Sunday, July 26, 2009

"They Call Me Tater Salad"

If you're not familiar with Ron White, the title of this post will make no sense to you. If you are, it will—and you'll laugh.

I’ve written previously about making coleslaw (see the bottom of this post). There are some dishes that—while a recipe can get you started—you really need to find the right combination of flavors to suit your tastes.

Potato salad is such a dish. I started with a Mark Bittman recipe, which uses mustard, vinegar and lots of chopped parsley. It’s very good and tangy, but I really like a creamy potato salad.

Mayonnaise can be good, but it’s easy to go overboard with mayo. Lately, I’ve decided that sour cream is the way to go.

Today I made a batch of potato salad that turned out pretty good. I’ll walk you through my process, but keep in mind that I don’t measure anything and this is just a guide. Taste as you go and adjust accordingly.

First off, I roasted a red pepper. I’ve been looking for a new addition, and I had a pepper that needed to be used. When the pepper was black, I let it steam while I started the water for the potatoes.

I use red potatoes, but use what suits you. Cut them in bite-size pieces and boil until tender but not mushy (10-15 minutes). I pulled this batch out of the water a little early, so I let them sit covered in the pot for five minutes or so to let them cook some more.

Meanwhile, I peeled, seeded and chopped the pepper; chopped some fresh basil; and mixed a combination of low-fat sour cream (about 1/3 cup), Dijon mustard (about 1 tablespoon), vinagre de Jerez (about 1 tablespoon), black pepper, shallot salt and a bit of sugar.

(On a side note, I usually avoid low-fat and non-fat products like the plague. However, since my cholesterol has been hovering around 220 for the last ten years, I’ve finally decided to become a tad more careful about fat in my cooking.)

I mixed the potatoes with half the sauce, the chopped pepper and the basil. Then I tasted and added sauce, salt and pepper until the flavors were right.

It’s all about balance.

You know if I’m cooking on a Sunday, there’s wine involved. I opened a bottle we got from Trader Joe’s. Their selection of good, inexpensive wines simply astounds me.

Wine Bottlers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Vin-Koru 2008

There's no point in gushing about this wine. That would disrespect what it is. The world needs more delicious and affordable ($5.99) wines like this. If you want expensive wines to gush about, there are already plenty.

It was a perfect match for a late lunch of chicken wraps and roasted red pepper-basil potato salad.

(One final note: In the last six months, I've dropped my total cholesterol 40 freakin' points! A combination of diet modifications and exercise did it. When I told E, she said, "Well, we have been going through a lot less butter.")

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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