Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ilse's German Potato Salad

Germans wouldn’t necessarily accept this as German potato salad. It is the salad I’ve developed over the years, influenced by the potato salad I first learned to make when I was in Germany. I like it very much! My friend, Lupe, likes it so much she uses it as a potato side dish for breakfast. It just goes to show that when you take a recipe from one part of the world to another it can be reused in a different way than is usual. I love this about food and the way it can be reinvented. I don’t think it really matters as long as it’s enjoyed. The first time I offered this to Lupe she couldn’t stop eating it and that is what matters. This recipe will serve between 2 and 4 people depending on how hungry they are and what else you serve with it.

12 or 14 small, 2” diameter, potatoes
6 slices of thick, meaty bacon
1/4 of a large onion
1/4 red bell pepper
1 tsp garlic
1 Tbsp evoo
Salt & pepper to taste
3 tsps vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
some chile powder (optional)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped green onions

Wash the potatoes and cut away any brown, unsightly areas.

Slice the potatoes into 1/8” to 1/4” slices. To do this cut a thin slice off one end and stand the potato on the flat end. Then slice down carefully until the whole potato is sliced.

Place the slices in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan and cover with water. 

Bring to a boil over a high flame, reduce flame and allow to boil for about 4 minutes or until a sharp knife slides in easily and the slices are cooked.
Strain into a colander over a bowl. Set aside to cool.

While the potatoes are cooling slice the bacon into 1/4” pieces.

Put the bacon into a frying pan and fry until brown and crisp.

While the bacon is frying chop the onion and red bell pepper into 1/4” cubes.

Put the cooked potato slices into a bowl

Once the bacon is nice and brown and crisp, scoop it out of the pan, leaving the fat behind. Add the bacon to the potatoes.

Decant most of the fat keeping about 1 Tbsp in the pan and add the chopped onions and red bell pepper to the fat. Let fry for four minutes until the onions are translucent and the peppers begin to cook.

Add the garlic. Cook for another two minutes. When you can smell the garlic add the evoo. Cook for another two minutes. Add the vinegar and brown sugar, cook for another two minutes. Pour the mixture over the potatoes. Add salt and pepper and chile powder. Mix gently but well until all the potato slices are well coated. Taste and add more salt and vinegar if liked. Set aside.

Chop parsley and green onions.

Add parsley and green onions to potato mixture and stir in gently. Taste again for salt and add more if desired.

If you like you can, while the potatoes are still hot,  add  and mix in all the other ingredients except the parsley and chopped green onions. The potatoes will fall apart and result in a more homogeneous mixture similar to mashed potatoes. Once the potatoes are mixed add and fold in the parsley and chopped onions. Try it both ways and see what you think. You can also choose to add cooked peas, beans, grated carrots or diced hard boiled eggs, if you like. You may need to adjust the salt, pepper and vinegar when you add other ingredients. 

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