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  1. #1
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    Cooking question: parboil whole Yukon gold potatoes several days in advance?

    I'm headed to a weeklong music camp on Sunday, and I've been tasked with preparing crispy potatoes for 70 people on Wednesday night. I'd love to parboil the potatoes (whole, with skin on) before I leave, so that on Weds I can just pull them out of the cooler, cut them into quarters, and sear them off on the flattop grill to finish them before serving.

    But I don't know if you can boil whole waxy potatoes in advance and have them keep for a few days (refrigerated). I know cut potatoes brown quickly, but I'm thinking that keeping them whole might help. Anyone ever tried this?
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  2. #2
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    I kind of do this. We'll bake a bunch of yukon golds for dinner, and whatever is leftover gets tossed into the fridge. Next morning I'll chop them into 1/2"-3/4" pieces and pan fry until they're golden brown. Works real nice, and they'll keep in the fridge for a couple days. I think keeping them cool and dry is the key. I'm not sure hot baking vs. boiling factors in here.

    If you're only quartering them, make sure they're reheating all the way through, and coat them well with oil to fry.
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  3. #3
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    Take 1 potato and boil it today. Stick in fridge until Friday. Remove potato, cut into quarters, fry and eat. Be honest with yourself while eating. Ask "is this something I can serve to fellow musicians and be proud of?" If the answer is "no," you have some serious decisions to make on Saturday.
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    Will there bee beets?
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  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    That is a lot of potato and i have never done what you asked, but I would say the less you parboil them the better they will keep. maybe dedicate a cooler for them that stays cold and dry and layer them with kitchen towels in the cooler.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    Take 1 potato and boil it today. Stick in fridge until Friday. Remove potato, cut into quarters, fry and eat. Be honest with yourself while eating. Ask "is this something I can serve to fellow musicians and be proud of?" If the answer is "no," you have some serious decisions to make on Saturday.
    This is probably the best answer. I suppose I should do this, to be sure.
    Outlive the bastards - Ed Abbey

  8. #8
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    Fortunately you have time to test it.

    Be careful of what you put next to boiled potatoes in the fridge/cooler. They absorb odors and flavors of other things.

    Good luck.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  9. #9
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    You'll be fine. Raw potatoes (and apples, and basically all other fruits and vegetables) turn brown when sliced because of an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO). Heat inactivates PPO, so cooked potatoes won't brown. Freezing the cooked potatoes is the safest best for ensuring they're still fresh on Wednesday. Bonus--cooked, cooled and reheated starches have a considerably lower glycemic index than freshly cooked starches. Healthy AF.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, the main issue is whether I can keep them frozen from Sunday through Weds in a cooler. May have to borrow a separate cooler and put some dry ice in there.
    Outlive the bastards - Ed Abbey

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Bonus--cooked, cooled and reheated starches have a considerably lower glycemic index than freshly cooked starches. Healthy AF.
    When you're making potato dumplings (i.e., german style) you rice the potatoes and then let them stand on counter overnight and use next day. If you try to make them without this step you end up with watery potato soup. Maybe sitting does something to starches allowing them to bind better?

    I think you need to be careful of freezing then thawing and not using right away. I'd check with Blurred but I believe the fry cooks at McDonalds flash fry frozen fries and don't thaw them.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Bonus--cooked, cooled and reheated starches have a considerably lower glycemic index than freshly cooked starches. Healthy AF.
    Hash browns are healthy now, FTMFW!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegleg View Post
    Yeah, the main issue is whether I can keep them frozen from Sunday through Weds in a cooler. May have to borrow a separate cooler and put some dry ice in there.
    As long as they stay fridge-cold I think you'll be fine. I'm not sure dry ice is necessary over block ice. Main thing will be to ensure those coolers stay somewhere relatively cool and shady and no one opens the damn things before Wednesday

    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    When you're making potato dumplings (i.e., german style) you rice the potatoes and then let them stand on counter overnight and use next day. If you try to make them without this step you end up with watery potato soup. Maybe sitting does something to starches allowing them to bind better?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrogradation_(starch)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegleg View Post
    Yeah, the main issue is whether I can keep them frozen from Sunday through Weds in a cooler. May have to borrow a separate cooler and put some dry ice in there.
    Why? You were planning on parboiling then putting them in a cooler, refrigerated. Putting them in the cooler frozen doesn't mean they need to stay frozen, just that they don't go past refrigerated temps. Right?
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
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  15. #15
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    Freeze them. They will be great. Don’t worry. I used to do this all the time.

    I’d boil them, cut them all up, freeze them on a baking sheet (so they don’t clump together) with onion and pepper, separate into meal size bags, and keep for a month or two...

    You don’t need to freeze them on a cookie sheet if you are going to let them defrost in a cooler before cooking...


    Pro tip - at home, now I just microwave the cut up potatoes for 5 min then a quick sauté for breakfast taters. Cleaner, quicker, easier than boiling, roasting, or a slow sauté... just as good.


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  16. #16
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    I will sometimes make a pile of baked potatoes and eat them through the week. Texture and taste have always seemed fine to me.

    I'd bet a cooler full of frozen tates on Sunday will be a cooler full of perfectly thawed tates on Wednesday.
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  17. #17
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    Here's some weird trivia that no one cares about. Parboiling comes from the French and originally meant to cook very thoroughly. Stupid americans thought the "par" meant partly or evenly and now it means what we all think it means. It is a bit like the words factoid and peruse (or scan for that matter).

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    ^Well done.

  19. #19
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    I remember a short order cook who refered to it as blanching

    as in " I gotta go back to the kitchen & blanche some fries "
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