Friday, June 18, 2010

Perfect Potato Salad

Last Friday was my husband’s last day of teaching for the quarter and I wanted to make a special lunch.  Mind you, I decided to make this special lunch half an hour before he got home, without the ability to go to the store.  I suppose I COULD have gone to the store, but, like so many people today, we are on a budget and doing our best to follow a weekly menu and only go grocery shopping once per week.  I’ll admit, that last item almost never happens. 

Back to my lunch.  During the week we did a spectacular job of using up most of our food and all of our meat except one lonely package of Skagit River Ranch bacon, the best bacon on earth.  As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t in good conscience serve a meal entirely of bacon (though I’m sure it would have tasted fantastic!)  What else did I have in my fridge?

Why, potatoes and eggs!

I always have potatoes and eggs.  Always.  Eggs are a fantastic source of protein, B vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins and cholesterol.  Yes Virginia, you do need cholesterol, and despite popular belief, eating cholesterol does not substantially raise blood cholesterol levels.  If you purchase eggs from the farmer's market, eggs that come from chickens allowed to dig in the soil and eat bugs, your eggs will be higher in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin D.  I consider eggs nearly the perfect food because they are a cheap source of complete protein, plus vitamins and minerals. 

As for my special lunch, I suppose I could have done scrambled eggs with fried potatoes and bacon, but does that sound very special?

No.  No it doesn’t.

How about "Frittata"?

Yes, that sounds downright fancy!  So I whipped up a quick frittata with whatever was in the fridge.  I ended up with eggs, potatoes, goat cheese, and left-over artichokes.  I fried up some bacon and then sautéed some kale, fresh from the garden, in the left-over bacon grease.  Voila!  A celebratory lunch made from the remnants of other meals.

What else can you do with potatoes and eggs?  Well, on a Thursday when you are due to go to a potluck, you can whip up a tasty potato salad!  What I love about potato salad is that everyone has their own recipe and can tweak it any which way they please.  There are no rules!

Potatoes are another of those foods that have gotten a bad rap in the last few years.  Thank you, Atkins.  Potatoes come in too many varieties and colors to mention here, but nutritionally they are about equivalent.  All potatoes are a good sourse of potassium, B6, vitamin C, niacin, pantothenic acid and fiber (if you eat the skin).  Potatoes contain some protein and are actually moderately low in calories, with a medium size potato weighting in at a slim 115 kcals!

This recipe for potato salad contains only what I had in the fridge at the end of the week and is exactly how I like it, with lots of mustard and a hint of sweet.  I also like to taste the individual ingredients in my salad, so my potatoes are cut a little larger and I have a bit less dressing.  Feel free to add, change, subtract and otherwise modify this recipe!

Autumn’s Perfect Potato Salad

Add what you like.  Traditional potato salad ingredients include radishes and celery.

5 medium red potatoes
5 eggs
4 green onions
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp yellow mustard
½ tsp salt or to taste
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1)   Wash, slice and boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, or until they're soft but not breaking apart.  Chill them completely.
2)   Place the eggs in a pan and just cover them with water.  Keep it all at a simmering boil for 10 minutes.  Then, run the eggs under cold water and refrigerate them until completely cold.
3)   Once the potatoes and eggs are chilled, peel and chop the hard-boiled eggs.  Place them in a bowl with the cooked potatoes.
4)   Slice the white and light green parts of the green onion and add them to the bowl.  Chop the dark green portion of the onion too, and reserve it for garnish.
5)   Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, sugar and vinegar.  Adjust the seasonings according to your taste.
6)   Refrigerate.  Serve garnished with paprika and green onion.



  1. You are amazingly imaginative! Your lunch sounds absolutely scrumptious, and I'm intrigued to try that bacon. My man happens to be a big bacon fan, so we shall see. Thank you for your caring comment on my blog, I do appreciate your thoughts very much. Do you take the photos for your blog as well? If so, you're also gifted in that arena...

  2. I'm been thinking about you. I have two kitties and I just don't know what I would do without them.

    Thanks for your positive blog review! Yes, I do take almost all the photos. All the food photos you see are mine. Occasionally, if I'm writing about something non-food related I purchase a photo to use but otherwise...

    And yes, Skagit River Ranch is the best bacon ever. It will ruin you for all other bacon. Plus, it comes from happy pigs :)