Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Patriotic Potato Salad

There are very few things that say "4th of July" more than potato salad.  To me, anyway, and I love themed foods, so if I'm going to make potato salad (my version of it, anyway), I'm going to make it as patriotic as possible!  I don't like mayonnaise, so I went for years not eating potato salad, which made me sad, because I love almost all variations of potatoes!  About eight years ago, I heard about doing potato salad a different way, with a vinaigrette base, in place of a mayonnaise base, which makes this perfect for all of those 4th of July BBQ's, and picnics!
This potato salad is pretty easy to make, but it does call for a specialty vinegar, which you can find on Amazon.com.
Here's what you'll need:

1/3 lb of gold potatoes

1/3 lb of red potatoes

2/3 lb of purple potatoes
(all weights of the potatoes are rough 
estimates, no need to break out a scale!)
2 Tbs dry white wine
1/2 C olive oil
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs Champagne vinegar*
2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley
2 Tbs. fresh chopped dill
2 Tbs. Kosher salt
I call this patriotic potato salad, because of the colors of the potatoes, of course!  The purple represents the blue in this combo, so you have the white of the gold potatoes, red and the blue of the purple.  You take a little creative license with the purple potatoes, but it really makes such a pretty dish, you can easily get away with it!

*If you can't find champagne vinegar, and honestly, its a lot to ask someone to buy a bottle of this special vinegar just for one recipe (although it's amazing in a homemade salad dressing!), you can easily use a white vinegar, or any other white wine vinegar you want.  I found a Pinot Grigio vinegar at the grocery store for 1/2 off, so I snapped it up!  

Boil the whole potatoes in well salted water, for about 20 minutes, until a knife gives you a little resistance when you pierce the potato.  After 20 minutes, strain the potatoes, and set a towel over the colander and let them steam for about 3-5 minutes.  As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes up into bite-sized pieces.  I like to cut mine in half, then slice the half into two pieces, in a horizontal direction, then cut the resulting halves into three.  It sounds complicated, but this picture should give you a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about.
Although, honestly, how you cut it doesn't really matter.  As long as you can shovel the resulting potatoes into your mouth, that's all that matters, right??

While you're waiting on the potatoes to cool, whisk the chicken stock and wine together, and place the still-warm  potatoes into the stock/wine mixture, and gently fold them in; let the potatoes sit in this liquid, for about 15 minutes to absorb the flavors, occasionally giving them a gentle mix. 

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, and salt together, then add in the olive oil.  I like to just dump all of this into a mason jar, screw on the lid, and shake away.  This will give you the same beautiful emulsion as slowly drizzling the oil into the vinegar/mustard combo, without whisking your arm off.  I do like to premix my vinegar and mustard, though, to help break the mustard down a little bit.   

Once you have the basis of the vinaigrette finished, add in the chopped herbs, and shake again.

Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes, and gently fold everything together.  Taste, and add salt and pepper to taste!  I prefer to eat this warm, but it is good warm, room temp, or even right out of the fridge!