The Potato Whisperer

Manuel Choqque Bravo’s delicious, colorful creations are adored by world-class chefs. 1,296 Bravo shows off a collection of cultivated tubers. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF MANUEL CHOQQUE BRAVO MANUEL CHOQQUE BRAVO, A FOURTH generation potato farmer in the Andean highlands of Chinchero, is about to perform a magic show. He lines up multiple deformed tubers, indigenous to the …

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Brine your fries too!

youtube.com Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s trick to making perfect french fries at his Los Angeles restaurant Petit Trois is to soak them in salt water before frying them. This seasons them from the inside out and removes excess starch for a crispier, more flavorful fry. See the full video here.

Store an apple with potatoes?

Store an apple with potatoes to stop them sprouting? An old wives’ tale advised that an apple kept inside a bag of potatoes would stop the green shoots appearing, but it turns out the opposite is true – the ethylene gas released by the ripening apple will promote the sprouting, not hinder it.

The ultimate chips?

How – and where – should you fry the ultimate chips? The very best chips combine a crisp crust with a piping-hot, snowy-white interior – a delicious combination that arises when potatoes descend into a nice hot pool of oil. But how does the magic happen – and can food scientists find ways to improve …

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Mashed Potatoes

Aaaah, let me let you in into a little secret. Smooth mashed potatoes are, alas, one of the great mysteries of modern cooking. Let’s see if we can arrive at the same conclusion. Imagine this: you’re making mashed potatoes. You’ve selected a great potato, checked its starch content by floating it in salt water[1], and brought …

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Potatoes L’Allemande

Potatoes L’Allemande (Mashed potato, coated in almonds and fried) or fish cakes – any patty containing mashed potato. Just make sure the mixture is on the dry side as wet mash won’t fry. If pre-making a mix, season and test-fry before storing to ensure the best results.

Chips by Ferran Adria

As pointed out in The Family Meal, ”many people consider chips the perfect accompaniment to meat dishes”, so here is Adria’s ”best chips” recipe: 1. Peel, cut, wash and dry the potatoes, then blanch them quickly in hot oil (140C) in a deep fryer. They should not change colour at this stage. This can be done …

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Mashed potatoes

Do you hanker after light, fluffy mash but always seem to end up with a sullen lump of spud instead? “When I was a child, my granny’s mashed potatoes never ceased to impress me. They were so fluffy and light with never a lump in sight. “Later in life I learned her trick – she …

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Cooking fries

If you wish to have crispy French fries, then you should soak the potatoes in cool water for 30 minutes and then fry them. Cold water will allow the sliced potato to retain its internal fibres, meaning that they are less likely to completely break down when cooked at a high heat.

History of french fries

Exactly who introduced these golden strips of goodness to the world isn’t entirely known.  Among the various theories, it’s generally accepted that the French fry was invented by either the Belgians or the French. Potatoes were first introduced to Europe not through the French or Belgians, but through the Spanish.  In 1537, Jimenez de Quesada …

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Mashed potatoes

After you drain the potatoes, return to the hot pan, cover tightly and let steam for 5 minutes. This allows the potatoes to dry out so they will mash to a beautiful texture and soak up the butter and cream beautifully. Wolfgang Puck, Spago, Los Angeles


Let potatoes sit in cool water for about half an hour, or quickly blanch them before frying. This removes starch and helps keep the fries crispier for longer. Make sure you accurately measure temp when making fries. Optimal oil temp should be around 190 degrees C. Any lower and the fries will absorb too much …

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Frying temperatures

The magic number for stove-top frying is 350°F. You can use less than that to make things soggy and more than that for a fast fry (crisping the outside). For cooking perfect French fries, we used both in succession: lower to cook, then higher to crisp.