Q. I run a small diner and we are looking to use homemade French fries as opposed to the frozen variety. I have seen all of the suggestions about blanching. I have two, two bay Fryolators. I am a 24 hours operation and we have very little time when the fryers are freed up, especially to blanch the volume we need. On an average week, we go through 500lbs of French fries. What other suggestions do you have in order to improve our quality and efficiency?
Q. Dear Dr. Potato, I understand that ballparks across the nation are upgrading their food choices. Where can I find some great potato dishes to go with a great game?
Q. Dr. Potato, why do I love Waffle House-style hash browns more than ones I make at home? What do they do to the food service version that makes them so good? Are they partially dehydrated? Or maybe seasoned with some kind of chemical? I mean the shredded kind that come in boxes, not the deep-fried QSR formed hash brown.
Q. Do I have to blanch my potatoes, to make scalloped potatoes ahead of time?
Q. Does the www.idahopotato.com have a section just for consumer recipes?
Q. I am a professional chef, do you also have food service potato recipes?
Q. If I have potatoes and want to find a recipe for a scalloped potato casserole, is there a way to find more than just one on the web site?
Q. What size potato should I buy for my restaurant? I serve baked, homemade mashed and home fries (you know those cut up potatoes cooked on a griddle or flat top with onions and sometimes peppers or mushrooms).
Q. At a conference I overheard a chef say she was moving potatoes into the salad bowl on her menu, but never caught the rest of the conversation. Besides the obvious, potato salad… what might she have been talking about?
A. Here are a couple of possibilities… left over potato bread torn and used in a Caresse salad with tomatoes or russets cut into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch cubes, deep fried and dusted with Parmesan or Romano or other dry style grated cheeses. Mixing greens, thinly sliced cooked beets and whole fingerlings, boiled in apple cider vinegar or chicken broth can make a great tasting salad.
Here are some other thought starters…
Instead of a Chinese Chicken Salad that has gluten noodles how about swapping out potatoes instead? What about other chicken potato salad choices?
Or a layered formal potato salad on flat-bread:
Now get creating!
Q. I know people sing the praises of the perfect Idaho® French fry or mashed potatoes as a comfort food, but have you ever heard of fully grown adults getting so worked up about a potato dish at a restaurant that it becomes a special occasion, just to experience it week after week and year after year? Surely ruminating on favorite potato dishes is good for the creative soul.