Help!! friggin boiled potatoes

so I tried to make that sweet looking recipe

and cant find a good explanation of how the hell to boil the potatoes, the best one I found was to drop red potatoes into boiling water and boil for around 20-30 min until “fork done” unfortunately the method they describe works like arse. that or I just suck. either way I was hoping someone could explain in better detail.

What part doesn’t work? Is it that the taste of the potatoes after that time isn’t good or are they not fork tender after that time? Are they overcooked? I would add salt to the water and not fill the pot as much as they did but other than that the instructions appear straightforward.

the potatoes slid off the fork nicely…but when I got to the smoosh them with the potato masher the things were hard as rocks.

Cook them longer

Gotcha, I’ve had that problem a few times as well. Certain batches of potatoes are tougher to boil through for some reason. I started checking for doneness by piercing it with a sharp knife rather than a fork so I can poke the center more, you might try that. Some potatoes, though, take a hella long time to cook. If you salt your water it will boil harder (salt water has a lower boiling point than water) which might help. Also, if the pot was very full you might want to wait until it’s returned to boiling before you start timing. Those potatoes do look tasty though, I’m going to try that today.

I am so making those tonight…thanks!

Parsley Potatoes {Petersiliankartoffeln) are very popular in Germany… the German secret seems to be summed up in this Googleistic translate:

“Potatoes tolerate much salt (while boiling), that is courageous in adding salt (experience thing).”

Here’s the deal… if you want nice boiled potatoes.

[ul]Use a mealy peeled poatato instead of the waxy redskin… I find Michigan Potatoes work really well.[/ul]

[ul]Quarter the potatoes[/ul]

[ul]Boil them with a lot of water and a lot of salt.[/ul]

[ul]Test with a sharp knife for doneness… if the potato yields to the center it is done.[/ul]

[ul]Drain the potatoes off and let them sit in the warm or hot pan to “dry”[/ul]

[ul]Finish them of in a med-high sautee pan with a generous knob of butter and a couple of tablespoons of parsley, salt, and pepper.[/ul]

You know, I think I’ve seen Sarah Moulten make these “Hot Crash Potatoes” long ago. Either her, or another cooking personality.

Maybe it was Giada? I dunno, but The exposed, buttered, and baked smushed potato is European technique. I saw this recipe somewhere, wish I could cite to provide you with a contrast.

First off, don’t drop them into boiling water. The way to boil potatoes is to start them in cold water and bring to a boil. Why? Because, as you pointed out, they take a while to cook, and if you drop them in boiling water, the outside bits will cook before the inside of the potato is done.

Starting them in cold water allows them to slowly heat up and cook all the way through.

Most red potatoes will be done in 15-25 minutes. It all depends on size - I try to buy the smaller ones, between 1" and 3" in diameter. If your potatoes are larger, they’ll take longer. If you have a mix of sizes, cut the larger ones in half (or quarters) so all the potatoes are roughly the same size, otherwise the big ones will be hard when the small ones are done.

Other way around. Salt water has a HIGHER boiling point (approximately .5 degree C per 58 g salt) and a LOWER freezing point.

This. Generally speaking, you can extend that “rule” to all hard root vegetables you want to boil or simmer, like carrots, beets, turnips, rutabagas and sweet potatoes. Their density means it’s easy to overcook the outside (ie, be “fork ready”) and leave the innards hard as a rock.

Oops, thanks, I knew that :smack:

I usually cut the potatoes into about one inch pieces and steam them. Takes about ten minutes.

the problem with cutting them up is that it kinda defeats the purpose of the recipe
thanks for the pointers guys, I thought it sounded weird to drop red potatoes into boiling water but start regular ones in cold…

I agree with HongKong, test for doneness with a sharp knife. Push to the center.
Those do look good.

Those are bewilderingly good. I smeared them with a buttload of roasted garlic paste, sprinkled them with fresh rosemary and oregano, paprika and dried dill, then topped them with shredded sharp white cheddar, chipotle cheddar, light sour cream and chopped green onions. Nom!

Agreed. I start them in whatever temp water comes out of the cold water tap.

Also, “fork tender” means fork tender. It should not mean “rock hard in the center, I only poked the outer 1/4 inch.” Don’t be afraid of poking those babies all the way into the center. Use a knife if you don’t want to use a fork. Or, just sacrifice one by taking it out and cutting it in half.

I’m not sure how important adding salt to the water is anyway. I didn’t.

This is what I was going to suggest. The other advantage here is that you aren’t leaching out the flavor. If you boil a potato, especially if it’s cut or peeled first, some of the flavor will end up in the water, and down the drain. You get a much more flavorful potato if you cook by other means. For this application, steaming would be preferable.