Category Archives: side dish

American Potato Salad

American Potato salad

 

I read somewhere the other day that potato salad is making a comeback.  Did it go somewhere and no one told me?  It’s always at our house.  Potato salad is one of my all time favorites.  One of the best that I have ever had is Julia Child’s American Potato Salad.  Oh my goodness, it is so good!  You cannot go wrong with this salad.  When  I bring this dish to a get together there is not a morsel left.  It is that good.

Julia Child has always been an inspiration to me.  Just the fact that she went to culinary school so late in her life is astounding.  I was mesmerized by her voice and cooking skills on her TV cooking show way back when.  I spent many hours wishing that I might someday cook like Julia.  I do cook  in a setting much like Julia’s, but in no way with her same skills.

Years back on a trip to Washington DC I was thrilled to learn that Julia’s kitchen had been place in the Smithsonian.   I spent hours there just looking and reading.  I wanted to take it all in –  the kitchen that I watched Julia tell me how to roast the best chicken.  I was in heaven!

Julia’s American Potato Salad is exquisite !! It has so many layers of flavor.  One trick that my mother taught me is to add vinegar or pickle juice while the potatoes are hot makes a huge difference in the flavor.  I did find that one thing in the recipe did not work for me.  Her recipe calls for 2 pounds of potatoes.  On two occasions I tried the recipe with 2 pounds of new waxy potatoes and found the salad had too much dressing.  What worked well for me was using 5 pounds of Idaho potatoes.

You are going to love this salad and yes it has bacon in it.  Julia was way before her time.

Bon Appetit!

Julia”s American Potato Salad  changed slightly from Julia Child

Yield: 6- 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds Idaho potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup potato-cooking water
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 or 4 slices crisply cooked bacon, chopped or crumbled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped pickle, sweet or dill ( I prefer dill)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons or so finely chopped fresh chives or scallions, including a bit of their tender green
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup or so mayonnaise ( I use Hellmanns)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • For garnishing  Crisp whole red-leaf or other lettuce leaves

Directions:

  1. Peel the potatoes and slice each one lengthwise in half, or in quarters if very large; then cut crosswise into half-round or quarter-round slices, about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Put the slices in a saucepan with water just to cover and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water. Heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes, or until just cooked through. It is essential that they be just cooked through. Bite into a slice or two to be very sure. Immediately remove from the heat and drain the potatoes into a colander, but save a cup of the cooking liquid for dressing the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl.
  3. Stir the cider vinegar with ⅓ cup of the potato water and drizzle this over the potato pieces, turning them gently to distribute it evenly. Let sit 10 minutes to absorb the liquid.
  4. Add the prepared onion, celery, bacon, pickle, hard-boiled eggs, and chives, and season carefully to taste. Top with ⅔ cup of mayonnaise (or a mix of mayonnaise and a bit of sour cream) and, with a large rubber spatula, gently fold everything together until well blended. Taste the salad and add more salt, pepper, or mayonnaise as needed.
  5. Cover the salad and set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so before serving. If it is refrigerated longer, let it come back to room temperature before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning again.
  6. To serve, line a bowl or a platter with red-leaf lettuce or other greens, and mound the salad on top.

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Sauteed Corn, Spinach, Bacon, and Scallions

Sauteed Corn

School is now is session!  Three days mimicked ten days.  Schedule changes, reading the handbook, going over rules and regulations made for boredom.  I did treat my classes Friday with these Fudgy Rocky Road Bars.  They got rave reviews and some of my new students tried them out on their families and friends this weekend.  That’s success!  I will keep you posted about my classes, but so far so good.

Last night I tried this side dish that I have had bookmarked all summer from Katie Workman The M0m 100 Cookbook.  It’s a great way to use the fresh corn that is so plentiful now.  The dish is packed with flavor.  I’m talking bacon, red pepper, shallots, spinach and corn.  It will be a great addition to any entre, but you know what I think it would be perfect to stand alone.  Just eat the whole bowlful with nothing else.  Heaven.

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Pan Roasted Potatoes

Pan roasted Potatoes

I have been preparing all types of vegetables this way forever.  For example, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, grape tomatoes are just a few that have hit my skillet.  It is so easy to do and if you are in a hurry it is quick as a wink.  I love potatoes any way they are prepared, but I love this one in particular because it reminds me so much of homemade fries without the fat.  We did these in class and they were a huge hit with everyone.  And yes they did let their imaginations go wild and served them in ways that I would dare not ( bacon and cheddar cheese) !  Reminder:  their metabolism is running at the high-octane level and mine well, it is a tad slower.

