Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two Potato Salads

A city picnic. So carefree, climbing into the car for a short trip to town. Food from a favorite cafe and a picnic table with a view. Watching the water and relaxing under the gentle northern sun and balmy breezes of early summer.

I try to eat outside as much as possible.

My Mother's German Potato Salad
Serves 8

Most often the picnics of my childhood were much planned for events, awaited with great anticipation. Friends and family were invited and special dishes prepared. My mother's German Potato Salad was always made.

1-1/2 pounds potatoes
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped fine
1 cup celery, chopped fine
8 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

Cook potatoes in their jackets (skins) in a covered pot until tender. Slice the potatoes while hot. Combine hot potatoes, onion, parsley and celery, gently, in a bowl.

Dice bacon and fry in a skillet. Remove the bacon pieces and add to the potatoes, reserving the bacon drippings in the skillet. Add the flour, salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar, and water to the bacon drippings and heat just to boiling; remove from the heat. Pour over the potatoes and combine well.

Serve this salad warm with chopped parsley sprinkled over the top. Any leftovers are good cold.

Southern-style Cold Mashed Potato Salad
Serves 8

The first time I had a cold mashed potato salad was when I lived in the South. I do not know the history of cold mashed potato salads, but this one is a change from traditional potato salad. It must be made in the spring with early new potatoes.

12 medium baby red potatoes, cooked and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, seeds removed and cut in half
2 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
Salt, to taste
Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, cilantro, oregano, olives and salt, while the potatoes are cooking. Drain the potatoes and toss, perhaps a little roughly, with dressing while still warm. Potatoes will "crumble" and become slightly "mashed." Gently fold in the chopped eggs and chill. Garnish. 

I like this just chilled, not cold.

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