Tis the season for salads, sandwiches and picnics. This potato salad is a summer favorite. Somehow those summer favorites just don’t taste the same when there is no sunshine around!
Ever wonder why sometimes potato salad comes out creamy with nice firm potatoes and other times the same recipe is mushy and dry. I went looking for the answer. Just cause I’m curious that way. And I figure if I am — so is someone else. The reason is the type of potatoes we use. I even tried it with two different kinds of potatoes. Just for you. ‘Tis true, my friends — the type of potato makes the difference!
Red potatoes or Yukon gold are what is called waxy potatoes. They hold their shape well and meld in with the dressing without absorbing it so the salad remains creamy. Russets, in the “floury potato” category, are more dry so they absorb the dressing. They also tend to fall apart and to be somewhat gummy – more desirable for baking or mashing. Whichever you use, don’t forget to salt the water you cook them in. Nutritionally all potatoes are a good source of Vitamin C and potassium. They have no cholesterol and are low in fat. A potato, boiled with skin, is 20 carbs per one cup serving. Anyone counting carbs will want to eat in moderation, limiting to one serving, and balance with protein for the rest of the meal.
Today I happened to have a half pound of bacon left from another recipe. Most of the time, I don’t use sliced bacon quickly enough and end up throwing it out. However, a very acceptable substitute for crumbled bacon in recipes are the real bacon crumbles found in the grocery store in the salad fixin’s aisle. Not the artificial ones, but the ones made from real bacon. Use one tablespoon per two slices of bacon. Homemade crumbles come in at 6 grams of fat per serving. Packaged crumbles are 1.5 grams of fat. Sodium levels in the packaged bacon is 220 mg per tablespoon vs 300 mg for 2 slices of bacon. And the packaged bacon keeps longer, thaws quickly if you need to preserve by freezing and there is no messy bacon grease disposal. And you know how you always want to add extra bacon – cause if a little is so good, a lot is a lot better? Well, you can do it guilt free . . . .
In the summer, I often keep hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator for quick snacks, egg salad sandwiches or to add to a tossed salad. Makes them easy to add to recipes like this – and to slice an extra one on top for added color. You can use 3 or 4 green onions instead of the diced onion for a more delicate flavor. I used to slice the celery thinly, now I just used the same chopper I bought for chopping onions. We decided we liked the smaller crunch better. You can also leave the skin on the potato, especially if using the waxy potatoes. My preference is to peel because I think it looks better, but that’s just me.
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