Prep Time: 30 Mins
Today’s recipe is about the Humble “potato salad”. They are so many ways to make a good potato salad. Depending of the variety of potato you choose, the ingredients you add to your salad and the dressing you use to bind all the flavours together. Ideal as a side dish anytime of the year but more so popular in summer with you BBQ.
The German are claiming the origin of the potato salad. “why not? I say”. The origin of the potato is from South America and I read it was used more than 10 000 years ago… Hard to believe? “I agree” how do we know that? The “Spud”, the potato comes in 4000 varieties across the globe. It has become a staple food for many European country and if you do not know that, this is how Vodka used to be made of too.
Time management is so important in our busy life style.
So try to plan ahead and be efficient. this is how i will do it myself as a chef to be as productive as possible. I mean be as fast as i can. Here are my 2 major tips for this recipe:
1- Ask yourself if you are making the Mayonnaise dressing yourself of buying it in... I must say making it yourself takes 5 minutes and it is worth the effort. It makes a huge difference to your final product . If you want to check my Mayonnaise recipe here: http://cookingwithfrenchy.com/recipes/frenchys-zingy-mayonnaise/
This Mayonnaise recipe suits that potato salad perfectly (in terms of quantity).
2- You could boiled your eggs and your potatoes a day in advance and keep them in the fridge.
Cooking the Potatoes
A) Clean and wash your potatoes.
B) You choose skin on or off. It is up to you (health expert recommend to leave it on for your heath benefits.
C) Always start cooking your potato in cold water, totally submerged and with a good table spoon of salt.
Bring your potato to boiling motion and cook them for 15 min. (20 minutes if they are large)
Check with a small knife to see if they are cooked.
Drain your potatoes straight away and be careful to not burn yourself either with the hot water splashing or having your head or hands taking the steam.
After 2 to 3 seconds the potato should drop back in the pot without any help. Just sliding of the knife.
Congratulations your potatoes are cooked.
Fill up the pot you used with cold water, add ice cubes and add your potatoes and leave them cool down for 5 to 10 minutes. The ice water stops the cooking process and prevent the potatoes to go to mash.
Drain them again and keep them in the fridge until needed.
Cooking your hard boiled eggs
This can be started just after you start cooking your potatoes. REMEMBER, time management.
There are many ways to cook them. Some Chefs will tell you to start them in a cold water and some in boiling water.
I prefer in cold water as there is less thermal shock and therefore less chance for the eggs to crack and disperse.
As for the potatoes, Bring your water to a boil. Once the water is boiling i put a timer on 8 minutes.
Drain the eggs and do not burn yourself.
Put back the eggs in the sauce pan and add cold water and ice cubes. Leave them to cool down for for 10 minutes. The ice water here stop the cooking process and prevent your eggs to become hared to peel and the egg yolk become grey around.
Drain your eggs again and put your eggs in the fridge until needed.
Cooking your Smokey Bacon
This can be cooked whilst you cook your eggs and Bacon... REMEMBER (time management)
Here i use some smokey Bacon... You could use Pancetta, but once cooked it can get very salty and rubbery.. Some people, in France for example, will use diced Ham. However, you do as you please and can totally omit the Bacon.
i add just a little bit of butter in my pan and bring it to high heat. When i hear the butter singing ( splashing sound) , I add the bacon to the pan.
I cook my bacon for about 3 minutes on each side or until it looks caramelised and crispy.
I like it Crispeyyyyyyyyyy
Once you are happy with your Bacon, drain it onto a paper towel and keep it in the fridge until you need it.
Cutting your vegetables and putting the salad together
using a sharp knife and a chopping board, cut your tomato in halves and dice them in 2 cm square.
Place the tomato into a large bowl.
Do the same with the gherkins and add them to the bowl.
Chopped your parsley coarsely and add it to the bowl.
Peel all your eggs and cut them in 1/4 .
halves them first and halves them again, put them in the bowl.
cut your potatoes in quarters and add them to the rest of the ingredients.
Dice your bacon.
Add your bacon to the salad.
Add your mustard mayonnaise. (see previous recipe or video).
Start mixing all your ingredients together delicately... We as chef call it binding your ingredients.
Mix gently and turn your bowl at the same time.
Go from the side to the bottom of the bowl and lift gently your salad.
Check, taste the seasoning.
Use a nice salad dish, Place few fresh green leaves around and add few cut cherry tomatoes.
Voila you are ready and set for your next compliments from friends and family.
According to me, the best potato salad I have ever encountered was made of “Kipfler” potatoes. You can also use “Desiree, Nadine, King Edward, Dutch cream, Sebago or the purple potato”. Or, you could just make it with the in vogue “Sweet potato”.