Sunday, June 29, 2008

"I Ain't Got The Blues" Potato Salad

Do you notice how there are about as many different potato salad recipes as there are cooks? Some variations include egg and mustard, while others go the purist route only allowing potatoes, onion, and mayo. Growing up, my Southern Italian (Calabria) mom prepared a delectable combo of sliced, not cubed, potatoes, sliced tomatoes, celery, and onion paired with olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Calabrian cuisine is different than other parts of Italy, having more in common with the Mediterranean regions surrounding it than within Italy itself. And while I’m American born and raised, those Calabrian roots that influenced my youth continue to color and brighten my world today. When my garden gives up some tomatoes and potatoes, the salad that will grace our table will be the one like my mother prepared, as did her mother before her, and so on. Until then .....

Today’s recipe follows more American contemporary cuisine, and it’s killer. Warning: for those of you avoiding fat, run for cover now. We’ll wait. Ok, is it safe to continue? This salad is not for the faint of heart … with bacon, blue cheese and both mayo and sour cream, this baby pairs perfectly side by side with steak, preferably a thick, grilled one.

“I Ain’t Got The Blues” Potato Salad Ingredients:

6 potatoes* (I used russets)
6 slices cooked bacon (crispy and crumbed)
2 Tsp snipped fresh chives (can substitute green onions)
½ cup Blue Cheese (I used Gorgonzola – I’m Italian, remember!)
1 cup sour cream (can use low fat)
1 cup mayo (I used Best Foods/Hellmans)
White Pepper to taste
Sea Salt to taste

*Note: I prepare my potatoes kind of an old fashioned way. I boil them whole with their jackets on. I prefer the texture of the potatoes prepared this way. You can certainly prepare them in the manner you like best. To do it the old fashioned way like yours truly, simply place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with at least 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, and cook until a knife passes through smoothly. Immediately drain, keep potatoes in the pot and cover with cold water. As soon as you can handle the potatoes (they are hot!), just peel off the skins. I usually remove a strip down the length of a potato with a paring knife, and then just slip the remaining peels off in big pieces. See how easy it peels off?

Boil the potatoes in the method of your choice. Dice the potatoes into decent size chunks. No wimpy little bits here; remember this salad is at it’s best sitting next to a big, juicy steak. Make sure the cubes are cool before combining with the dressing.

(Uh, don't know why the flash didn't go off. I'm still getting used to this new camera! Either way, man do I need some sun. Ignore the Casper like hands!)

While the potatoes are boiling, stir together the blue cheese, sr cream, and mayo in a bowl. Combine the cooled potatoes with the blue cheese mixture, and add the chives, bacon, white pepper, and sea salt to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge. This salad tastes best the next day, as the blue cheese flavor becomes more pronounced over night. Makes six servings. Oh, and as there are no wheat or grain products in this baby, it's gluten free!


Kevin said...

Mashed potatoes with bacon and Gorgonzola sound great!

bagel said...

Gorgonzola with the potatoes sounds great! I never thought of that combination for a potato salad before. It definitely seems like it has more bite than most potato salads.

Pam said...

Sounds amazing. I love potatoes, blue cheese and bacon - what a perfect salad for me.

Cheryl said...

That looks amazing, I adore Gorgonzola cheese, and bacon, well that is heaven to me!

Marjie said...

I don't "do" potato salad, but I'm with Kevin in thinking your ingredients would make great mashed or twice baked potatoes! Your salad sure is pretty!

Lisa said...

This salad sounds unusual and delicious. I have been intrigued with Oregon blue cheese lately and this sounds like a great summer recipe to use it in. I also like the idea of these flavors in mashed potatoes. Thanks!

Pam said...

Paula, I've made a blue cheese mashed potatoes that I thought was great. I've never considered a potato salad. It sounds yummy!

syrie said...

Paula, your salad looks wonderful. I especially love potato salad that's a little more mashed. Yum!