Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Dirty Potato Salad
Most potato salads have a nice, “linen” color. This one does not. Looks however, can be deceiving. Instead of boiling the potatoes we grill them until they are nicely charred, and mixing that flavorful carbonization with the pristine mayonnaise and sour cream doesn’t exactly look laundry fresh!
Summertime means a lot of outdoor cooking at our house and not just with meat, poultry and seafood. Whole meals, including side dishes, can and should be cooked outdoors, but you can also use your grill to prepare cooked ingredients like these potatoes with terrific results and keep your kitchen cooler too.
Grilling potatoes as a side dish is easy and the variety of flavoring combinations you can use is almost endless and they cook up faster than oven baking or boiling. So we decided we would adapt that cooking method for potato salad – with great success! We’ll talk a bit more about potatoes on the grill as a side dish in the Tips and Trending section following the recipe.
Dirty Potato Salad
Yield: 10 – 12 Servings Preparation Time: 30 Minutes + Chilling Time Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
• 3 Pounds Large Russet Potatoes, washed but not peeled
• ¼ Cup Canola Oil
• 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
• 1 Teaspoon Hot Smoked Paprika
• ½ Pound Bacon, cut into ½” dice
• ⅔ Cup Onion, cut into ¼” dice
• 1¼ Cup Celery, cut into ¼” dice
• 1 Cup Mayonnaise
• ½ Cup Sour Cream
Step 1. Light your grill and with the lid closed let the temperature get to at least 500ºF.
Step 2. Dry the washed potatoes and first quarter them lengthwise. Cut each quarter wedge into three equal length pieces. Place all of the potato chunks in a large mixing bowl and toss them with the oil to coat. Add the salt and paprika and stir until the potatoes are evenly covered.
Step 3. When the grill has reached temperature, use tongs to transfer the prepared potatoes to the grill, skin sides down. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes. (If using a charcoal grill, spread the hot coals evenly before adding the potatoes.) After 10 minutes, turn off the center gas burner(s) and turn the outermost burners to medium-low. Turn the potato chunks and gather them all over the extinguished burner(s). (For gas grills with fewer than three burners, turn off one burner and reduce the heat on the other. For charcoal grills, move the coals to the outer edges of the grill.) Cook the potatoes for another 10 minutes with the lid closed.
Step 4. Spread the cooked potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and let them rest until they are cool enough to touch. Transfer the cooled potatoes to the refrigerator to chill for two hours.
Step 5. Cook the bacon in a large covered skillet until crisp. Remove from the heat, keep covered and let cool while the potatoes chill. Do not drain!
Step 6. Dice the chilled potato chunks into ½” to ¾” pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. While cutting up the potatoes, discard any of the really charred skins.
Step 7. Fold the onion, celery, bacon and all of the bacon drippings into the potatoes until everything is evenly dispersed.
Step 8. Spread the mayonnaise and sour cream across the top of the potato mixture and then fold it all together. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving, taste and if necessary season with additional kosher salt.
Tips and Trending
~ Buy large potatoes that you would serve baked, about 5” to 6” long. Keep an eye on the potatoes during the first 10 minutes on the grill. You want the surfaces to char, but not burn to a crisp. Don’t turn or stir them at all for the first 5 minutes or they’ll stick to the grill surface.
~ For easy to make hot side dish potatoes, stop after Step 2. Serve them right off the grill and they’ll be firm inside with a crunch on the outside. Or put them in a large bowl and cover for 10 minutes with aluminum foil for more tender flesh and moist outsides.
~ This, like any other potato salad, should be all about the potatoes. This is why the additional ingredients are diced into smaller bits than the final cuts on the potatoes. It’s also why I do not put hardboiled egg in my potato salads. If you want egg salad, make egg salad.
~ Don’t be afraid to use the bacon drippings. I know it’s a lot of extra fat in a dish that is already not exactly fat-free, but the flavor it imparts is impossible to come by any other way. (At home we justify the extra fat content by making this salad only once or twice a year!)
cool enough to touch. Transfer the cooled potatoes to the refrigerator to chill for two hours.