Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blitskreig: German Potato Salad

I hate potato salad. I know, it's almost like saying I hate sunshine and summer, rainbows and unicorns, but honestly, until very recently I was certain that I hated any form of this starchy mush. Imagine potato salad. Seriously, right now close your eyes and envision the last potato salad you consumed: Mayonnaise, mustard, onion, and pickle, right? Varying layers of vinegar-tartness masked by fatty mayo; a soggy bit of Americana that should honestly die out along-side pork rinds and Frito pie. I'm not sure if I can quite call myself a patriot (this is a common issue for my generation), but certainly I feel fortunate and am proud to be a citizen of this country. Still, I have to admit that our comrades (and former enemies) across the Atlantic make possibly the only potato salad I find palatable. Bless the Germans; they really know how to cook a potato. This in itself is nothing short of a culinary miracle considering the origin of this tuber as one of the most shunned foods in human history. A bit of which I will share with you now:

Petrified potato remains dating back to 500 BC have been discovered in the ancient ruins of Peru and Chile. The Incas recognized that the long shelf-life of potatoes made them invaluable and would keep bins of them discreetly stashed away in case of war or famine.  

Potatoes didn't reach Europe until the late 1500's when conquistadors, who mistook the potatoes for (rather bland) truffles, brought them back to Spain from the Americas.The potato was introduced all across Europe by the early 1600's. Wherever the potato was introduced, it was considered weird, poisonous, and downright evil. In France and elsewhere, the potato was accused of causing not only leprosy, but also syphilis, narcosis, early death, sterility, and rampant sexuality, and of destroying the soil where it grew. And until about the 1850's, American farmers considered the potato more appropriate food for livestock than for their families. Now The Potato is one of the most commonly consumed foods, particularly in the U.S.

I love the potato's versatility. This Potato salad is not only delicious, but also easy to make, and I know you all love that. The super-short history lesson is over; get ready to cook.
You will need:
1 lb of red potatoes
1 fennel bulb
2 celery stalks
1/4 lb of thick cut bacon
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp stone ground mustard
1 tsp salt

Thoroughly wash your potato, fennel, and celery. Leaving the skins on, slice your potatoes to 1/2 inch thickness. mix your vinegar and mustard together in a small bowl and set aside. Gently boil the potato slices until they are slightly tender. Drain the water from the potatoes and transplant them into a big bowl then pour the vinegar and mustard mixture over them. Cut the fronds from the end of the fennel and save these for garnish. Dice your fennel to about 1/2 inch pieces and do the same to your celery and bacon. In a large skillet (large enough to eventually fit the potatoes and veggies) start cooking the bacon on a low-medium setting. You want to render the fat out, and the low temperature will help. When the bacon starts to brown, add your fennel and celery. When the fennel and celery sweat and become slightly translucent, pour the bacon/veggie mix over the potatoes and gently fold in. Salt to taste, garnish with the fennel fronds and serve warm!  

 http://www.sxc.hu/photo/366722 http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1255661


  1. I appologize for the choppiness of this post! I wrote it in a rush -- there will be another post coming soon that I am excited about!

  2. Yummy! I love all forms of potato salad (although, more mustard and less mayo for me in the traditional one...) BUT, this looks like a delish variation!

  3. Jenni, it should -- you ate it!

  4. love this and the smores cupcakes - pinning both!