Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How many different recipes for Potato Salad exist out there? It is, indeed, a food that has been changed to suit individual tastes for centuries As I have said before, baking is a science, not much room to tweak the recipe. But with Potato Salad, the sky is the limit. Not only do we have individual influences, but also regional, national, and yes, international influences! Ina Garten has a fabulous French Potato Salad recipe on www.foodnetwork.com . All of my German friends have German Potato Salad recipes, each a little different. It is one of those things that “Mutter” taught them.

Did you know there is a South African Potato Salad? I must admit I have never tried it, mainly because it contains sweetened condensed milk…and honestly, that just does not appeal to me!

Back here in America, we too have many varieties of what we feel is a truly American food. Some contain yellow mustard, some Dijon. There is green onion in some, only red onion in others….some can’t be tolerated unless it has Vidalia onions! Oh, and do you put pickles in yours? Dill or sweet?

Then there is the choice of peeling the potatoes or leaving the skins on. I suspect many have moved to leaving the skins on due to the unpleasant job of peeling potatoes. Thanks to dear Jill in Topeka, Kansas, we can have our peeled potatoes without the job of peeling! Watch this video. You will be amazed! http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7375897927147969009#

Now that our potatoes are neatly peeled, it is decision time. What type of Potato Salad is your favorite? Mine? None other than…

Deviled Egg Potato Salad
8 hard cooked eggs
3 tbsp. vinegar
3 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. dairy sour cream
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. salt
6 med. potatoes, cooked & cubed (4 - 4 1/2 c.)
½ cup chopped yellow onion

Cut eggs in half; remove yolks; mash and blend with vinegar and mustard. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, celery salt and salt; mix well. Chop egg whites; combine with potatoes and onion. Fold in egg yolk mixture; chill. Makes 6 to 8 servings

I won't discuss the mayonnaise/miracle whip decision....there is no decision. I see absolutely no reason on earth for that fake mayo to even be on the grocer's shelves! Mayonnaise,the real stuff,or nothing at all!
Now that that is settled, I am not saying you should make only Mayonnaise based potato salad. There are wonderful salads without.

You know me well enough by now to know I won’t forget Italy! Here is a wonderful version from www.Bluekitchen.com.
Gorgeous salad!

Deconstructed Italian Potato Salad

Serves 2 [can be doubled or tripled or...]

For garlic-infused olive oil [makes 1/2 cup]:

1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic
freshly ground black pepper

For potato salad:

4 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
1 large russet potato
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped red onions
4 teaspoons capers [chopped if large]
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Make garlic-infused olive oil. Peel garlic clove and bash it with the side of a knife to break it up, but not pulverize it. You want big chunks. Combine with olive oil in a jar. Grind in several generous grinds of black pepper. Seal jar and shake to combine flavors. Make at least 2 hours to up to a day or more ahead. The longer you let it sit, the more garlicky it will become. If using the same day, leave it on the counter and give it an occasional shake. If making it a day or more in advance, refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.

Make potato salad. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Peel and slice the potato into generous 1/4-inch slices, discarding ends. When water is rapidly boiling, salt it generously and add potato slices. Cook until they just lose that raw potato taste, but are still firm, no more than 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer potato slices to bowl of iced water to stop the cooking. After potatoes have cooled transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Combine tomatoes, onions, capers and half the basil in a bowl. When you’re ready to assemble the potato salad, dress the tomato mixture with 1 tablespoon of the garlic-infused olive oil [shake the jar first to get some of the ground pepper in the mix]. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the oil into the center of a serving plate. Arrange the potato slices in a single layer in the pool of oil. Scatter the tomato mix evenly over the potato slices. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of basil over everything and season the salad with salt and pepper. Serve.

. After you finish the salad, there will still be olive oil on the plate. If you have some crusty bread to sop it up with, you will be really, really happy.
So, if you are tired of your go-to potato salad recipe, here is your chance to be adventuresome. You have time to make some changes before that #1 Potato Salad Day…the 4th of July!

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Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
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