American Potato Salad

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I am SUPER PICKY about store-bought potato salads because they tend to be overly drenched in mayonnaise, too mushy or just completely flavorless. This recipe is hands down the BEST mayo based potato salad I’ve ever had and so easy to make that I’ll never buy store-bought again. EVER.

As with a few other recipes on my site, this one also comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook 10th Anniversary Edition: Every Recipe and Every Review From All Ten Seasons. If you have to add one cookbook to your collection let this be the one. I’ve made so many recipes from it and ALL of them have been “spot on“. For those who are a little hesitant in the kitchen, if offers really great tips, information and very clear step-by-step instructions. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed with this purchase.

This recipe calls for the use of Yukon Gold potatoes which are my absolute favorite potato, especially for mashed potatoes. They are a rich golden color with a buttery delicious flavor that is hands down superior to other varieties. While you can substitute in another potato such as a Red Bliss, I highly recommend sticking with the Yukon Gold, they are a standout.

Instead of using dill pickles, as suggested in the recipe, I went for Kosher Dills because I love the flavorful garlic kick they offer. You can opt to use any pickle you wish, for a sweeter flavor try baby gherkins. Using the pickle juice in this recipe gives the potatoes a nice tangy and lightly sweet taste as opposed to the harsh flavor of plain vinegar. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 large hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 3 tbs dill pickle juice plus 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles
  • 1 tbs yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery rib, finely diced

Instructions

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tsp Kosher salt and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. A sharp knife should easily pierce through the potato without causing it to crumble to pieces.

Drain the potatoes thoroughly then spread them out on a small rimmed baking sheet. Mix 2 tbs of pickle juice and mustard together in a small bowl. Drizzle the pickle juice mixture over the potatoes, gently toss to coat and refrigerate until cooled, about 30 minutes.

Mix the remaining 1 tbs of pickle juice, chopped pickles, 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, black pepper, celery seed, mayonnaise, sour cream, red onion and celery in a large bowl. Toss in the cooled potatoes, cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Gently stir in the chopped eggs just before serving.

**Tip – The potato salad can be kept for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Also, if serving outside on a warm day place the salad bowl over ice to keep it cool and refrigerate soon after serving as the mayo and sour cream can spoil quickly in the heat.**

Potato Croquettes

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There are three things that I love most in the world. My husband. My kids. And mashed potatoes. I mean honestly, what is better than creamy, buttery, homemade mashed potatoes smothered in steaming hot gravy? Almost nothing UNLESS of course you turn those scrumptious mashed potatoes in a crispy potato croquette.

Because I adore mashed potatoes so much I usually end up making way too much when I cook them so I inevitably will have leftovers. Most times I have too many leftovers to eat before it’s time to toss them so I like to put those potatoes to good use before that happens, That is where potato croquettes come in. They are really simple to make as most of the work is already done for you. The first time that I made them I used straight mashed potatoes and nothing else. They were absolutely divine but I wanted to up the ante so the next time I made them I added diced ham (or prosciutto) in the croquettes along with small chunks of mozzarella cheese. Absolute heaven! I usually double this recipe because I would rather have “too many” potato croquettes than not enough. You can always freeze what is left and then bake them off the next time a craving hits. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cooled mashed potatoes
  • 2 tbs finely minced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

Combine the cooled mashed potatoes, onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix until well combined.

Set up 3 bowls, one for the egg, one for the breadcrumbs, and one for the flour.

Form the potato mixture into 2-3″ logs. Dip them first in flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs.

Attach a deep fry thermometer to the side of a large pot. Add the oil and heat until it reaches 350ºF. Maintain the temperature between 350-375ºF while frying.

Add the potato croquettes to the hot oil, 3-4 at a time. Cook for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack or paper towel lined plate. Cool slightly and serve.

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Potato, Leek and Bacon Pizza

Potato and Leek Pizza

This is seriously the BEST. PIZZA. EVER. It is SO ridiculously good! The leeks add such a nice, mild onion flavor and the bacon, ricotta, and potatoes taste absolutely amazing together. This is truly one of the most unique and delicious pizzas I’ve ever tried and it was quickly added to my recipe binder. This recipe is another gem from The Pioneer Woman  and you can find the original recipe here .

