The first cookbook that was ever really mine was ‘The Better Homes and Gardens ‘New’ Cookbook’ published sometime in the 70’s. It was and remains a great primer with some basic information for all cooks including weights and measure and substitutions but by today’s standards it would most likely earn nary a consideration by many cooks. No big celebrity or chef endorsements and few photos; nope…just some great basic recipes. Many I’ve made time and time again that are still favorites including a Hamburger and Baked Bean Casserole that was a staple when my kids were growing up, my favorite strawberry pie that I have updated a bit but the concept of mostly crust and berries has not changed, and this perfect Sour Cream and Bacon Potato Salad.
Truth is, that particular book was in storage while my life is in limbo in 2013 and I’ve still yet to unpack all my books here but I’ve made it so many times over the years, I’m sure at least once every summer, that it’s now simply held in my heart. I’ve made it to woo a boyfriend when I was young, made it for picnics with other young marrieds, made it for barbecues held at my home and made it for my daughter’s backyard graduation party. Most recently it was made for a group of neighbors getting together on Sunday afternoon for some burgers off the grill and this was, as it often is, my contribution.
I could have called it ‘The Best Potato Salad Ever‘ for I really think it is…and I’ve made some changes over the years that I want to believe have enhanced the original. No longer peeling Idaho potatoes, I simply cut up and use red potatoes, skin and all (what a
timesaver LIFESAVER!). Where I once followed the recipe exactly and use bottled Italian salad dressing to marinate the potatoes after they cooked, I now prefer to whisk together some bacon fat (oh yeah), olive oil, vinegar and herbs from the garden for an even fresher (and better) taste. I did learn through experimentation though that as good as balsamic vinegar tastes, it’s not a good choice. Tan potato salad is just not so pretty! Still the main ingredients rule…some egg, some bacon, some sour cream and no doggone, whoever decided that it belongs there anyhow, RELISH. No. None. Zip. Nada. Zilch.
By the way did you know that old fashioned Pyrex bowls are a BIG DEAL? My daughter and her friends hold swaps, yearn for ones they see on Pinterest and there are definitely bragging rights if you score a set like you see in this post. These belong to my friend Karen who let me borrow them for this old fashioned recipe that is still my favorite today. Did she know anything about how popular they’ve become? Heck no, these are simply a wedding gift that they have now used for over 30 years! Who knew? Certainly not Karen. Or me. How about you? Are you one of the new Pyrex fanatics?
It seemed most appropriate to use these bowls; they and this recipe are of the same generation and they are a great example of ‘What’s old is new again.’ Try it…you’ll see, it’s the BEST!!
For the marinade
- 4 oz olive oil
- 2 oz bacon drippings
- 2 oz cider vinegar
- Herbs of your choice - I used 6 basil leaves, 1 sprig of fresh rosemary and about 2 Tbsp of fresh thyme; all chopped.
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
For the Potato Salad
- 4 pounds small Red potatoes
- 4 large eggs, hard boiled. Separate yolks from whites and chop whites.
- 8 oz bacon, cooked to a crisp and crumbled (Be sure to reserve some bacon drippings for the marinade above)
- 1/2 bunch green onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup sour cream (in a pinch I've used Greek yogurt)
- 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper for seasoning
- Chopped green onion and crumbled bacon (optional)
To Make the Marinade:
- Combine the bacon fat, olive oil, vinegar, herbs and garlic salt in a small food processor or shaker jar and combine well.
- Season with pepper to taste.
To Make the Potato Salad:
- Clean (but do not peel) the potatoes and cut into 1" cubes. Immerse in salted water; bring water to a boil and boil for 7-10 minutes, testing potatoes to see if they are done. They should be firm but easily penetrated with a fork.
- Remove from heat, drain and place back into pot.
- Add the marinade and stir gently to cover all of the potatoes; refrigerate for at least one-half hour.
- Mash egg yolks finely with a fork in a medium size bowl. Make the dressing by combining the yolks with the mayonnaise, sour cream and Dijon mustard; mix with a whisk and season with salt and pepper.
- Add dressing, chopped egg whites, bacon and green onion to potatoes and mix gently. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour before serving; best if made ahead and refrigerated overnight.
- Garnish before serving with green onion and bacon bits.
If it’s Thursday it must be time for the Food Network #SummerSoiree. Today it’s one of my favorites; potato salad. I love this potato salad and others too and imagine I’m going to want to make every single dish on this list from our other contributors. Perfect time of year and enough barbecues and picnics I bet we could do just that!
Feed Me Phoebe: French Lentil Salad with Roasted Baby Potatoes and Herbs
The Lemon Bowl: Vegan Potato Salad Recipe
Healthy Eats: Spruced-Up Spuds: 5 Better-for-You Potato Salads
Homemade Delish: Brazilian Potato Salad
The Mom 100: Egg and Potato Salad with Bacon
Creative Culinary: Sour Cream and Bacon Potato Salad
FN Dish: 7 Ways to Win at Potato Salad