Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Potato Salad No. ??

Janet here:

While there is no real reason potato salad is a hot-weather food only, the reality in our house at least is that summer is when it's served. A lot. I have been a fan of potato salad since I first stuck a big spoon in a massive bowl in my grandmother's kitchen and ate it before dinner was even served. Not that surprising when you think about because it does start with potatoes and what's not to like about potatoes. (If you want my version of that recipe, just click here.)

So I was personally thrilled when my latest Food Network Magazine arrived and stuck right there in the middle of about hundred other fabulous recipes (no joke, this was one of the better issues for recipes) was a mini-book of 50! potato salad recipes. I decided then and there I would cook my way through them this summer. Rachel is going to join in too. We'll give you an update on Facebook on how that's going (and if you're not a fan, please consider joining the fun here.)

It was a no-brainer to start with the bacon-ranch version. First Ranch dressing is as ubiquitous as a dinner table condiment as salt and pepper when our sons are home, and second because, well, I use any excuse I can to include bacon in a meal. While I haven't eaten red meat in over 30 years, bacon, as regular readers know, is my downfall. I often made my kids order bacon as a side for breakfast in a restaurant just so I could have a piece. I used turkey bacon here to, you know, make me feel better but you obviously can use the real thing. Either way, it's one tasty potato salad.

While Rachel and I cook our way through potato salad heaven this summer, we'd love to know your favorite variation. Are you a red potato salad purist? Mayo-free fan? Let us know.

Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
serves a lot

2 pounds red potatoes
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery (I like crunch in my salad so I added more)
1 teaspoon sugar
6 slices of bacon, diced or crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until just done. Rinse under cool water and when cool enough to handle, cut into cubes. (You can peel if you want; I'm a skin fan.)

While the potatoes are boiling, cook the bacon and crumble when cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss with the potatoes and serve.

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