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Do you boil potatoes in flavored water?

Someone mentioned to me that they boiled potatoes in vinegar.

My first thought was that they did it to prevent discoloration.

Well, color me wrong.

They did it to impart a different flavor profile to the potato.

So last night I tried it.

Took some russet potatoes and put them in a stock pot, filled the pot with white vinegar (just enough to cover the potatoes), then brought it to a boil and simmered for about 5 minutes.

Took them out and let them cool a bit (still warm, not cold). Then sliced them up and sprinkled them with generous amounts of sea salt and paprika. Then threw them on the grill and grilled them until they were nice and crisp.

These were like salt & vinegar chips, except they were potaoto fries.

Do you use flavored water to boil your spuds?

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  1. I use Zatarain's liquid crab boil

    5 Replies
    1. re: roro1831

      The entire pot with the sauce? Or just a little to the water?

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Add some to the water, boiling them in the straight crab boil would make them really spicy (and dip into my stash for boiling crawfish), a little goes a long way with that stuff. Now you have me thinking, I love spicy, I may have to give it a shot. lol

      2. re: roro1831

        Deanies restaurant in New Orleans sells red new potatoes that have been boiled in crab boil as an appetizer. They are famous for them and they are excellent. The customers just put some butter on them and eat them.

        1. re: Hank Hanover

          Yes they do, good stuff. Every now and then I will boil some like that and just eat them, no butter for me though, ruins the crab boil taste.

          1. re: Hank Hanover

            mmmm, I've had them several times but never think to make them!!! thanks for the reminder - I love this site

        2. You might achieve the same result by steaming the potatoes, which would use less vinegar, or steaming/boiling them with water and then sprinkling them with vinegar. The Cook's Illustrated folks toss their just-cooked potatoes with vinegar when making potato salad. It penetrates the potato flesh very well and very evenly seasons them. Hot vinegar is a bad smell, IMO, so your experiment is not one I'd try.

          1. for ST Pats day, I boil pots in chicken stock, take them out, then put the cabbage in same chicken stock potato water, so good

            1. With small new potatoes I throw a bunch of fresh mint in the pot. After draining the potatoes and discarding the first mint, I return the potatoes to the pot over low heat with some butter and chopped mint, and maybe a little garlic.

              1. Instead of flavoring the water I coated raw, diced potatoes with pickle juice, mustard, garlic, herbs salt and pepper then sealed them in a vacuum bag and cooked them sous vide. The potatoes tasted great, but since I allowed them to cool while still in the bag they ended up being a little wet for the potato salad I was making. Next time I'll spread them out on a sheet pan and dry them in the oven a bit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Coogles

                  Coogles that's genius.

                  Have you considered grilling them after you've cooked them sous-vide?

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I'm considering it now! Also thinking about par cooking french fries with flavorings this way, then finishing them by deep frying in 380 degree oil after they've been dried off and frozen. I'm trying to be the Rube Goldberg of cooking!

                2. I've used flavored water or other liquids entirely to cook rice (e.g. adding lime to the water or just cooking the rice in orange juice), but I've never tried it with potatoes. Typically I just salt the water, but admittedly that's because my potato preparations are generally simple.

                  Given my absolute love for salt & vinegar chips, though, this sounds like an excellent idea. :D

                  1. just saw on foodnetwork where they boiled lil reds in water with garlic, then mash it all - skins of pot and garlic with cream and butter. I'll try that next time since I do love garlic mashed.

                    1. Great ideas here. I cook potatoes in some chicken broth until they are almost done and the broth has cooked off, then brown them or put them on the grill for a bit to brown. Really good.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: karykat


                        When you do that, do you reserve the chicken broth for later use?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          What I do is similar to what Hank describes below. Cook in the broth with the lid on until the potatoes are almost done. Then take the lid off and smoosh the potatoes a bit with the back of a spoon and boil off the broth. The potatoes absorb the broth flavor and are creamy inside but are crusty on the outside. I make a big batch for with a dinner so that I have leftovers. Really good.

                          I got this idea from Fine Cooking. They used unpeeled little creamer potatoes, but said the method was based on a French technique used on peeled potatoes.

                          I've also put them on the grill for that last browning step.

                          Some good ideas here to try for reusing the broth.

                          I can pull the quantities for you from the recipe.

                        2. re: karykat

                          Jacques Pepin advocates steam/sauteing potatoes in chicken stock with a lid on the pan. After 5-6 minutes, he takes the lid off and lets the stock evaporate. He then adds butter to the pan or you can add the butter when you add the chicken stock ...makes no difference. He then partially crushes the potatoes with a big spoon and finishes sauteing them.


                        3. Only when I make Portguese potato salad. A Portugese friend's recipe requests that I boil the potatoes in salted water with about 1/2 cup of fresh parsley and 3 or4 garlic cloves cut in half. Cool the potatoes and then procede with the salad. Gives nice flavor to the potatoes.