Peeling and Chopping the Potatoes

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,396
    Personal chef Lynn McKee demonstrates how to peel and chop potatoes for boiling.

    Lynn McKee

    I started my own personal chef business in August 2001. I am a self taught chef and I love to cook. It makes people happy, and that makes me happy. I have had articles featured in local magazines, and was voted in the top 10 personal chefs by Washingtonian magazine in 2003. I cook a variety of different items, under the heading of homestyle cooking

    Lynn McKee: Hi, I am Lynn with Lynns Meals in Minutes Personal Chef Service. Today I am going to show you how to make flounder asparagus rolls and cheesy spinach mashed potatoes. We are going to start by prepping, peeling, cutting and boiling the potatoes to make the mashed potatoes. First of all, we are going to take our potato peeler and take russet potatoes that already had its skin -- its been washed. The reason for this is because if there is any dirt or contaminant on the skin, as the peeler comes in contact with it, it will then transfer it to the potatoes. So, even though you are peeling the skin away, you should always wash them first. Then just peel all the skin off. I peel on to a paper towel because I find its easier to clean up, you just take the whole paper towel and all the skins and it goes right into the trash. If you find that you are still getting a little dirt on the potatoes, you can wash the potatoes off before you put them in the water, but they will be going into water and drained before mashing so it should be okay. I am trying to get all of the skin off the potatoes. While you are peeling them, if you come to a small black spot or something like that, you can just use the tip to dig it out or if you get an eye in it or you can just, for example, like that.

    Okay, just one more after this. I find russet potatoes to be the best choice for mashed potatoes as they provide a fluffier end product than a red potato, but of course you could use whatever kind of potatoes would you like. Some people like to leave the skin on the potatoes I dont personally just because I am not ever sure I can get them clean enough, but suppose if you wanted to, you could leave some skins on. Now we are going to cut them up to boil. You want to cut them uniform, so they all cook at the same rate and you also want to cut them fairly small, so they will cook quickly. The easiest way I have found is to cut the potato in half, long ways. If its a large potato like this, you can cut it in quarters again then bring your knife down through. That way you will have all pieces of approximately same size, not at the ends because the ends are smaller. By putting the flat side down, the potatoes remain a little more stable for you to be cutting them. I am running out of room here, so I am going to bring my pot over here and put some of these potatoes in the pot. You want to have a pot with the cover too because by covering the pot after its filled with water, it will come to boil that much faster.

    Also, you do not need to fill the pot when you put the water and you just need to cover the potatoes again this makes the boiling -- becoming to boil faster. Okay, now I am going to take this to the sink and cover with water, put about between a half a teaspoon, and a teaspoon full of kosher salt, then I am going to cover it, bring it to a boil. After it comes to a boil, I advise you to leave it open just a little bit on the side because if not, it can sometimes boil over it can make a mess on the top of your stove. So, after it comes to the boil, just kind of crack it a little and then boil, between 15 and 20 minutes or until you take the tip of you knife and you pierce one of the potatoes and its soft. Next, we are going to be trimming the asparagus to make the flounder and asparagus rolls.