Cooking Potatoes
Sifting through the Varieties

The method for cooking potatoes varies by variety.

Generally we refer Irish type russets as baking potatoes and red and white round potatoes as boiling potatoes.

With all the new varieties on the market many fall in between.

The ability to hold up to different cooking methods determines the best potatoes to use.

Baking potatoes have brown ruff skin and store well. They are high in starch and Low moisture. They have a dry mealy texture when cooked.

They are used for baking, frying and mashing. They do not hold up to boiling for soups and stews. The potato industry recommends this as the only varieties good for frying.

Baking cooking potatoes varieties include;

Burbank, Goldrush and Norkotah

Boiling potatoes have smooth thin skin, low starch and high moisture. They are waxy and hold their shape when cooked. Great for soups, boiling, roasting and in casseroles. You can mash them but they will be gooey not light and fluffy.

Boiling cooking potatoes varieties include;

    Red: Norland, Round red, La Soda
    White: Round White, Atlantic, Yellow Finn

Some new varieties fall into“all propose potatoes” they have medium starch and moisture and can be baked, mashed and fried. They hold up in boiling water if not over cooked. They are moister than baking potatoes and are great for roasting, in soups and casseroles.


    Gold: Yukon Gold, Superior, Kennebec
    Have a rich buttery flavor, very moist mashed, but eat the same day you cook for better flavor.

    Blue: Peruvian Blue, All Blue, Caribe
    Great nutritional value, rustic flavor, great mashed and French fried.

    Fingerlings: Russian banana, Ruby Crescent, French Fingerling
    The newest chic food. Best boiled and roasted with skin on.

New Potatoes are immature potatoes harvested early before they reach full size. These come in all varieties and are great cooked whole roasted or boiled.

Cooking Potatoes

You can’t beat cooking potatoes fresh from the garden. Potatoes add heartiness to any meal wither served as a side dish or the main dish. My grandmother served Creamed Peas and New Potatoes in the spring. She would dig a few potatoes early when they were still small about the time the early peas were ready. With access to new potatoes and frozen peas available in the market you can enjoy them any time.

    Creamed Peas and New Potatoes

    1 ½ pounds of new potatoes about 15
    1 pound fresh or frozen green peas

    White Sauce:
    4 teaspoons Butter
    4 teaspoons flour
    1 cup milk
    Dash of salt and pepper to taste

Cook new potatoes in boiling salted water till tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook peas in small amount of boiling water until done, about 8 minutes. Drain and add to potatoes.

Make white sauce:
Melt 4 teaspoons of butter in small sauce pan. Add 4 teaspoons of flour dash of salt and pepper to butter and whisk. Cook for a few minutes. Add cup of milk while whisking and cook till thick. Check flavor and adjust seasonings. Pour over peas and potatoes.

4 to 6 Servings

Creamed peas and potatoes are great served with fried chicken for a great country dinner.

    Perfect Mashed Potatoes

    2 pounds of russet potatoes
    8 Tablespoons of butter
    1 cup half and half
    Salt to taste
    Ground pepper to taste

Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into cubes and cook in salted water until fork tender. About 20 minutes. Be careful not to over cook. Warm half and half with butter just till butter is melted. Drain potatoes. Place in a mixer bowl. Use whisk attachment on your mixer. Whip potatoes slowly adding warm milk and butter mixture. Whip until desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you prefer denser mashed potatoes, use a hand masher in a bowl. Mash and add milk mixture. Continue mashing and stirring until you reach desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your favorite gravy.

Potatoes are the main stay for many meals and may be considered the staff of life. The many varieties available for growing in the back yard have increased to include red yellow and blue.

Many of these varieties are hard to find in the markets today and if you find them they are pretty pricy. I have enjoyed growing different varieties each year.

Return from Cooking Potatoes to Vegetable Recipes

Return from Cooking Potatoes to Everyday Vegetable Garden

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