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Cooking Potatoes For Salads

Potato salad is a dish made from potatoes, and varies throughout different regions and countries of the world. With respect to its place among the various individual menu courses served together as one meal, it is better classified as a side dish rather than a salad per se, as it generally accompanies the main course.

Tips in Preparing and Cooking Potatoes For Salads
By David Urmann

In order to bring out the delectable taste of potatoes, especially in salads, you need to prepare and cook them properly.

Photo: leftoverqueen.com

Here are some useful tips in preparing and cooking potatoes:

For fried potatoes, estimate 1 potato for each person to be served. After you cut the potatoes, soak it in cold water for about 30 minutes. Dry them before frying.

After frying, use 2 layers of paper towels to drain the fries. Reheat the oil only between batches.

To have crispier fries, you can fry it twice. The initial one should be fried at 340oF with oil until it becomes golden. Then, drain it and allow cooling at room temperature.

Prior to serving, fry it again at 375oF with some oil in batches until it becomes golden brown. Transfer this to baking sheets with paper towels and keep it warm in the oven (low setting) as you fry the rest of the potatoes again.

As for baking potatoes, if you plan to bake several potatoes, stand these potatoes along the end part inside muffin tins. Skewer some potatoes using an aluminum type of baking pan in order to cut baking time. Do not use a microwave oven for this.

To make the skins crispier, bake it at 425oF for about 45 to 60 minutes. You can still use these for hash brown the following day.

Another option to make skins crispier is to rub some butter, bacon drippings or oil onto ½ inch pieces. Brush these with some seasonings and olive oil. Bake these at around 425oF for 35 to 45 minutes. Make sure you turn them occasionally. Cut the left over skins into strips.

Brush these with some olive oil and bake for 10 minutes at around 400oF. Make sure it becomes crispy. Season this and consume with dips. It can also be used as a crumble for salads or soups.

You can also top the baked potatoes with cheese, chili, light cream cheese and chives, sour cream, vegetables, spaghetti sauce, chicken a la king, and pizza toppings.

To make roasted potatoes, toss some medium, small halved or large potatoes, cut into eights or quarters, in olive oil, or oil and melted butter combo. Roast it for 1 to 1 ½ hours inside a preheated 375oF oven. Make sure it becomes golden brown on the outside and "fork-tender" inside.

Turn the potatoes often to make it crispy and to brown uniformly. For extra flavoring, use bacon drippings, lard or pan drippings.

Mashed potatoes can be cooked with milk. Cook some potatoes using several garlic cloves (peeled). Then, mash these with some garlic. It is better to use baked potatoes instead of boiled ones.

Instead of adding whole milk, add some evaporated skim milk. For a lighter type of mashed potato, you can beat-in additional milk, leaving the butter out. Never over beat this because it can become sticky and starchy.

Mashed potatoes can be used to thicken some sauces and soups.

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