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How long do you boil potatoes?

I've been asked to make potato salad for a little get together tonight but I've never been good at cooking the potatoes. I usually overcook them and they fall apart. I have red potatoes, if that makes any difference.

by Anonymousreply 3309/22/2014

Peel a strip from around the middle of each potato so they'll cook evenly.

Cover with cold water by about 2 inches -- add a big pinch of salt for each 2 potatoes.

Bring pot to boil (uncovered) over high heat -- lower heat to maintain a gentle boil/simmer.

After 10 minutes at the gentle boil/simmer, scoop a potato out with a big spoon & test it by sticking a sharp knife into the center -- it should still be hard at that point.

Test again 5 minutes later, with a fork instead of the knife -- probably won't take more than 20 minutes total (but the size & age of the potatoes will affect how long it takes). You want the fork to go in easily, as if it were your teeth while eating the potato, but you don't want the potato to crumble & fall apart when you stick it.

Drain the potatoes well & return them to the hot pan. IMPORTANT: immediately, while they're still hot, slice or chop them into bite-sized pieces (use a towel to hold each spud on the chopping board while you do this because they'll be too hot to touch) -- put the pieces in a big bowl & pour the vinegar for the salad over them -- if you wait till they've cooled off, the flavor of the vinegar won't penetrate & the salad will taste bland. You can wait for the potatoes to reach room temp before you stir in the other ingredients (onions, pickles, etc), but they have to be tossed gently in the vinegar when they're hot.

I don't have a recipe because I find it too much hassle to make -- I always ask someone else to bring it, or I get it at Costco or a deli.

Good luck, OP.

by Anonymousreply 106/27/2010

Boil them until you can just pierce them with a fork, but they don't fall apart. Then stop the boil and go another three minutes. Remove and strain but don't rinse with cold water. Let sit for ten minutes then rinse with cold water. Add cut onions. Refrigerate in the strainer so the cold air circulates for an hour. Make the "sauce". Ken's Italian dressing with Hellman's mayonnaise, the ratio depending on what texture you prefer. Let sit in refrigerator while the potatoes cool. Add whatever you like, celery for crunch, parsley for color, what ever. Just bear in mind that this recipe is terrific in it's simplicity and folks will RAVE about it. Red potatoes are best as they retain their firmness best and add color.

by Anonymousreply 206/27/2010

Use smaller potatoes than those you use for sex play. Tempting as it may be to peel those spuds with your posterior grabbing muscles, resist. Remember, if your sphincter can crush the potato, you've cooked it too long. Sauce your potatoes while hot, you may have to have a friend come over to get you to that level of intensity. Chill for a few hours and resist temptations that might affect the taste of your tossed potato salad. I seldom go through all this and just have someone else toss my salad.

by Anonymousreply 306/27/2010

I boil 20 minutes to the pound.

by Anonymousreply 406/27/2010

Potatoes for potato salad should be firm but fork-tender. With small potatoes (reds and Yukon Golds) you need to be careful of overcooking because their skin is so thin.

Cook small potatoes whole - if some are much larger than others, cut those in half so all will cook evenly. Boil gently for about 6 minutes and then test with a fork - they should be tender, not too firm and not mushy. Drain and leave them in the pan for about 5 minutes, then set out to cool. Cut into smaller pieces for the salad when they are toom temperature.

I respectfully disagree with R1 - I don't put dressing or mayo on the potatoes until they are cool (you could even refrigerate them). Warm potatoes soak up way too much liquid and then you end up with mushy, watery salad. Good luck!

by Anonymousreply 506/27/2010

Boil small waxy potatoes in their skins for 15-20 mins or until tender when pierced with a fork. While still warm add a dressing made from: 1 tbsp tarragon or cider vinegar 2 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp walnut oil 1 tsp honey Add a chopped spring onion (scallion), some walnuts and season with a little salt and pepper. Alternatively coat with mayo and add some mint.

by Anonymousreply 606/27/2010

Youse burl em til thur dun. Or have yur mum do it. Lor.

by Anonymousreply 706/27/2010

My partner will not let me cook. I am forbidden to use any cookware. A small fire 20 years ago and he simply won't let go!

by Anonymousreply 806/27/2010

The key is starting with cold water. If you boil the water first the outside will turn to mush before the center is done.

