Idaho Potato Commission Releases Latest "Signature" Video; Shows Operators How To Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes

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EAGLE, ID, February 2, 2007 -- Mashed potatoes are the all-American comfort food and can also become a signature item. For these reasons, making perfect mashed potatoes can be incredibly intimidating. And, what do you do with leftovers? The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) demystifies this classic by creating an instructional CD that walks restaurant and non-commercial operators through the simple steps of creating perfect mashed potatoes every time.

"You can find mashed potatoes served in most operations," says Don Odiorne, Vice President of Foodservice for the IPC. "But making good-tasting, consistent mashed potatoes that keep bringing customers back time and again can be tricky." Odiorne feels that, "Chef Chris Koetke is a great instructor and he's been able to demonstrate a few little tricks that can make a whole lot of difference in any operation."

Chef Koetke is the host of the 15-minute training CD and was the perfect man for the job. As the Dean of The School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Chicago, Illinois, he is a natural at demonstrating techniques in an informative and useful manner. He is also a long-time supporter of the Idaho Potato Commission and tells his students that using high quality ingredients, like Idaho Potatoes, results in delicious dishes and repeat customers.

The video offers easy to execute steps on how to store potatoes (improper storage can cause changes in color and starch level, and can even cause the potatoes to develop a sweet flavor), to avoid excessive shrinkage of the potato skin during storage, and to clean potatoes properly. Chef Koetke walks operators through the basics of making perfect mashed potatoes, from dicing and cooking or steaming, to drying them in a 300F oven before adding milk and butter. He also emphasizes the importance of keeping the potatoes hot while mixing them (this is why the milk should be heated and the butter should be room temperature before adding). These steps seem simple, but they are necessary to perfect in order to create any signature dish using mashed potatoes.

In addition to sharing his own secret tips to prepare perfect mashed Idaho Potatoes (including the ideal ratio of potatoes to milk and butter), Chef Koetke also shares methods of holding potatoes before serving, classic recipes, repurposing leftovers and creative ways to serve mashed Idaho Potatoes.

To order a free CD of "Signature Idaho® Mashed Potatoes," individuals may contact Joan Hartz from the Idaho Potato Commission at (208) 334-2350 or via email at ipc@potato.idaho.gov and provide a mailing address as well as email contact for future newsletter updates.

Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some consumers don't realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the "Grown In Idaho®" seal. Both Idaho® Potatoes and the "Grown In Idaho®" seal are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.

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