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Will baking potatoes work in place of red boiling potatoes?

Interested in trying this recipe: http://leitesculinaria.com/80638/reci... (Also interested in the cookbook: anyone own it and can recommend it?) But I've got a bag of small baking potatoes instead of the red boiling potatoes. Would they work for this? I"m not very knowledgeable on potato differences.

Also: I've got tons of chives out in my herb garden, but no scallions. And I've got queso fresco instead of feta--think these would be good replacements? (This is why a cookbook called "Cook without a Book" intrigues me: I don't trust myself without a written recipe.)

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  1. Baking potatoes are starchy, red potatoes are waxy, feta is briny and salty, queso fresco really isn't. I'm not saying it won't work but it won't be the same. It'll still be potatoes with cheese and a member of the allium family, though and I imagine it will still taste quite good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: weezieduzzit

      Actually, from looking at it, this recipe is incredibly forgiving. They suggest whatever herbs you have around and pretty much any kind of cheese -- it's not really picky. I think substituting chives for the scallions is fine.

      The potatoes will be slightly different, but I think you'll be fine. Nice recipe. I may try it.

    2. I recently watched a ATK episode on 'home fries', which like this recipe are diced potatoes that have been partially cooked in water, and then fried. They actually preferred baking potatoes, because the starchy exterior developed a better crust.

      Chives and scallions are just seasonings. Use what you like.

      The recipe suggests many different cheeses. "Cheddar, pepper Jack, feta, goat cheese, Gruyere, aged Swiss, provolone, or regular or smoked mozzarella". If you like your queso fresco use it. Some of the fresh Mexican cheese melt well, others don't. But the ones that don't melt are commonly used as a garnish.

      This is the sort of recipe where you should feel free to experiment, using what you have on hand, and what you like.

      2 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        I didn't even notice that part: that she partially cooks the potatoes in water and then fries. I'm eager to try that now since every time I've tried to make home fries from raw potatoes they haven't come out well. But then I'm too lazy to boil first and then peel and dice.

        1. re: Thanks4Food

          ATK claimed that partially boiling the diced potato freed up the surface starch, so it would form the browned crust during frying. They also browned the potatoes in a hot oven rather than a fry pan.

      2. Yes, absolutely, use the potatoes and cheese you have on on hand.

        1. The starchy baking potatoes will bake up better, fluffier. They are also good for French fries. For a potato salad, when you want nice, neat slices, the waxy boiling potatoes are better. For most everything else, it doesn't much matter.

          1. I agree with the others - Russets will work fine (or better IMHO) due to the starch content - however the end result won't be as visually appealing.

            1. Just love when someone wants to try a recipe but wants to use THIS instead of THAT or THOSE instead of THESE! I cook like that alot. Either not crazy about ingredient, or just don't have it on hand. As long as you have a good sense of things that SHOULD go together, they probably will.

              Was getting ready to do a few racks of baby back ribs at sister's mountain place. They were rubbed the night before and into heavy-duty foil pouches. Then they went into a low oven (like 250) for a few hours and were finished on grill. Liquid part of recipe called for worchestershire... didn't have it, so we subbed soy sauce... they came out very tasty.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kseiverd

                Worcestershire is just soy sauce with stuff in it, so you were halfway there. Tamarind and anchovy were most of what you were missing, plus whatever sweetens it. For cooking meat I think I'd prefer the soy sauce!

              2. This recipe seems very forgiving and I think that the substitution of potatoes will work. However, it seems to me that the first time that you try a recipe, you should make it exactly as the author intended. See what it is supposed to taste like before you start ringing in the changes. Otherwise, you have no base to tell you what individual substitutions accomplished (or did not succeed).

                There are some websites on the internet where people take a recipe, make a half a dozen ingredient substitutions, and then rate the recipe that they have massively changed. It's not the same recipe anymore, so how can they rate it?

                2 Replies
                1. re: gfr1111

                  To kseiverd and gfr1111: It's not like I chose the recipe and then purchased the wrong ingredients: I had small baking potatoes and eggs and was looking for a recipe with which to use them.

                  I made it clear, I thought, that I didn't know the differences between potatoes, so that's why I was asking my original question.

                  1. re: gfr1111

                    While I like to follow a recipe closely the first time, that applies more to something quite novel. The familiar the ingredients the freer I am with the substitutions. But I am also not in habit of blaming the recipe if my substitutions do work.

                    But much of the time, I already have the ingredients, and am looking for a new way of using them. If I can make substitutions like those discussed here, that opens up a many more recipes for consideration.

                  2. Yes, but peel the baking potatoes.

                    1. Breakfast today was inspired by this recipe. I

                      - diced some small Yukon (medium starch) potatoes, and put them to boil
                      - diced some bacon ends, and put to them fry
                      - minced a shallot
                      - drained the potatoes, and started to fry them
                      - added the shallot
                      - added the bacon, seasoned with salt, pepper, smoked paprika
                      - removed the potatoes to the bacon pan to stay warm
                      - broke eggs into the skillet, and stirred them (I like 'marbled' scrambled eggs), added some fresh goat cheese, and a dollop of mascarpone

                      Served the potatoes and eggs side by side, with garnish of minced scallions.