In the past, we have explored the use of baking soda as a texturizer for noodles and a browning aid for chicken wings. We had not applied the ideas to potatoes. Until recently. We peeled butterball potatoes and cooked them in water spiked with 1% baking soda and 2% salt. The baking soda firmed up the exterior of the potatoes and allowed us to cook them until they were extremely tender. The salt seasoned the tuber. We removed the potatoes from the alkaline bath and cooled them down. When they were cool we roasted them a pan with some olive oil. The alkalinity also facilitated the browning of the spuds. They developed an even, glass-like crackling crust. The interior remained soft and rich. We finished browning the potatoes with a generous knob of butter. We removed the potatoes from the pan and seasoned them with salt.
August 10, 2009