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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.