Monday, June 09, 2008
Bacon Chipotle Potato Salad
In case you're wondering from my infrequent posts, I do still know how to cook. I'm just a teensy bit on the busy side with 3 offspring to nurture. (I'd call them rugrats, but really, only the younger two are rugrats.) Still, sometimes I manage to throw something together that is so terribly delicious I need to pass it on. Or at least post it for future use.
We're having guests over for dinner tonight, and I opted to make hamburgers, since grilled meat is always good on a sunny day. What else could I serve with it but potato salad? But there was a problem. I made potato salad a week ago. Now, I like potato salad, at least as much as you, but I don't like eating potato salad for three days and then starting over a few days after that, so I needed to get creative. I usually turn to epicurious.com for ideas, then sort by fork rating, only wasting my time on items that pretty much everyone recommends. Unfortunately, my search today turned up nothing but the usual (but usually delicious) fare: potatoes with onions, mayo, maybe herbs, maybe eggs, mustard, pickles, and celery. I know how to make a good potato salad. I wanted to make a better potato salad.
So I ignored the online world and thought about my refrigerator. It occurred to me that I had two perfect ingredients waiting for me in the fridge: bacon and chipotle purée. I quickly added ingredients in my head - Dijon, boiled eggs, red onion - that would match the salad and went to work.
The result, I humbly admit, is the best potato salad I have ever eaten. And those words were actually stolen from my husband, but I agree with him. Mom, I love your potato salad. But I think you should try this one.
Just a couple of notes, of course. First, the salad isn't loaded with bacon. It's a potato salad, not a bacon salad, so the bacon is there to add to the salad, not take it over. Likewise for the chipotle. I added just enough to give it a kick after a few bites, mellow enough for my kids but interesting enough for adults. You can add more if you like, depending on the palates of your diners.
Bacon Chipotle Potato Salad
2 1/2 lbs. red potatoes
3 T. white wine vinegar
1/4 c. thick cut bacon, chopped, cooked, drained, and chilled
2/3 c. mayonnaise
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 1/4 T. chipotle purée (place contents of canned chipotles with adobo sauce in blender or food processor; purée)
1/2 c. finely chopped red onion, chilled in ice water 10 minutes (to take the bite off), drained
2 boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1/3 c. chopped dill pickles
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
Gently boil whole, unpeeled potatoes in water 20-40 minutes, depending on size, until a knife or fork will just go through to the center. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes. Slice into 1/4" or 1/2" slices. Place in a bowl and drizzle with the white wine vinegar. Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.
Stir remaining ingredients into potatoes, including 2 t. of Kosher salt to start. If the potatoes don't fall apart on their own at the point, you didn't overcook them (congratulations!), and you can cut some of them into smaller pieces if you like with just a butter knife or the edge of the spoon you're stirring with. Taste for salt and spice. Add more salt if needed and more chipotle purée if desired. Serve or chill and serve!