Potatoes, to boil well together, should be all of the same sort, and as nearly equal in size as may be. Wash off the mould, and scrub them very clean with a hard brush, but neither scoop nor apply a knife to them in any way, even to clear the eyes.* Rinse them well, and arrange them compactly in a saucepan, so that they may not lie loose in the water, and that a small quantity may suffice to cover them. Pour this in cold, and when it boils, throw in about a large teaspoonful of salt to the quart, and simmer the potatoes until they are nearly done, but for the last two or three minutes let them boil rapidly. When they are tender quite through, which may be known by probing them with a fork, pour all the water from them immediately, lift the lid of the saucepan to allow the steam to escape, and place them on a trevet, high over the fire, or by the side of it, until the moisture has entirely evaporated; then peel, and send them to table as quickly as possible, either in a hot napkin, or in a dish, of which the cover is so placed that the steam can pass off. There should be no delay in serving them after they are once taken from the fire: Irish families usually prefer them served in their skins. Some kinds will be done in twenty minutes, others in less than three quarters of an hour.
We are informed that "the best potatoes are those which average from five to six to the pound, with few eyes, but those pretty deep, and equally distributed over the surface." We cannot ourselves vouch for the correctness of the assertion, but we think it may be relied on. I
* "Because," in the words of our clever Irish correspondent, "the water through these parts is then admitted into the very heart of the vegetable; and the latent heat, after cooking, is not sufficient to throw it off: this renders the potatoes very unwholesome.".
20 minutes to 3/4 hour or more.
The water in which they are boiled should barely cover the potatoes.
Pare, wash and throw them into a pan of cold water; then put them on to boil in a clean pot with cold water sufficient to cover them, and sprinkle over a little salt; let them boil slowly uncovered till you can pass a fork through them; pour off the water, and set them where they will keep hot till wanted. When done in this way they are very mealy and dry.
Potatoes either boiled or roasted, should never be covered to keep them hot.
These are never good unless freshly dug. Take them of equal size, and rub off the skins with a brush, or a very coarse cloth, wash them clean, and put them, without salt, into boiling, or at least, quite hot water; boil them softly, and when they are tender enough to serve, pour off the water entirely, strew some fine salt over the potatoes, give them a shake, and let them stand by the fire in the saucepan for a minute, then dish and serve them immediately. Some cooks throw in a small slice of fresh butter, with the salt, and toss them gently in it after it is dissolved. This is a good mode, but the more usual one is to send melted butter to (table with them, or to pour white sauce over them when they are very young, and served early in the season, as a side or corner dish.
Very small, 10 to 15 minutes: moderate sized, 15 to 20 minutes.
Rub off the skins, wash the potatoes well, and wipe them dry; put them with three ounces of good butter, for a small dish, and with four ounces, or more, for a large one, into a well-tinned stewpan or saucepan, and simmer them over a gentle fire for about half an hour. Keep them well shaken or tossed, that they may be equally done, and throw in some salt when they begin to stew. This is a good mode of dressing them when they are very young and watery.
(Captain Kater's Receipt.) Wash, wipe, and pare the potatoes, cover them with cold water, and boil them gently until they are done, pour off the water, and sprinkle a little fine salt over them; then take each potato separately with a spoon, and lay it into a clean warm cloth, twist this so as to press all the moisture from the vegetable, and render it quite round; turn it carefully into a dish placed before the fire, throw a cloth over, and when all are done, send them to table quickly. Potatoes dressed in this way are mashed without the slighest trouble; it is also by far the best method of preparing them for puddings or for cakes.