I’ve been totally derelict with regards to this blog. As I’ve bitched to many of you too many times to garner any sympathy, things were a little crazy/hectic last week as we were deposed from our house for what really were some minor repairs. (The repairs themselves were minor, but the preparation, duration and aftermath clean up was a complete pain in the ass).
Anyway, I’ve come back with a treat. One of my favorite food bloggers (Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks) recently posted this recipe for grilled potato salad and it spoke to me. It’s summertime and I’ve been craving a good potato salad. Heidi totally kicked it up a notch. Take a look at her original recipe, it may inspire you as well (the majority of her site is pretty inspiring, as is her book).
We all know I’m not a food blogger. I don’t have the time or talent. I love to cook but lately I just don’t have the energy to put anything more complicated than a salad together. Work has been kicking my ass and I’ve succumbed to the reality that I simply cannot prepare gourmet multi course meals every night that require lots of prep and/or labor. Luckily, this recipe is pretty easy and totally doable on a tired work night. Check out the original and then take a gander at my take below (which may be against the spirit of the original, since I used mayo, but I wanted something creamy. But mayo is def not the dominate flavor, trust me.)
ps: I’m not a photographer, either. Please excuse my poor quality photos.
Indoor Grilled Potato Salad
More notes (sorry, I’m wordy tonight). J was using the grill to cook his weekly chicken rations, so I used my Le Creuset grill pan. (thanks, Jilly Bean & Roth!). I started grilling the potatoes on the pan but we have a problem where our vent hood isn’t really a true vent hood – it just circulates the vapors around the house rather than venting to the outside. The smoking from the grill was threatening to set off the fire alarm, so once I had a nice crust with grill marks I popped the potatoes in the oven at 450 til they were cooked through (but not mushy). Next time I make this salad, if I’m not using the outside grill, I would either parboil or bake the potatoes first (again, til just cooked through and not mushy) and then grill them. Regardless, it worked out well this time.
Potatoes (I used red – I’m sure there’s lots about what potatoes work best for this type of salad, waxy, starchy, whatever. I’m not savvy enough to recommend any, but red potatoes were definitely tasty)
Coarse sea salt
Squash (I used regular yellow summer squash, and made long thin ¼ inch slices)
Green onions (why did I turn down my dad’s offer for fresh green onions from the garden?)
Radishes, sliced thinly
Bacon, cooked, torn into about 1 inch pieces (if I was feeling really decadent, I would have cooked the bacon and then finished cooking the potatoes in the bacon fat. Alas, last week, being displaced and all, we ate poorly so I forwent the even tastier bacon fat route and just used olive oil)
Arugula (or other mixed greens)
Lemons, cut in half – I just realized as typing this I forgot the lemons Heidi suggested, which really would have added some great brightness. But I’ll include them here so no one makes my mistake
Dressing (see Heidi’s version for a lighter, mayo free dressing):
A few cloves garlic, minced and crushed
Mayo (plain yogurt would probably be a good sub, to get that creamy texture I was after)
Cut the potatoes into wedges or other pleasing shape that’s grill appropriate. Toss with olive oil and sea salt. (some fresh herbs or spice might be good at this point as well. Chives, parsley, or curry powder are possibilities). Slice squash and brush with olive oil (or grapeseed oil, so it doesn’t smoke).
Cook potatoes (see my extended note above about the how on that one). Grill squash, lemons cut-side down, and green onions.
While stuff is a grillin’, cooking, whatev, cook the bacon. (admission – I totally used the terrible already cooked microwave bacon because I was being lazy).
Make the dressing at this point, while stuff is cooking. Mash up the garlic, add mayo to taste (not too much!) and mix up with balsamic (all to taste, of course – I don’t do measurements).
When potatoes are done and slightly cooled, but still warm, toss with dressing and bacon. Make sure not to drown the potatoes with dressing, just enough to coat, the warm potatoes will absorb some of the dressing.
To plate – I did this as a composed salad, because I like the way it looked. Red radishes, yellow squash, greens and potatoes (J, being flattering, said the only way it could be prettier is if I had put it on a better plate).
Make a layer of arugula (or other greens), and sprinkle with a splash of olive oil and vinegar of choice (mine is balsamic). Make a row of radishes, then yellow squash, then potatoes. Top with a grilled green onion. Top with a squirt from one of those lovely grilled lemons (don’t be like me and forget that step!)
Did you read the above? Do you understand now why I should not have a food blog? That is probably the most disjointed hackneyed recipe ever written. Be happy I only post the occasional recipe. Now, it’s back to sales and funny news items.