Peewee potatoes

mudlady_gwFebruary 6, 2012

I couldn't pass them by in the produce department of my Wegman's store so I paid $6 for a 3 pound prepackaged bag of Melissa's Dutch Yellow Peewee Idaho Potatoes. They are about twice the size of a robin's eggs or a marble and in beautiful condition. My first use of them is going to be as salt potatoes. I have never made my own salt potatoes and I am curious to know how much salt can actually be absorbed during cooking. I don't want to over cook them and I am sure they will be done in only a few minutes. I understand the strength of the salted cooking water will be a factor. I like my food fairly salty and I am asking this question only out of curiosity. I'm sure there is probably a potato-to-salt/water formula. I recall my mother telling me that if I over salted a sauce I should add a few potatoes because they "draw" in salt. If I let them soak in the salt water for a period prior to cooking can I expect them to be more salty that if they weren't soaked?

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I was at Wegmans last week ,got same potatoes ,havent had much luck seem really tough,I made a shepherds pie needed some mashed potatoes today and I emptied pot started over,I mixed a bunch potatoes ,purple,golden,russet,the mashed potatoes were awful..

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Mine were all tiny yellow potatoes. I boiled up a big bunch with a hand full of salt and tested them so I didn't overcook them. I intended to eat some and keep the rest for fried potatoes. However, I sat down with an LL Bean catalogue, salt and pepper, a stick of butter and a diet Coke. I leafed through the catalogue and admired all the pretty clothes that will never look good on my 2X body and slowly savored the potatoes and Coke. When I came to the last page of the catalogue all the potatoes were gone and an obscene amount of butter had melted and soaked into the potatoes. I decided they were every bit as good as a big plate of really good French fries. I don't recall ever eating just potatoes for supper, but I am retired and live alone and can do as I please and it was a pretty good supper. I will cook up more of the potatoes tomorrow when I braise some bottom round in butter and add a ton of onions and a few carrots. I guess that will count as a well balanced meal.
I did look at all the exotic colored varieties of little potatoes in Wegman's but I was captivated by the tiny yellow kind. I have never seen such tiny potatoes offered for sale before. I donâÂÂt know if they are naturally small, or simply dug while they are still small. I think it is quite a plus that I don't have to peel them.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:07PM
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Yum, they sound delicious, and much like the fingerling potatoes I grow and love.

Of course, I just like potatoes in all forms. My favorite way to prepare the small fingerling type potatoes is to cut them in half, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe some rosemary and roast them until they are golden, crunchy and delicious.

Did I say Yum?


    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 12:00AM
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I'm sure there's guidelines about salt to water ratio but I don't salt water for cooking potatoes or pasta for that matter. I season them immediately when they come out of the water or steamer. (You might consider steaming the potatoes rather than boiling them.) Salted vs unsalted water - I can't tell the difference when the potatoes are seasoned afterward anyway, especially if they're mashed. I'd think you run a risk of oversalting by salting the water. Plus there's often a salt buildup on the cookware that I don't like to deal with. And salted water, as I recall, takes longer to boil than unsalted water too.

FYI adding potatoes to something that is overly salty to "unsalt it" is an old wives' tale.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 5:39PM
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mudlady and bulldinkie,

Do you live in central NY? You both shop at Wegmans and both know about salt potatoes, which is a regional specialty there. I think it has something to do with the Syracuse salt industry.

I think potatoes don't absorb much salt in cooking, especially the small ones used for salt potatoes, which cook quickly. They are cooked with skins on in a fairly strong brine. When done and removed from the brine, the hot surface dries quickly, leaving a thin coating of salt, which gives them the flavor. That's my theory, anyway.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:11PM
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