had cleaned the oven (from a previous plastic incident), what she meant was that she had not, in fact, cleaned the oven. But I, merrily oblivious to this fact, turned on the oven to preheat and started shaping the first batch. So when the fire alarms went off, I thought to myself, "Huh. How annoying. I better turn those off." (In my defense, they did tend to go off every time anyone cooked anything).

Cut to me opening the oven, cookie sheet in hand, only to reveal a happy little flame at the back of my oven. And I can only blame my gut reaction on the fact that it was 6am: "if I put that out, can I still bake my cookies?"

I ended up filling a frying pan with water, dousing the oven, and then calling Maitenance to inquire about the box full of flame in my kitchen. And needless to say, from that point on, I made sure to clean the oven myself.

Dazi

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #273 on: June 10, 2013, 06:20:21 AM »
This evening's mashed potatoes were more like glue than potatoes. I think I'll give up on mashed potatoes I never get them right.

Awww! Don't give up! Home made mashed potatoes are soooo much better than boxed-mixes.

How do you make yours?

What type of potato do you use?

I really like the Gold Yukon potato for mashed. The standard white baking potato also works well.

Do not use red potatoes for mashed . . . I don't know why. How about "Because I said so?" ;) Even though the red potatoes are boiling potatoes, I've never used them for mashed.

Curious as to what other posters will say.



Peel the potatoes and chunk them so all the pieces are about the same size. It really doesn't matter what size (I use about 1-inch squares, smaller pieces will cook quicker) same-sized chunks will ensure that all the pieces are done during the same amount of time.

After peeling and chunking . . . RINSE! rinse, rinse, rinse! I put my chunked potatoes into the cooking pot, fill it with cold water, swoosh the potatoes around with my hand then drain in a colander. Repeat 2-3-4 times, until the water in the pot seems clear. This method rinses off a lot of the starch from the potatoes.

Boil the potatoes starting in cold water for about 40 minutes (depending on your chunk size) until the chunks are just fork-tender. Over cooking can also be part of the problem.

Drain the potatoes in the colander, return to the pot and on low heat add butter (cut up intoto 1 tsp slices -- maybe 1/2 stick?) and milk (a little at a time) while mashing, until it's to the consistency that you like.

I actually prefer to use red potatoes as I don't find them nearly as gummy as some others, though Yukon golds work amazing well too.  I leave the skin on them though and cook them nearly the same way.  I don't put them back on the stove after rinsing.  Once drained, I put them back in the pot or a bowl and add room temp butter and use evaporated milk (I usually use about 3/4 of the can, sometimes the whole one for 5lbs or so of potatoes) adding a bit at a time while mashing (sometimes I will also sprinkle a bit of garlic powder and onion powder just prior to adding the liquid).  Also, I use a hand masher, not an electric mixer as I also find this makes mashed potatoes too gummy.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





Snooks

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #274 on: June 10, 2013, 12:12:17 PM »
This evening's mashed potatoes were more like glue than potatoes. I think I'll give up on mashed potatoes I never get them right.

Awww! Don't give up! Home made mashed potatoes are soooo much better than boxed-mixes.

I'm in the UK so boxed mixes aren't really used over here (we used to have Smash but I don't think you can even still buy that).  Thanks for the tips but it's going to be a while before I get over that particular disaster, I don't think DH will be asking for mash anytime soon either given the mess the kitchen ended up in.

emwithme

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #275 on: June 10, 2013, 04:07:19 PM »
This evening's mashed potatoes were more like glue than potatoes. I think I'll give up on mashed potatoes I never get them right.

Awww! Don't give up! Home made mashed potatoes are soooo much better than boxed-mixes.

I'm in the UK so boxed mixes aren't really used over here (we used to have Smash but I don't think you can even still buy that).  Thanks for the tips but it's going to be a while before I get over that particular disaster, I don't think DH will be asking for mash anytime soon either given the mess the kitchen ended up in.

OK, so UK based mashed potato advice coming up:

Buy maris piper or King Edward potatoes as a preference (Eddies also roast well), but at a pinch any supermarket bag of white potatoes will do. 

Peel your potatoes and chop into "reasonable" sized pieces - about the same size as a plum is good.  This tends to be eighths for bigger potatoes and quarters for smaller potatoes.  Allow about ten chunks of potato per person (unless they're mashed-potato-aholics like my DH and I, when you increase by at least twice!).  Put into cold water and (as above) rinse rinse rinse. 

Take a saucepan that gives the potatoes enough room to move about - my favourite mashed potato pan has a diameter that is the same size as the gap between my elbow and wrist (it takes 2 US quarts, according to the scale inside it!) (sorry, I can't put my hand on a measuring device at the moment) and put the potatoes in with enough COLD water to cover them by about a centimetre.  This will probably be level with the handle on the pan.  Add a little salt to the water if you want to.  (This is not essential and I usually leave it out).