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Macaroni and Cheese from Martha

Perfect Mac & Cheese

Let me just say that if you only make one mac and cheese in your lifetime this should be the one.  My gosh!  I just had to make it after reading all the comments after this was written.  What about Food 52?  They shouted from the rooftop about it, too.  So I’m right up there with the rest of them and I have to say that it is the best macaroni and cheese that I have had.  Martha knows her mac and cheese that’s for sure.  It has just the right amount of bechamel  sauce to go with the pasta and I love the White Cheddar and Gruyère Cheese.  I will have to admit skepticism about the nutmeg, but it went in the sauce .  Perfection!  So it’s your turn to let Martha’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese be the hit at your house.  It was at mine.

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The Best Hash Brown Casserole Ever!

This is one of my most favorite side dishes.  Yes, I am a lover of potatoes cooked anyway, but especially with cheese.  It’s been a hit for about fifty teens after the prom.  It has shown its face at several brunches and of course with most any grilled meat.

You’ll be glad to know that I have reduced the amount of fat from the original recipe without damaging its wonderful flavor.  It’s just plain delicious.

I can guarantee that this recipe will get you rave reviews no matter what you serve it with and it is simple to make.  One trick that will really cut down on cooking time and will eliminate serving some crunchy potatoes is thawing the potatoes for a couple of hours.  Mixing solidly frozen potatoes will result in freezing the melted butter  making  it hard to mix and frozen potatoes take a longer time to cook.   So enjoy this all summer long when you have a crowd for your next barbecue.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a crowd the leftovers are great!

Here it is right before baking:

Hash Brown Potato Casserole from Gracious Goodness

Yield – 10– 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion ( I used my small food processor)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Allow frozen potatoes to partially thaw.  About 1-2 hours.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Place in a buttered 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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Top 10 Post of 2011

Hope that all of you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I’m not going to bore you with my resolutions that are probably the same as everyone elses.  You know get yourself organized, eat healthier, and exercise more frequently.  I just want to enjoy life.  It is as simple as that!  With that said here are the top 10 posts of this year.  Several of them had the help of Stumble Upon by some of my blogger friends Dine and Dish and A Cook and Her Books.  Thanks to all of you that read my blog.  I really appreciate it!  I still have many things to get done that you have asked for, so don’t think that I have forgotten.  I havent.  The printer friendly recipe is being worked on now.  I do feel good about the recipe index.  It was needed and took a long time for me to finally sit down and do it. So here’s to another year gone by and new one to do with what we would like.  Let’s make it a good one.  Any day will be good with any of the following recipes.

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Scalloped Russet and Sweet Potato Gratin with Fresh Herbs

This is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving meal.  The recipe has been on my to do list since it appeared in Bon Appetit in 2008.  I just loved the idea of using two kinds of potatoes with Gruyère cheese.  It had to be a winner.  I’m not a fan of the sweet potato souffle which I think  belongs on the dessert table.  It is much too sweet as a side dish to my beautiful turkey and dressing. My pantry is overflowing with sweet potatoes from my CSA box. so I finally got around to making the dish.  I first tried it out on my book club and they loved it.  It has a hint of  sweetness, but the two types of potatoes definitely make this dish stand out!  Let’s not forget the fresh herbs, cream and butter that take the dish to the next level.  Oh, my goodness I can just make a meal out of this!

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Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese

I love macaroni and cheese prepared just about anyway except the stuff that comes in a box. I’m talking the real deal with a homemade sauce. I found one that is different, but it a good way. It’s packed with lots of nutrients and lower in calories than your regular Mac and Cheese. I love the flavor that the smoked Gouda cheese gives this dish. It’s almost like you put lots and lots of smoked bacon with none of the calories. Yes, Bacon! The spinach is a great addition and is so good with the rich and creamy cheese sauce. You should try this especially with all the fresh spinach that is available now.

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Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

This has been one of my favorite salads since discovering it about six years ago.  With corn and tomatoes at their peak the salad will be fantastic, but it is great in the winter using frozen corn and grape tomatoes.  To me grape tomatoes are pretty good most anytime during the year.  In fact that is what the original recipe calls for.  I just like using some of the home-grown tomatoes from Waldrop’s that I truly love.   All of these flavors just melt together corn, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, lime juice and cilantro.  They  just go together for a sumptuous salad that you will never forget.  Don’t think just salad because it  will go with most any main dish or I love it with fish tacos.  YUM!  Now pull out some of summer’s fresh corn and enjoy a real treat.

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Fingerling Potato Salad

I don’t think that I would have ever made this potato salad except for the fact that fingerling potatoes and leeks came in my CSA box the same week that this recipe appeared in Bon Appetit. I just couldn’t resist steering away from my old standby potato salad made with mayo. This is a very light salad and certainly a perfect side dish to any grilled meat that you might choose. I just loved the combination of potatoes and leeks plus white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Fingerlings that’s really a funny word for a potato. They are a heritage potato with some of the varieties over a hundred years old. They are not to be confused with new potatoes. Fingerlings are mature potatoes when harvested. These potatoes can be used in the same way as other potatoes grilled, roasted, or in salads.

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