by Anonymousreply 906/27/2010

Agree with R9, but as far as how long the best way is to just stick a fork in them and when it goes in easily, they're done.

by Anonymousreply 1006/27/2010

Don't say potato, it wounds.

by Anonymousreply 1106/27/2010

How about potatoes?

by Anonymousreply 1206/27/2010

OP here, took everyones advice and the salad was delish.

by Anonymousreply 1306/27/2010

Good lord. Just put them in the microwave for about 3 minutes for a bunch of small red potatoes. They will be firm but puncturable with a sharp knife. If you have a lot of potatoes it may need a minute or two more. %0D %0D Some of you just waste energy and water and time. %0D %0D The best potato salad is potatoes, scallions, with a splash of white wine viengar. Not as fattening but delicious all the same. %0D %0D If you must use mayo then add hard boiled eggs and a dash of curry powder and lemon to the mayo.

by Anonymousreply 1406/27/2010

I thought Hellman's was verboten.

by Anonymousreply 1506/27/2010

Why would Hellman's be verboten? Cooks/America's Test Kitchen voted it best mayonnaise.

by Anonymousreply 1606/27/2010

[quote]Hellman's was verboten

Why. It's not home made but it is made from free range eggs, oil, and vinegar, which is how you'd do it yourself.

by Anonymousreply 1706/27/2010

Almost all cooking references on the web over-estimate cooking times. You can boil a medium sized potato for 10 mins. By the time it cools down it will be cooked.

by Anonymousreply 1804/20/2012

Easiest recipe from an old 1930's cookbook.

Potatoes celery onion...I use red for color boiled eggs mayo tsp of sugar

Easy but remember to drizzle cider vinegar over potatoes while hot.

by Anonymousreply 1904/20/2012

Peeling a strip like R1 advises is an old wives tale and does not affect the cooking. Just pierce with a fork.

by Anonymousreply 2004/20/2012

After 20 minutes take one out and see if a fork goes easily in. If not, cook them a few more minutes and check.

by Anonymousreply 2104/20/2012

Thinly sliced radishes are the key to a great mayo based potato salad.

by Anonymousreply 2204/20/2012

Only a Yankee would conceive of a potato salad without mayonnaise. Newsflash: you people can't cook and your food is dry and tasteless.

by Anonymousreply 2304/20/2012

The BEST potato salad has a vinegar and mustard based dressing...with bacon.

by Anonymousreply 2404/20/2012

r24, that's German potato salad. I love it too. Potato salad is way too much work. There's a deli near my house that makes several different kinds every day (Regular, Egg, Red, German, Pesto, and a Red Potato with a cream cheese dressing that is my favorite).

by Anonymousreply 2504/20/2012

R1 lost me at vinegar.

by Anonymousreply 2604/20/2012

Vinegar and mustard are both vile.

by Anonymousreply 2704/20/2012

As much as I love mayonnaise potato salad, agree with R24 that the best is with a simple vinaigrette (vinegar, lemon juice, white wine, Dijon mustard.) I sort of combine recipes because I use crumbled bacon which is more like German potato salad but I also add sliced Nicoise olives. Also needs chopped onions or scallions and a bit of parsley. It's really simple.

by Anonymousreply 2804/20/2012

A little vinegar (white, cider, it doesn't matter) added to the water will keep potatoes from falling apart. It seems to greatly widen the window during which potatoes go from undercooked to overcooked. Try a couple of teaspoons of vinegar per quart of water.

by Anonymousreply 2909/22/2014

Never cut the strip around the potatoes, it does fuck all to make them cook evenly and looks fucking pretentious.

by Anonymousreply 3009/22/2014

Who the fuck would peel a strip of the skin? That's just tedious and anal. Poke with a fork to check for tenderness.

Start with cold water, and stay close to the range.

by Anonymousreply 3109/22/2014

Cook for less than you normally do and test with a fork. I hate over-boiled vegetables.

by Anonymousreply 3209/22/2014

I say Po-tah-to

We simmer vigorously, we do not boil.

We have the Darfur Orphans test the po-tah-tos for doneness, as they are extremely hot. We also save the skins for the Orphans.

by Anonymousreply 3309/22/2014
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