Put the pan on a high heat until the potatoes start to boil.  This will take about ten minutes or so.  Once you've got a nice rolling boil, put a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to halfway.  Cook the potatoes for a further fifteen minutes or so.

At this point, the potatoes should fall off a fork if pronged.  If they don't, put the lid back on and re-check every minute or so. 

Drain the potatoes.

Mash them roughly (I use a ricer as it's easier with my disabilities but a hand masher works fine if you have the stamina), and add a big splash of milk.  Mix this in with a wooden spoon.  Add a couple of big curls of butter.  Mix again with the wooden spoon.  At this point, you should have a nice smooth, creamy mashed potato.  At this point, add ground black pepper if you want to. 

You can buy Smash (in Morrisons, where I shop, it's in the bit next to the oxo cubes) still - it's definitely improved since the bad old "smash martian" days.

Snooks

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #276 on: June 10, 2013, 04:41:18 PM »
I did almost exactly what you recommended with one minor difference.  I whipped the potatoes using an electric whisk because neither one of us can mash potatoes without lumps.  They were standard white potatoes.

Thipu1

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #277 on: June 11, 2013, 10:18:58 AM »
We learned a tip years ago that has helped our mashed potatoes a lot. 

Make sure that the milk is warm before it's added to the potatoes.  That stops a lot of the gluiness.  Also, do not over whip.  To our mind, potatoes should retain at least a bit of texture.  Frankly, we like ours with bits of skin.   

ladyknight1

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #278 on: June 11, 2013, 10:22:37 AM »
If you mix the cooked potato with the melted butter first, the butter coats the starch molecules and helps keep them from becoming gluey when the dairy is added. I learned that from America's Test Kitchen over a decade ago, and it has served me well.
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Specky

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #279 on: June 11, 2013, 10:48:29 AM »
Turd bread.

Made a loaf of bread yesterday in the bread machine using freshly ground spelt berries, so some extra effort and glorious expectations.  This is not the first time, and this recipe has worked before.  My yeast must have been dead, though it was within dates.  What I wound up with was a collection of nuggets that look like animal poops.  My kids and DH say it tastes great, though.  Wish I could post a picture.

Dazi

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #280 on: June 11, 2013, 04:23:31 PM »
I did almost exactly what you recommended with one minor difference.  I whipped the potatoes using an electric whisk because neither one of us can mash potatoes without lumps.  They were standard white potatoes.

Electric mixer=glue potatoes

Maybe not all the time, but IME, a lot of the time.  If you must use an electric mixer, stir in the butter and some of the milk by hand with a big wooden spoon FIRST, then use the mixer on LOW ONLY for no more than about a minute.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





turtleIScream

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #281 on: June 11, 2013, 04:28:11 PM »
My garlic paste...isn't. For some reason, my tried and proven recipe didn't work, and I just have a runny garlicky, lemony mess. To make it worse, I used up my olive oil, so I can't even start over.
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gramma dishes

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #282 on: June 11, 2013, 04:39:00 PM »
My garlic paste...isn't. For some reason, my tried and proven recipe didn't work, and I just have a runny garlicky, lemony mess. To make it worse, I used up my olive oil, so I can't even start over.

Is there any possibility that if you left it sitting open for a few minutes, enough liquid might evaporate to get it back closer to the consistency you were aiming for?

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #283 on: June 11, 2013, 06:11:22 PM »
I did almost exactly what you recommended with one minor difference.  I whipped the potatoes using an electric whisk because neither one of us can mash potatoes without lumps.  They were standard white potatoes.

Electric mixer=glue potatoes

Maybe not all the time, but IME, a lot of the time.  If you must use an electric mixer, stir in the butter and some of the milk by hand with a big wooden spoon FIRST, then use the mixer on LOW ONLY for no more than about a minute.

I have never used a potato masher or a spoon, all I've ever used is a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
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Layla Miller

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #284 on: June 11, 2013, 08:16:01 PM »
I did almost exactly what you recommended with one minor difference.  I whipped the potatoes using an electric whisk because neither one of us can mash potatoes without lumps.  They were standard white potatoes.

Electric mixer=glue potatoes

Maybe not all the time, but IME, a lot of the time.  If you must use an electric mixer, stir in the butter and some of the milk by hand with a big wooden spoon FIRST, then use the mixer on LOW ONLY for no more than about a minute.

I have never used a potato masher or a spoon, all I've ever used is a hand mixer or a stand mixer.

Same here.  In fact, a few weeks ago the mixer beaters were in the dishwasher, so I had to dig out the potato masher...and the mashed potatoes tasted worse than usual.  Maybe we have magic hand mixers.  :D
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