The potato is one of the staples of the Irish diet and on this St Patrick’s Day, there’s no better time to look at the humble potato and how to mash it, roast it or make the perfect chip.
The term, potato, is a bit of a misnomer as there are many varieties of potatoes and some are good for mash, others make great chips.
My supermarket recommends Lady Christl for making mashed potato. Harris Farm recommend Desiree, Dutch Cream or Kennebec. First boil the potatos until cooked but avoid overcooking or they will become mushy instead of creamy. Drain and mash with a hand masher. You won’t need butter, cream or milk if you beat the mash with a wooden spoon. This will make beautiful creamy mashed potato without the added calories of the butter or cream.
For roasting, Coliban, Sebago, Golden Delight or Valentina potatoes will do the trick. The secret is also in the preparation. Check out my recipe for perfect roast potatoes. It’s simple and effective.
The best chips are made with potatoes that have a low moisture content. A floury texture also helps to get the crisp outer layer and the soft, floury inside happening. Varieties King Edward and Desiree are great for making chips. Valentina is also good and makes great wedges (a variation on the chip theme). Coliban is another potato with a floury texture that is used for making French fries.
My low-fat oven chip recipe is great for those of us who are watching our waistlines and who isn’t these days!
Try the Kipfler potato which has a wonderful buttery taste. Nadine potatoes have a waxy flesh that holds its shape and colour (quite white) well after cooking and therefore is perfect for salads. Bintje has cream coloured potato with a firm texture that stores well and is available all year.
Best all-round potato?
If in doubt, you can’t go past Serbago which is widely available in Australia whether washed or unwashed.