Upscale Scalloped Potatoes — and why mine turned black

   April 5, 2013 3:07 pm

 

If your sliced potatoes turn black, you can wash them off. It's harmless oxidation, kind of like what happens to apples, but reversible.

If your sliced potatoes turn black, you can wash them off. It’s harmless oxidation, kind of like what happens to apples, but reversible.

One of my favorite food writers, Jane Snow, formerly of the Akron Beacon Journal, recently blogged about a recipe for Incredible Scalloped Potatoes. I went right home that night and made it. It didn’t seem that hard when I read it, but I learned that it’s not like falling off a log, either.
The tastes were all there, but the potatoes didn’t get soft enough, and what’s worse, they turned black around the edges.
I tried again on Easter. Same thing. They looked horrible.
I finally did some research today on what’s going on with my black potatoes. Had they gone bad? Had I don’t something wrong? Were they poisonous?
No, yes and no. Turns out, Black potatoes are oxidized, much like sliced apples, if they’re not covered up by some kind of liquid. Marnie Mead told me to soak the potato slices in the milk or cream, or whatever I’m using for the sauce while I slice them. Other writers say to soak them in water, then drain and pat dry right before building the casserole, and tuck them into the sauce so they don’t sit in the oven with their edges hanging out.
I was intrigued by one writer who said if your sliced or shredded potatoes turn black before you cook them, you can wash the color off under tap water.
Time to go right home and try again. I refuse to be defeated by a bowlful of measly old spuds.

 

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