Q. My potato dishes are not getting as many compliments as I had hoped. I’m using good ingredients, what’s wrong? They taste bland.
A. Bland? That won’t do. If it’s a potato salad, be sure to let the potatoes cool (the starch cells close up) before adding any dressing or salad mixture. Warm potatoes will soak up the liquids. Taste an hour after mixing and see if the spices need tweaking. Mashed potatoes do the same thing if you add in the garlic or cheddar cheese too soon. Try reheating the potatoes in a pan, tossing quickly with a little warm liquid and then adding the spices, cheeses, etc. just before serving. Vary the cheeses to get a sharper, more intense flavor. Both California and Wisconsin have some great choices – jalapeno feta comes to mind. For scalloped potatoes, layer in the flavors. Instead of just Idaho® russets, add in a layer, just like lasagna, of other root vegetables such as turnips, or parsnips. Other color additions might include spinach, or sliced sweet potatoes.
The best mashed potatoes I was ever served at a restaurant turned out to be leftovers – here is that recipe: http://www.idahopotato.com/recipes/id-403/
Re-Fried Mashed Potatoes
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