Lots of vari­a­tions to this sum­mer­time favourite

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FOOD - Mar­garet Prouse From My Kitchen Mar­garet Prouse, a home economist, can be reached at RR#2, North Wilt­shire, P.E.I., C0A 1Y0, or at mar­garet@is­land­gusto.com.

I hope that Aunt Gla­dys never tasted even one bite of potato salad with onions.

“I like onions, but they don’t like me,” she al­ways said when the potato salad was passed around.

She al­ways had a lit­tle bowl of potato salad with no onions, made just for her. If she’d ever tasted it with onions, she would have known what she was miss­ing, and I doubt she’d have been able to bear pass­ing it up, even at the risk of in­di­ges­tion.

Potato salad makes fre­quent ap­pear­ances at sum­mer pic­nics, salad plates and bar­be­cues. It is tasty and sat­is­fy­ing, it tastes even bet­ter when it’s made in ad­vance al­low­ing the flavours to blend, and it’s a good use for last year’s pota­toes.

Be­sides pota­toes, chopped onion is the one in­gre­di­ent es­sen­tial to good potato salad, re­gard­less of which type it is. And there are many types.

You can make it with chopped pota­toes or mashed, peeled pota­toes or un­peeled. You can mar­i­nate the pota­toes in vine­gar or dress the salad with may­on­naise or home­made cooked salad dress­ing. You can add boiled eggs or meat or chopped dill pickle, or sliced radish, or steamed green beans or even leftover peas, if you wish. You can gar­nish it with a sprin­kling of minced chives, pa­prika or pars­ley. But you have to add onions.

As for the pota­toes, I like them cubed. I think it makes the salad look nicer and makes a more palat­able tex­ture than mashed pota­toes do. Waxy pota­toes, such as yel­low-flesh ones or red­skinned ones, hold their shape bet­ter and are less apt to crum­ble than starchy ones like rus­sets.

When it comes to add-ins, I think that hard-cooked eggs are a good idea. Be­sides bright­en­ing the colour, they add flavour and some pro­tein.

Per­haps you pre­fer to add the tex­ture of meat. If so, try Ger­manor Dutch-style potato salad, such as the one made with to­day’s recipe. Ap­par­ently, it used to be cus­tom­ary to make Ger­man potato salad with salt pork rather than ba­con, but now ba­con is favoured.

That’s prob­a­bly good as it would re­duce the fat con­tent some­what.

Dress­ing with a bit of kick suits my taste. A blend of tangy home­made cooked dress­ing and com­mer­cial may­on­naise livens up the flavour of the pota­toes while cling­ing nicely to the pota­toes.

I have been en­joy­ing this hot potato salad re­cently. The salty ba­con and sweet­ened vine­gar are per­fect com­ple­ments for mild-flavoured pota­toes. Serve it with sausage or pork chops.

My in­cli­na­tion is to not open a con­tainer of beef broth for this use, as the dress­ing is flavour­ful enough when made with wa­ter in­stead of the broth. If I were to use broth, I’d choose one with re­duced salt or no salt, as the ba­con pro­vides plenty of salty flavour. I didn’t even miss the 2 mL (½ tsp) each of salt and cel­ery salt that the orig­i­nal recipe called for when I omit­ted them.

Note that, de­spite the name, this salad is never re­ally hot by the time I get it to the ta­ble. It is more like luke­warm, even with the ad­di­tion of hot dress­ing.

Hot Ger­man Potato Salad

Adapted from Cana­dian Home Eco­nom­ics As­so­ci­a­tion: “The Laura Secord Cana­dian Cook Book.” McClel­land and Stewart Lim­ited, Toronto, 1966. 6 medium pota­toes 125 g (1/4 lb) side ba­con, cut in pieces 25 mL (2 tbsp) ba­con fat (re­served from cook­ing the ba­con) 50 mL (1/4 cup) sliced green onions or finely chopped cook­ing onions 75 mL (1/3 cup) vine­gar 75 mL (1/3 cup) beef broth or wa­ter 15 mL (1 tbsp) gran­u­lated sugar freshly ground pep­per Cook pota­toes un­til just ten­der. Peel and slice while still hot (there should be 1.5 L/6 cups sliced pota­toes) and keep warm in serv­ing dish. Cook ba­con un­til crisp. Re­move ba­con, drain and add to the pota­toes. In the 25 mL (2 tbsp) ba­con fat, gen­tly fry the onions. Add the vine­gar, beef broth or wa­ter, gran­u­lated sugar and pep­per. Bring to a boil, pour over the pota­toes and ba­con, and toss lightly to com­bine in­gre­di­ents. Top with chopped pars­ley and pa­prika. Serve the salad hot. Makes 6 serv­ings

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