Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Warm German Potato Salad

A simple side dish of German potato salad can really dress up dinner—with both taste and good looks. 

German-style salads differ from American in that the dressing is typically light and vinegary, while American tends to be thick and creamy. Ingredients differ too, with some American salads piling on the vegetables, while German keeps it minimal with potatoes, onion, and that must-have ingredient: bacon. One more thing: serving style. American potato salad is served cold, while German is most often served warm or at room temperature.

I used petite (about 1-inch-diameter) yellow-skinned potatoes for this dish because of their mild flavor and creamy texture. Their small size means tender skin too—no peeling needed. Simply slice the potatoes in half and they’re ready to cook.

Petite Yellow Potatoes
As for cooking, I prefer to steam potatoes for salads instead of boiling them. Steaming yields tender results without making the potatoes mushy the way boiling can. Whichever method you use, cook them until tender enough to pierce lightly with a fork. They’ll continue to soften as they cool down in the bowl.  

Not all German-style dressings use mustard, but I added a little stone-ground variety to complement the tanginess of the white wine vinegar and balance the sweetness of the sugar. The result is sweet and tangy flavor that pairs well with the smoky bacon and creamy spuds.

Serves 4

  • 3/4 lb petite yellow-skinned potatoes (about 1-inch-diameter)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 bacon slices
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp stone-ground mustard
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  1. Place the potatoes in a steamer basket and season with salt and pepper. Bring water to a simmer in the steamer pot and place the basket in the pot.
  2. Steam the potatoes until just tender (pierce with a fork to test), 12-13 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.
Potatoes Ready to Steam 
Steamed Potatoes 
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon until just beginning to crisp, turning a few times. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
  2. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the skillet. Add the onion and cook until tender, 5 minutes.
Cooked Bacon
Cooked Onion
  1. Add the vinegar, sugar, and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and stir 1 minute. Add the steamed potatoes to the skillet. Tear 2 bacon slices into small pieces and add to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
Vinager Mixture Added
Potatoes and Bacon Added
Transfer to a serving bowl and tear the remaining bacon slices on top. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.

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