Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A New Potato Salad

I had stopped getting any food magazines for a while, mainly because I wanted to spend more time inventing recipes of my own. Still, getting inspiration is helpful. I watch TV shows and get ideas. I keep a pad of paper nearby to scribble notes on ideas to try when I see something I think would be good to experiment with. It can be any aspect of a food that calls me. A mix of spices I hadn't thought of. A food addition that sounds good. And then I got an invitation to re-subscribe to Food & Wine Magazine that was just an offer too good to refuse. And shortly after, I got an even better offer from Bon Appetit. So now I am getting 2 magazines, where I had been getting only one. And I am getting more new ideas. 

In the latest Food and Wine Magazine there was a recipe for a Grilled Potato Salad. The recipe is extremely simple, and it is hard to really think of a way to make it completely my own. I did not read the recipe beyond the ingredients. It called for small potatoes like fingerlings, a vinaigrette and some scallions. This caught my attention. I love potatoes with skins. My husband does not. If I made this recipe, would I have to eat the whole thing myself? No matter how good, after 3 or 4 days, I just want something different.

My regular Mustard Potato Salad recipe, which I have been making for a very long, long time, uses a vinaigrette to start the layers of flavor. I know this is not everyone's way of making potato salad, but my husband and I love the flavors, and that is all that matters. For Memorial Day, yesterday, I planned to make steaks on the grill, my Mustard Potato Salad and Mom Rawstern's Famous Baked Beans. I invited my sister-in-law and a friend she has staying with her. As I was going to be grilling anyway, I decided this would be my chance to try the new potato salad idea. This would be in addition to the regular potato salad. I figured if the new potato salad was a no-go, at least the other potato salad was there, and I know everyone likes that.

I brought up the vinaigrette because I thought since I would be making my vinaigrette anyway, I would make 1/2 recipe more and use this for the grilled potatoes. I had no scallions, though they would be a great addition whether raw or grilled. I do however have a pot of chives, currently in flower out in my sun room. I thought I would grill a half yellow onion and add that to the salad, just to see how it tasted. In retrospect, probably 1 or 2 onions would have been better. They shrink so dramatically when they are cooked. 
Grilled Potato Salad with Three Onions
Grilled Potato Salad with Three Onions

The potatoes I used were small "Klondike Gourmet"; not fingerlings. I boiled them whole with a tablespoon of salt until tender, then drained and left them on the counter to cool. I sliced them in half once cooled and brushed the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. While I grilled the steaks I also grilled the potatoes, cut side only. The onion slices were added to the grill pan and tossed until nicely charred. The whole recipe came together easily and I presented it at table. These potatoes were such a hit that my Mustard Potato Salad was hardly touched! I believe if using the tinier fingerlings, these would be an excellent addition to an appetizer party - they are that tasty! Serve with toothpicks or little bamboo cocktail "forks"
Bamboo Cocktail forks
. There is a great website called Pick on Us, that sells all sorts of bamboo toothpicks and other picks - I love it for all my appetizer needs!

I called this dish Grilled Potato Salad with Three Onions because I used grilled yellow onions, snipped fresh chives and the chive flowers. If the chives or chive flowers are not available, I would toss in some chopped scallions and some of my new Pickled Red Onion, chopped. Shallot would also be nice. Basically, the differing onion flavors and textures to compliment the grilled potatoes was the goal.

Grilled Potato Salad with Three Onions

Grilled Potato Salad with Three Onions
serves 4 - 6

1 1/2 pounds small potatoes
1 tablespoon coarse salt for cooking water

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper and olive oil for brushing
1 - 2 white or yellow onions
chives, to taste
scallions, optional

Place the cleaned potatoes in a pot with er to cover. Bring to boil, add the tablespoon salt and lower to a simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Drain the potatoes and set them aside to cool. 

Great Grill Pan
Make the vinaigrette: Place the salt and pepper with the tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a bowl and whisk them together. Add the rest of the olive oil in gradually, whisking constantly until totally incorporated. Set the vinaigrette aside. 

Once cooled, slice the potatoes in half - lengthwise and down the narrow side so you have thinner pieces to grill. Set all the potatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat a grill. Having a grill pan works wonderfully to keep all the potatoes from slipping through the grates. When the grill and the grill pan are very hot (at least 400 degrees) place the potatoes cut side down on the grill or pan. It will take at least 15 or more minutes for the cut sides to get very crispy and a little charred. Remove them to a bowl once done. 

Slice the onions across into rings about 1/4 or more inches wide. Separate the rings and set them on the grill. Turn them frequently to prevent burning before they get cooked through. Once they are cooked and lightly charred in places, remove them to the bowl with the potatoes. Pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes and onions and toss to coat. Add the chives and chive flowers if available. If these are not available, slice scallions to add the gentle onion bite.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.