Tuesday, May 13, 2014

German Potato Salad

Looking for a zesty alternative to French Fries with my burger this week, I decided to make a German Potato Salad.  It took a while to find exactly what I wanted to do, as there are many Potato Salad recipes.  I knew I wanted a non-mayonnaise Potato Salad, but didn't know where to go after that.  It turns out that I used a Herbaceous Vinaigrette that has Pork Fat, Rice Wine Vinegar, and lots of Dill.
Its a salad so a Vinaigrette seems appropriate, and the Dill makes it fresh.  But how many salads start out with a pan of Bacon?  It looks like Bacon is pretty popular on salads.  LOL!
I'm using the Bacon for two reasons, the Bacon bits, in this case Lardones, or thin strips of crispy Bacon for the Salad, and the Bacon fat for the Vinaigrette.  A Vinaigrette is a slurry of fat, vinegar, and an emulsifier, in this case brown mustard.  The emulsifier holds the fat and vinegar in an emulsion so they don't "break".
I'll start the Vinaigrette with two cloves of Garlic diced finely in a mixing bowl.  Then add two tablespoons of hot Bacon Fat.  This will cook the Garlic a little so its not too sharp.  Raw Garlic is never a good idea in a Salad, and this also brings out the sugars in the Garlic.
Then I added two tablespoons of Spicy Brown Mustard, a tablespoon of Honey, and four tablespoons of Rice Wine Vinegar.  Then whisk this mixture into the emulsion that is the Vinaigrette.  This can be used as it is, or seasoned more with Salt, Pepper, Red Chile, and I chose copious amounts of Dill.  I am adding the Salt and Pepper directly to the Baby Red Potatoes.  Then I whisked in another two tablespoons of Olive Oil.  The Vinaigrette is equal portions of Fat and Vinegar.
Dill feels Springy to me, and why not make a stark green Vinaigrette, everything outside is popping green right now.  I chopped about three ounces of Dill and added it to the Vinaigrette.  This gets to sit a while, and let the flavors meld while I prepare the rest of the Potato Salad ingredients.
I got about two pounds of Baby Red Potatoes at Rosemeade Market this week.  I roasted them in the oven at 425 F for about 30 minutes until they were fork tender, then quartered them.  Really you could use any Potato here, the Baby Reds just caught my eye.  They were right next to Baby Yukon Gold, and Fingerlings which I could have also used.
Then we'll season the Potatoes with Sea Salt, and Black Pepper.  Season well because Potatoes are pretty bland.  Then Vinaigrette will also give them a punch of flavor.
Then I want to add some contrast of flavor, and texture, so I am going to add some sliced Radishes, and Red Onion to the Potato Salad.  For me Potato Salad has to have Radishes.  Then the Red Onion is just ubiquitous, everything I make has Onion, LOL!  Its a Savory Chef Thing...

OK, then, everybody in the Salad Bowl, lets go for a toss.  The last thing is the Bacon, which I slice thinly across the grain to make it chew easy.  The Bacon can be used as a garnish, or just mix it in.  The Potato Salad is great without it, but better with the extra dimension of nomlishousness...

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