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Aug 20, 2010 09:03 PM

big fat juicy new potatoes, what's a girl to do?

Our local 100-miles market just brought the year's first big potato harvest to my neighborhood. I've been enjoying those little baby new potatoes and they seem to be mostly what's discussed in this other new potato thread: . These are a different animal. (Or should I say vegetable?


Lazy as I am, when I got home with these fist-sized wonders that are only good for 1-3 days, I just used my mandoline to julienne two, sprinkled in a bit of oil and salt and popped them in a 450° oven for fries. I clearly missed the boat. I think fresh potatoes are too wet (or something) for that treatment--they were cooked before they'd browned up and crisped themselves. Plus they took much longer to get to french fry goodness than stored potatoes do. For baked fries I will go back to the stored potatoes (far too many times, I'm sure!).

So what should I do? I'm looking for that transcendent potato experience. The one that says stored potatoes are wonderful (and of course they ARE!!!), but when I have fresh potatoes, I wouldn't think of doing anything but xyz (or maybe abc, because seriously, I need to start at the beginning) with them.

Thanks in advance for your answers--especially the quick ones--at 7000 feet no season lasts for long!

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  1. Do you have a potato ricer? Fresh new potatoes will be so creamy after passing through a ricer with a bit of salt and pepper - so heavenly.

    2 Replies
    1. re: enbell

      No ricer here and I'm prepping for a move so definitely not in acquisition mode--anything I could sub for a ricer?

      1. re: miss louella

        A food mill. We actually skipped the ricer and bought the mill because it's a multi-purpose device, and the ricer isn't really (unless you have a lot of root vegetables to puree).

        Short of that, go with an old fashioned masher and lots of elbow grease.

    2. simple simple simple: boiled, drizzled with sweet butter, sea salt, and chopped parsley. heaven.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mariacarmen

        OK, I'm even more ignorant than you suspected--do I cut these fist-sized taters before boiling? Or is this a whole is greater than its broken parts deal?

        1. re: mariacarmen

          I agree. Boil with skins on. I would also have a spicy ketchup based dipping sauce and and a mayonnaise based dipping sauce. This works great with good potatoes

        2. Scrub and cut into, say, 1-inch chunks. Steam until tender and toss with butter, salt and chopped parsley. Or cut up and steam as above, then make a French-style potato salad - no mayo - dressed with oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper (a bit of onion, maybe some herbs). Or cut into decent-size pieces (larger than 1-inch) and steam only until about half-cooked. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet and bake at 400o until golden.

          Steaming is a more gentle way to cook new potatoes because they will fall apart so quickly if boiled in lots of water.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Nyleve

            I never boil potatoes (any kind) any more. Steaming keeps the flavor from leaching out into the water. I have yet to try it, but saw that for mashed potatoes, the Cook's Illustrated people recommend simmering cubed potatoes in the milk rather than water.

            1. re: greygarious

              Same here. Even for mashed, I steam them. Just seems better to me. Cooking in milk might work, I suppose, for mashed, but I'm not crazy about the smell of boiling milk so I probably won't try that.

              1. re: greygarious

                Greygarious.........thanks!!! Love the CI tip and it makes perfect sense. I grew up with a "steam all veggies" Mom so I continue with this nutrient/flavor capturing
                Now, if I use a small amount of milk instead of water to steam, all I need to do is add my butter, salt, and pepper and voila.........even more flavor, the nutrients aren't sent down the drain [as done with water method] and the milk is warmed for mashing.
                Ingenious/simple/duh, why didn't I think of that!

                1. re: jackie2830

                  CI simmers the potatoes - in small cubes - directly in the milk. If memory serves, with some garlic too. They are then mashed into the milk. I don't see any advantage to steaming them over milk

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Yes, simmered in milk and plenty of salt. In the end, a great deal of butter is added

            2. new potatoes make great potato salad, leave the skins on, pre-chop them to salad size pieces, boil till soft but not collapsing, drain, cool and add mayo, scallions, cilantro salt and pepper, or whatever you like in your potato salad.

              1. These potatoes were made for this fabulous recipe from Ottolenghi: The cookbook. Here is an online posting of the recipe.


                Also of interest is the various reviews of this dish:
                and here:

                Really fabulous way to eat this moist and new taters. Enjoy!