So a couple of weeks ago I asked you what you wanted more of…and I got one overwhelmingly consistent response: MORE RECIPES! Okay, okay! Now, I am no chef (Kelly Bensimon would call me a cook), but I seek tasty, healthy recipes to add to my “rotation” and have a nice little collection in my bag of tricks. I usually tweak almost everything to our liking & make it my own. So much of what you will find here are adaptations from my favorite resources like Cooking Light, Everyday Food & Allrecipes.com.
We don’t eat out much, maybe twice a month. Usually I prefer my cooking to much of what is locally available, and of course, it is always healthier. This recipe is a staple on my summer menu. I only make it maybe once a year, but it reminds me of what potato salad should taste like. (and it’s not mayonnaise, just in case you are confused, like I was) I will forewarn you, I looooove vinegar. I cook with it often. The last time I went to the dentist, he looked at my teeth and squinted his eyebrows…”do you eat a lot of acidic fruits? Maybe a lot of vinegar?” Ummm…YEP! Daily, in fact! Apparently my teeth aren’t doing so well. But I love vinegar because it has so much flavor at such a little caloric cost. Dental cost? That, apparently, is another story.
Basic Potato Salad (found in Everyday Food Magazine or online here)
Serves 8 (it goes waaay farther than 8 servings)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 pounds waxy potatoes (such as Yukon gold or new), scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes *I use red new potatoes
1/3 cup white-wine vinegar *I bet I use a whole cup!
4 scallions, white part minced, green part thinly sliced
3/4 cup light mayonnaise *I use half sour cream, half mayo
- Set a steamer basket in a Dutch oven (or large pot with a lid), and add enough salted water to come just below basket; bring to a boil. *I never salt the water
- Place potatoes in basket, cover pot, and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Steam potatoes, gently tossing occasionally, until tender, 15 to 25 minutes. *mine almost always take longer
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine vinegar, scallion whites, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Add hot potatoes to vinegar mixture; toss to combine. Cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour.
- Add mayonnaise and scallion greens to cooled potatoes; mix gently to combine. Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
I perk this up with some additional ingredients. After the above has been completed, I add in the following:
- 1/3-1/2-small red onion, diced
- either 5 small dill pickles (diced) OR a tablespoon or two of capers
- bacon, either a couple of slices cooked & crumbled, or if you are like me & HATE the smell of cooking bacon, I just use a handful of the bacon crumbles sold at Costco (beware, preggos–these do have nitrates, so steer clear if you are expecting)
- 4- hard boiled eggs. I only add the whites, for some added protein
- handful of shredded cheese
I think what really makes the difference with this salad is the steaming of the potatoes. They hold their shape this way. The vinegar is a really wonderful flavor addition too. I have a policy on food–use the real stuff & you’ll need to eat less. This is pretty flavorful & a half cup will satisfy your potato salad craving!
I also thought you might like to see how I organize my recipes. Everything that makes my “rotation” is printed/cut out of the magazine & kept in a binder, filed by the appropriate category. Each recipe is in a page protector, in it’s category. Each category has a pocket folder at the beginning, with recipes “to try.” Each recipe in the rotation is listed on the Master List, hanging by the blue painter’s tape on the right. This way, I can do a quick glance to pick the menu for the week. I now use the iPhone app Grocery IQ to make my grocery list. The week’s menu is put on a sticky note in the cabinet so I can open the cabinet, decide what looks good for that meal, and know that those are the recipes I have all the ingredients for. I have been doing this for years…it works great for me. Especially now that my life is a thousand times busier than before.