Photo: Kemp Minifie
Potato salad is one of those summertime staples that is predictable, but rarely memorable. Yet there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be outstanding every time. Ten tips I’ve gleaned over years of trial and error in the kitchen will make the difference between ho-hum and “Wow, how’d you make this?”
You Say Potato and I Say Waxy:
- Texture is crucial. You want spuds that hold their shape when cooked, delivering a dense, waxy chew. Skip russet (baking) potatoes; they fall apart in a salad.
- My favorites are small white, yellow, or red thin-skinned potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter). And if they’re newly dug, even better!
Keep Their Jackets On:
- Cook the potatoes whole, with their skins intact. By keeping them whole, you retain the natural moisture balance in the potato.
Don’t Skimp on Salt for the Cooking Water:
- This single step will work magic on your salad. Cook potatoes in generously salted water to bring out their wonderfully earthy flavor. You won’t taste the salt; you’ll just taste potatoes to the max. Potatoes cooked in unsalted water and seasoned afterwards will taste of salt, but not of potato.
- Start potatoes in cold water, enough to cover them by about 1½ inches. And use about 1 tablespoon salt for every quart of water. Continue reading
Photo: Romulo Yanes
Independence Day is just around the corner and we’re going to celebrate with a backyard barbecue blowout. With delicious options like ribs, potato salad, watermelon, corn on the cob, hot dogs, coleslaw, burgers, pasta salad, grilled chicken, and baked beans, it’s hard to decide what to chow down on first. But, we want you to tell us:
What is your favorite thing to eat at a cookout?
Potatoes are not only a time-tested comfort food staple, but this terrific tuber is also among the most versatile of vegetables. There are countless ways to cook them. Some of our favorites include mashed potatoes, latkes, potatoes au gratin, gnocchi, potato chips, hash browns, baked potatoes, potato salad, and French fries.
What’s your favorite potato preparation?
Juicy, smoky, sweet, salty, and crispy, bacon is one of those meats that make carnivores swoon. From classic sandwiches to bacon-inspired sweets, this week’s roundup highlights the versatility of our favorite cured pork product.
- The Merry Gourmet’s Creamy Grits with Corn, Bacon, and Tomatoes is comfort food at its best (pictured above).
- Kirbie’s Cravings hops on the “bacon as dessert” trend with her sweet and salty Bacon Caramel Brownies.
- The versatile scone gets a good dose of pork flavor with Spoon Fork Bacon’s Bacon Gruyere and Green Onion Scones.
- The Cooking Bride’s Parlor Market Pimento Cheese, made with bacon, smoked cheddar, cream cheese, mayo, Chipotle peppers, and green onion, is the ultimate southern dip.
- Crumbs and Cookies masters the art of sweet and savory combos with Maple Bacon Cupcakes.
- Coated in creamy, homemade ranch dressing and finished with crisp bacon crumbles, Cook Like a Champion’s Bacon Ranch Potato Salad will become your new go-to side.
- Coupon Clipping Cook takes the classic BLT to a whole new level with Bacon Avocado Blue Cheese Sliders.
As we get ready to set up our picnic table spread this Fourth of July, we couldn’t help but wonder about the history behind one of summer’s most iconic dishes: potato salad. And so we did a little digging and discovered that there’s quite the storied history behind the ultimate American side.
Although potato salad has become as synonymous with America as apple pie, it was originally a European creation. Potato salad was first concocted by Spanish explorers after arriving in Europe from the New World in the 16th century. The first potato salads were normally cooked and/or dressed with vinegar or wine in contrast to their modern American counterparts, which are traditionally slathered in creamy mayonnaise.