Monday, September 05, 2005

Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 9 - Labor Day Potatos

All right folks, more potato salad is consumed at American barbecues than any other side dish except for potato chips, so in honor of Labor Day, I thought I'd post my potato salad recipe.

Mine is kind of a hybrid of Hungarian, Irish, Spanish, and German potato salads, because basically I hate mayonaise.

So I'm giving you two options, tangy, or creamy tangy...

Anyway, on to the recipe.


1lb black pepper cured bacon sliced thin
3lb new potatos, quartered (peeling optional)
1 large onion (optional)
1 large red bell pepper (optional)
6 or so random chili peppers (optional, to taste)
2 large celery stalks (optional)
8oz cherry tomatos (optional)
8oz cream cheese (optional)
8oz grated parmaggiano
8oz brown dijon mustard
1/2-1 cup balsamic vinegar or pickling brine (for traditional german)
1/2 cup cream (optional)


2 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsb fresh oregano
2 tbsp paprika (hungarian is better than spanish)
2 tbsp cracked black pepper
2 tbsp fennel seed
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic
1 lime


Quarter your potatos, peeling first if desired (I generally don't bother), then boil in water with a little salt and vinegar added until slightly soft.

Different potatos will soften at different rates so theres no hard and fast time limit here. Basically if the sharp corners are jsut starting to round off a bit, that should be enough, or maybe jsut abit too much depending on your preferred texture. You want there to still be a little snap in the potato when you bite.

While the potatos are boiling,chop up your onions, peppers, and celery to about half the size of the potato bites, or a bit smaller if your new potatos are larger (you are looking for under 1/2" chunks of onion etc...). Quarter your tomatos and put them aside. Cover ALL the vegetables with the juice of a lime, and put aside.

Fry your bacon til crisp, then put aside and strain the grease into a saucepan. Crush and mince the seasonings and add to the grease while still warm. Thoroughly incorporate the mustard and balsamic vinegar forming an emulsion. The amount of mustard and vinegar you use here is highly dependant on your bacon grease. Some bacon will produce more grease than others, so if the dressing is too oily, add more mustard and vinegar, too watery less vinegar etc... It's really a matter of preferred texture.

At this point you have a decision to make, do you want it tangy creamy, or just tangy...

If you are just going for tangy, it's time to toss the crumbled bacon, potatos and all the veggies but the tomatos together with the dressing; then toss the tomatoes and parmaggiano over it, chop up and sprinkle some leftover fresh green herbs on the top, and server either warm or cold.

If you want creamy tangy, then put the dressing on a low heat, and combine the cheeses thoroughly. If the mixture becomes too thick you can add a little cream, or buttermilk to smoothe it out. Then combine as above, but mix the tomatos in with the rest, and definitely serve chilled.

Now isn't that better than mayonaise?

UPDATE: OOOh I just had a thought. Add a couple tablespoons of fresh grated horseradish to the mustard dressing...

Oh yeah babe, that's good stuff...

And be sure to check out:

Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 12 - Lard Ass Wings
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 11 - Bacon Double Macaroni and Cheese
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 10 - It's the meat stupid
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 9 - Labor Day Potatos
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 8 - It's a pork fat thing
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 7 - It may not be Kosher...
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 6 - Andouille Guiness Chili
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 5 - Eazza the Ultimate Pizza
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 4 - Two Pound Meat Sauce
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 3 - Highbrow Hash
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 2 - MuscleCarbonara
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 1 - More Beef than Stew