Thursday, April 21, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Garrison Keillor has a pretty funny rant about potato salads and the lost art of making it homemade. At the end, he has a great statement in to the honor of potato salads: “make a good potato salad, one with some crunch, maybe accompanied by a fried drumstick with crackly skin -- the humble potato and the stupid chicken, ennobled by diligent cooking -- and is this not the meaning of our beautiful country, to take what is common and enable it to become beautiful?” 

This is a recipe that I am hoping would make Keillor proud.  In the quest for a potato salad that stood out, I invented it as a somewhat decadent crowd pleasing side.  I tend to do a little prep cheating by using the salad bar for the broccoli, green olives, cauliflower, celery, and cheeses.  It is much easier than doing all the chopping yourself plus you can get more suitable portions than getting a whole cauliflower and only using a fourth of it.  You may need to cut things up a little smaller, but it depends on how chunky you want the potato salad and how much time you have. 

Salad Ingredients:
2 lbs. potatoes, cubed but with skin left on
1 tbls. olive oil
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Chili powder
1 tsp. garlic salt with parsley
¼  tsp pepper
½ cup brocolli, chopped
½ cup cauliflower, chopped
½ cup celery,. chopped
2/3 cup cheddar, shredded (but not finely)
¼ cup feta
¼ cup parmesan 
½ cup bacon (this would be about 5 strips or so)
¼ cup green olives, sliced

Dressing Ingredients
1 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
¼ cup ranch dressing  
1-2 tbls horseradish (more if you like)
¼ cup olive oil (or bacon fat)
½ cup apple cider or rice wine vinegar
¼ cup dried leak flakes (that you can rehydrate in the vinegar, of just substitute ¼ cup onion of your choice)
1 small jar pimentos with liquid
Salt and pepper to taste

1.   Preheat oven to 425°F.  In a roasting pan, sprinkle the potatoes with a little olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic and salt.  Roast at 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When potatoes are fork done, set aside to cool.  *Recommended doing a day in advance so they can cool in the fridge. 
2.   In a bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.  Then, add the cauliflower, broccoli, celery, cheeses, bacon, olives, and potatoes.  Mix together and store in frig till the picnic. 

 Potato salad 

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