Thursday, June 12, 2008

So long, farewell

So I decided, as I mentioned last post, to make German potato salad because I wanted some potato salad and I wanted to use up some bacon and I really thought putting bacon in mayo-based salad was kind of...overkill in the bad-for-you department. But I ran into a problem while looking up recipes: all, ALL call for not just bacon but bacon grease. And I had already cooked bacon. And the thought of purposefully cooking in bacon grease turned my stomach just a little bit. (Not that I don't eat things cooked in bacon grease or fat back all the time here, such as my beloved butter beans, but when I don't cook, I can pretend it's not there, you see.)

But, I decided to persevere, since now I was really craving hot potato salad of some sort. And when I reheated the Paula Dean endorsed thick-cut bacon the husband bought, guess what? It STILL produced all kinds of grease. Problem solved (health out the window)! So here is my basically unique to me recipe for German-esque potato salad (cobbled together from various cookbooks and using what I had on hand):

Red-skinned potatoes (as many as you want), chunked and boiled in the skins until fork tender (or however done you like them) and then drained. Meanwhile...brown your bacon until crispy (or not, which was what I chose to do) in a LARGE skillet and remove bacon from the pan, reserving the all important grease. Cook half a medium onion in the bacon grease until golden or tender (depending on which recipe you consult). Add to the onion about 1 T flour, 1 T sugar, 1/2 t mustard powder, 1/4 t herbs d'provence (the recipes called for celery seed and I had none), 1/2 t garlic salt (to make up for the sweetness of the herbs), and 1/8 t pepper (or grill seasoning, in my case), AND, the fun ingredient recommended by The Joy of Cooking, one chopped dill pickle. All these measurements are approximate, by the way. Almost every recipe I consulted was vague-ish about quantities. Stir until combined and then add 2/3 C water and 1/4 C vinegar (again, no one specified what kind of vinegar, so I used apple cider...because.). Stir until thickened and bubbly. Then stir in the hot potatoes and the bacon (chopped or crumbled or whatever) and eat hot or cold.

I'm not vouching for the authenticity of this recipe, but I will vouch for the flavor, which was great, tangy and full of bacon-y goodness (not for my vegetarian readers, I'm afraid).

Stay tuned for panzanella!

No comments: