Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Sides: German Potato Salad

Not too long ago I catered a small dinner party and one of the older, female attendees came up to me and said she loved the shrimp scampi I made. "I get so tired of chicken, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese!" she said. All I could think of to say was "Me too!"

This exchange got me thinking that maybe it is time to serve something different!  Often we assume people only like this or they only eat that because we haven't given them something else to try.  And as I learned at my catering gig, some people are dying to try something new.  This is why my "Summer Sides Series" makes over classic dishes to inspire you to bring something different to the table; ESPECIALLY this time of year when standard cookout and picnic fare can get really old really quick!

My first Summer Side recipe was for Apple Slaw and this second is for German Potato Salad.  This version of potato salad leaves out the mayo and uses red skin potatoes, making it a bit healthier than the classic creamy version.  However, I can't call this dish light because there is bacon involved.

But even though I cannot call this side dish healthy, unlike classic potato salad, it is ok to serve in the heat.  In fact, this potato salad is best warm or at room temperature! So please do something different summer and give this side dish a try!

Ingredients (makes 4-5 servings):

1 lb. Red Skin Potatoes (Sometimes called Red Bliss)
1 Large Onion
1/4 lb. of Bacon (about 4-5 strips, chopped into small pieces)
3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Course Ground Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Scallions (chopped)
Salt and Pepper


Chop potatoes into even, bite sized pieces and add them to a large pot.  Peel and cut the onion in half.  Add half to the pot and set the other aside.  Then cover the potatoes and onion with cold water.  Place pot on the stove and bring water to a boil.  As soon as the water starts boiling, add 2-3 tablespoons of salt to help flavor the potatoes.  Allow the potatoes to boil for an additional 7-8 minutes or until fork tender.  Then discard the onion, drain potatoes and set aside.

While the potatoes are boiling add the bacon pieces to a non-stick frying pan and fry until golden brown and crispy.  While this is happening, dice the other half of your onion.  Then, remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper-towel lined plate.  Immediately add the diced onions to the hot, rendered bacon fat and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Carefully add the vinegar, and allow to reduce for 2-3 minutes, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Next whisk in both mustards and the oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the vinaigrette from the heat and allow to cool slightly.  Afterward, add the potatoes to a large bowl, pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes and gently stir to combine.  Then gently fold in the scallions and bacon pieces.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

This German Potato Salad was the perfect side to a perfect summer meal!

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