Since there are so many varieties of potatoes on the market, how can I determine which ones take longer to cook and which ones don’t? Often times, when I put them in a pressure cooker, some are left undercooked while others are overcooked. Is there anything in particular that I can take away?
Whether you are boiling, baking, roasting, mashing or mashing, there is certainly a variety of potatoes to meet your needs. It’s hard to know which one will work the best, but in general, potatoes come in two basic types – starchy and waxy, and with a little trial and error, you’ll be good to go.
Starchy potatoes are high in starch, low in moisture, and tend to have a rough, rough skin and are white when you cut them. This high starch combo makes them better for deep frying – chips, fries, etc. and takes on a golden color.
Waxy potatoes have more moisture and sugar. They tend to weigh heavier and have smooth skin. They are often smaller and have a cream color when you cut them. And yes, these take longer to boil. They are great for boiling, roasting and slicing. They stick together during cooking, unlike starches. They are also excellent in stews, curries, chaat, and salads.
Can you suggest a salad or two that can be made and stored in the refrigerator? I mostly use a basic dressing with olive oil, lime, salt and pepper and don’t know what else I can use for different veggies.
So I think olive oil, lime, salt, and pepper are pretty much the best dressing you can make and they work so well with just about anything you throw on them. That said, you can make a million different dressings that will keep well in the fridge. So I’ll give you three quick ones to get you started. Once prepared, store them in the fridge in a bottle or jar and all three will last for weeks.
The first is for a good, relatively thick French mustard vinaigrette and coats everything beautifully. Start with a mixing bowl and a whisk. Add to this 2 tablespoons of French or Dijon mustard, a clove of chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then slowly add 150 ml of olive oil and you’re done.
The second is a bit Asian and is great for dressing just about anything and can easily be used as a stir-fry sauce. Again, start with a mixing bowl and a whisk. Whisk together 1 tbsp of hoisin and oyster sauce, 2 tbsp of light soy sauce, 1 tbsp of finely chopped ginger, 3-4 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 1 tbsp of white vinegar and 100 ml of olive or sunflower oil. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
And finally, something filled with desi flavors…. In a bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of finely chopped ginger, 3-4 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1 tbsp of red, green and yellow peppers, 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro, 2 finely chopped green peppers, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, ½ teaspoon each of roast crushed cumin, crushed coriander seeds and chaat masala. Drizzle with 150 ml of olive or sunflower oil and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
When you cook something with green peppers, most of the time they tend to get soggy. How to avoid this and at what stage of cooking should I add them?
All vegetables have different cooking times and often times when you add different vegetables during the cooking process it all comes down to experience. For example, let’s say I make a good, seasonal soup. Then I would start with things like onions, potatoes, beets, carrots, etc. Then after five minutes of simmering, I add things like pumpkin and sweet potato. Then five minutes later I’ll add the broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, bell pepper and simmer for another five minutes. Then turn off the heat. It should be done with all the perfectly cooked vegetables. At this point, if you have peas or fresh herbs, you can mix them up as well.
What’s the perfect way to add yeast to make a dough so that it doubles when it sits? In my case, most of the time it doesn’t double in volume and just stays as it is.
I’ll be honest here. Unless your yeast is really very old, like long dead, this is the first time I’ve heard this. Depending on the type of recipe, I add yeast to the dough at the beginning, in the middle and sometimes towards the end. Some recipes with lukewarm water, sometimes iced and with fresh, dried and freeze-dried yeast. The only real thing I can think of where you could go wrong is that you are not using a good strong bread flour and kneading it long enough to stretch the gluten, but even then it will increase further. Or, it could be that every time you’ve made dough so far, you’ve forgotten to add the yeast!