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Potatoes, Russet


1-1.25 lbs

Olsen Family Farm (WA)

The Russet is your classic ruddy-skinned potato. It looks like a cartoon drawing of a potato.  This potato is your best friend for baking. The flesh is very dry, and the skin is thick, so you can bake it up crisp on the outside and the inside will get fluffy, the perfect thing to soak up butter and sour cream.

My favorite thing to do with a Russet is to make an old-school twice-baked, scooping the snowy flesh out leaving a potato boat behind, and mixing the innards with butter, sour cream and shredded cheese, maybe some chives, and stuffing the thick mash back into the shells and re-baking with more cheese on top.

The Russet is the best potato for French fries, since the starch cooks up a crisp shell while getting that fluffy light interior that makes for a perfect bite. This potato has a very pleasantly bland flavor, which carries other flavors beautifully.

Potatoes need coolness and dim lighting for long-term storage (2+ weeks). Wet or moist environments aren't good for them either, as it encourages rot. The refrigerator is too cold and results in oddly sweet, overly brown potatoes when cooked. Go for a space that's more like 45 to 50 F. A pantry, old-fashioned root cellar or cupboard provide solid options. Place them in a dry cardboard box or brown paper bag to keep light away. Keep them away from onions, which emit gases that speed ripening and encourage the potatoes to sprout.

Even if you've stored potatoes correctly, small sprouts may develop. Just remove them with the tip of a knife before cooking. Only put potatoes into long-term storage when they are thoroughly dry. Never wash them before storage.

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