Style at a Certain Age is a lifestyle blog by Beth Djalali dedicated to aging with grace, strength, and beauty.
Hello and thank you for stopping by Kelly’s Kitchen today, I am happy you’re here! Here we are: Memorial Day weekend – the big kickoff to summer. Summer cookouts are one of my favorite aspects of the season. I love cooking and eating outside; it always feels special, like a vacation. Even eating a simple sandwich for lunch on my screened porch reminds me of summers spent with my grandparents at their summer home in the country.
But food is like that, isn’t it; it can take us for lovely walks down memory lane. One of my favorite summer cookout side dishes is potato salad. Potato salad is one of those recipes that I like to get creative with, every time I make it, it’s different and I never write down a recipe. Which is annoying because when Alex says, “this is your best one yet,” and I don’t remember what all went into it, I can’t replicate it exactly.
Today’s recipe isn’t totally like that though because it’s a classic German Potato Salad. I love this particular potato salad because it doesn’t have a mayonnaise-based dressing; and after last week’s Alabama BBQ mayonnaise-fest, something lighter felt like a good idea. Another thing I like about this salad is that it’s delicious served warm, cold, or at room temperature.
So, let’s make German Potato Salad!
I made a small-ish batch, using only one pound of small red potatoes. But you could easily do two pounds of potatoes with this recipe. And because I can’t help putting my own spin on things, I added some of my homemade pickled green beans, definitely optional (and not traditional) but so delicious! The pickled green beans add a pop of brightness to the richness of the creamy potatoes and the crunch adds variety to the texture.
Might I suggest you bake your bacon rather than fry it; the bacon cooks more evenly, it’s so much easier to clean up and it doesn’t make your whole house smell like bacon grease. Lay the strips on a wire rack placed on a rimmed sheet pan. This method helps the bacon cook on all sides and makes collecting the bacon fat easy. Bake it at 350 degrees. Timing will vary on the thickness of the bacon. But once you can smell it cooking (about 15 minutes), turn the tray in the oven and then just watch it from that point on (checking it every couple minutes).
When the bacon is done, let the tray cool, then set your bacon aside and collect the fat in a glass jar or bowl to use for the German Potato Salad dressing.
I like to cut my potatoes before they’re cooked for a number of reasons: it cuts down on boiling time, they hold up better when you mix all the ingredients together (because we’re not making mashed potatoes!) and I don’t have to worry about them being too hot to handle once they’re cooked.
Start your potatoes off in cold water, rather than adding them to the pot once the water is boiling; they will cook more evenly and retain the creaminess that makes red potatoes so good. Fill your pot to cover the potatoes and add a teaspoon of salt. Potatoes are done when they are fork tender.
While you wait on the potatoes, prep your ingredients.
Once the potatoes are done and drained, take the bacon grease you collected and add it to a large skillet or dutch oven. Since I only have one pound of potatoes, my cast iron skillet is big enough, but if you’re using two pounds of potatoes you’ll need something bigger to mix everything well.
Over medium heat, pour in your bacon fat, vinegar, whole grain mustard, dijon, salt, pepper and sugar. Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer.
Add the minced garlic and cook just until the garlic softens, about 1 minute.
Add your chopped bacon to the mixture and stir to coat the bacon.
Turn off the heat and add in your potatoes. