There are more ways to cook potatoes than I could possibly recount.  Mashed and smashed, baked and boiled, fried and fricasseed…if there is a cooking technique, there’s probably a potato recipe for it.  In this cooking technique video, I show you how to blanch potatoes, which is a really useful technique, that can save you a ton of time, and make help you make some really great potato recipes.  You don’t blanch the potatoes to cook them through – that would be boiled potatoes – but rather to give them a head start on the cooking process.  That enables you to apply some high heat to get the outside nicely roasted, but not burned...while allowing the inside to get tender.  The perfect start to a beautifully roasted potato.

To Blanch Potatoes:

  • Peel (although you don’t have to peel) and cut your potatoes into the desired size.  I generally go for about 2 inch pieces
  • Unlike green vegetables we start our potatoes in room temperature water (as opposed to boiling) and I don’t salt the water
  • Drop the cut potatoes into the water and put them on high heat
  • As the water begins to simmer, lower the heat to keep the water just simmering
  • After about 12 minutes or so, test the potatoes with a knife
  • You are looking for the knife to meet resistance so you can just barely get the tip into the potato (if soft, you’ve gone beyond blanching)
  • Once ready, you can drain the potatoes out of the water
  • At this point you can either cook the potatoes however you like (fried or roasted is great) or you can run them under cold water until they’ve cooled off and you’ve stopped the cooking process
  • By doing so, you can blanch the potatoes hours before you need them, hold them covered in the fridge and finish them whenever you need them

This technique, and blanching in general, is a great time saver.  It also allows you to introduce high temperatures to finish the potatoes with a golden brown crust...while make sure the center is still cooked all the way through.  Hope you find it useful.

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