I made just a few adjustments to the original recipe and it came out great but feel free to leave it as is if you prefer. She calls for using frozen bread dough for the crust however, the first time I made this I found that to be too dense and dry, the texture just wasn’t right for pizza crust. So the next time I made it I used the same dough recipe from my Pizza Margherita and it was SO much better. If you’re pressed for time or don’t feel comfortable making a homemade crust you can easily pick up a ball of pizza dough in your local pizzeria or even the supermarket. Also, I do not like goat cheese so instead I used large dollops of whole milk ricotta all over the pizza and it was excellent, a perfect substitution! Lastly, feel free to use whatever potatoes you have on hand for this. The recipe calls for red potatoes but I used Yukon Gold because they are my favorite and I always have them in the house.

If you have a pizza stone, use it, as it makes for a nicely baked crust, If you do not have one a plain oiled baking sheet will also work fine. When you take the pizza out of the oven, give it a few minutes to rest so that the cheese sets and doesn’t run all over the place when you slice it. Make extra because it’s THAT good. You can thank me later.

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 leeks, rinsed well to remove grit and thinly sliced 
  • 1 ball of pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
  • 2-3 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced paper thin with a mandoline or sharp knife
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced thin 
  • 6-8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 475ºF. Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil or heat up a pizza stone in the hot oven.

In a skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until cooked but not crisp, remove and set aside. Pour off most of the grease but do not clean the skillet. Return the skillet to the stove and turn the heat to medium low. Add the leeks and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.

Roll out the pizza dough and place on the oiled baking sheet or a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal to be transferred to the hot stone. Drizzle the dough with olive oil. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer all over the crust, slightly overlapping the edges. Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt, then lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer on top of the potatoes. Arrange the leeks on top of the cheese. Drop large dollops of ricotta all over the pizza then sprinkle the fried bacon pieces over the top. Add the grated Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer the pizza to the hot stone or place the oiled pan in the oven. Bake until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly, 11 to 13 minutes. Rest the pizza for 5-10 minutes and then cut into squares and serve immediately.

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Great Grandma’s Italian Potato Salad

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This potato salad is one that I grew up on as a child and has been handed down through the years from generation to generation. To this day, it’s still a staple at every, single family BBQ that we have.  In fact, it was one of those dishes that we looked forward to the most at mealtime. It wasn’t a BBQ without Great Grandma’s Italian Potato Salad on hand!

In keeping with tradition, I made this tonight as a side to my BBQ chicken breasts and as usual, it was a hit. Even my 4 year old son who happens to be a fairly picky eater (thought not as bad as my daughter) finally gave in and tried this for the first time. He LOVED it and devoured over 3 helpings of potato salad. It’s a very simple and basic recipe and unlike other potato salads it does not include mayo. Instead, it’s generously seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little oregano. This potato salad goes great with pretty much anything you can think to grill up. In particular, it’s the perfect side dish for burgers, hot dogs, and chicken but it’s even delicious all on its own. Enjoy!

Ingredients 

  • Yukon Gold potatoes, about 3-3.5 lbs
  • 1 dozen large eggs, hard boiled and sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • salt, pepper, and oregano, to taste

Instructions 

Choose potatoes that are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly. Gently scrub them under water to get all of the dirt off. Leave the skins on and place them in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Add about 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt to the water so that the potatoes absorb the flavor while cooking.

Bring the potatoes to a boil and then lower the heat to a rolling simmer. Cook the potatoes about 15-18 minutes, depending on their size. When a knife easily pierces through the potato, they are ready. Do not overcook them or you will have mashed potatoes instead of potato salad.

While the potatoes are cooking hard boil a dozen eggs. Cover the eggs with cold water, bring to a boil, then remove them from the heat, cover the pot and let them sit for about 20 minutes. Run them under cold water, peel, and slice.

Drain the potatoes and run them under cold water to cool them off. Slip the skins off of the potatoes, they should come off easily, and then cut into even sized chunks.

In a large bowl combine the potatoes and sliced eggs, season with salt, pepper, and oregano and then drizzle about 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil into the bowl. Toss gently with your hands or a large spoon. Adjust the oil and seasonings to taste.

You can serve this warm or cold. If you chill the potato salad beforehand it may dry out a little in the fridge as the potatoes will continue to absorb the oil. If that happens, just drizzle in a little extra oil and give it a gentle toss before serving.

**NOTE** – You can use whatever potatoes you have on hand for this recipe, they will taste just as good in the salad. I happen to love Yukon Golds because they have a nice buttery flavor and creamy texture.

Also, you can adjust the ratio of potatoes to eggs to your liking. Sometimes I will add in a few extra eggs, you just have to adjust the seasonings and oil.