Monday, January 25, 2010

Cooking Potatoes in Guardian Service Cookware

Potatoes are what made us fanboys of this whole lost line of cookware. A friend of ours, upon cooking potatoes in his Guardian Service Economy Trio cooker for the first time, called us to say he couldn't believe the flavor—"I can taste the Earth!" he gushed. So you can.
Keep the skins on. (As with most vegetables, but especially true of potatoes; so much of their nutritional value is in that precious skin). Shake the roaster a couple of times during cooking to let the potatoes re-position themselves, and they'll all brown nicely. Try for a happy medium: a few crisp, golden edges, and flaky mealy insides. A little bit over a half hour of cooking time seems to hit it just right, depending on how many potatoes and how big the chunks are.

It’s nearly impossible to overcook potatoes in GS. I once left the roaster on, very low of course, and forgot it for several hours... Instead of being ruined, the potatoes were mealy and ambrosial (though the caramelization on the pan was thick and took some soaking to get out. A little caramelized goodness is a beautiful thing but avoid burning, which produces potentially carcinogenic acrylamides... besides being no fun to clean).

(from "Guardian Service Tested Recipes")
Time: 35-55 minutes, depending on the size
Scrub the potatoes, place in cold unit. Cover, start over medium flame for 5-7 min. or until cover of unit is quite warm to touch. Reduce heat to low until potatoes are tender.
Baked: When potatoes are softened, pierce skins several times with a fork or cut crossed slits on one side. Leave unit over a low flame with cover partially open 7-10 min. to allow surplus moisture to escape.

Since Waterless Cooking works like a pressure cooker (only slower), you can work magic with foods which readily absorb flavors (like the humble spud). Add chopped cloves of garlic (or an onion, or shallot... or jalapeno if you'd like some added heat) in with cubed potatoes and cook them all at the same time.
When potatoes are done, turn off the heat and add a pat or two of butter (or cream cheese, milk, cream, yogurt or sour cream) and fresh herbs (parsley, chives, rosemary, savory, dill, whatever suits your taste). Stir and let sit for a moment with the lid on to let the flavors marry. Finish with freshly ground pepper and a nice salt, garnish and serve. 

If there’s anything left over: re-heat the mash the following morning (I like to use the Duplex Utility (omelet) pan, heat them up, shift the mash to one side and cook up some eggs in the other). Very little fat—the tiny bit you added just after cooking—goes a long way!

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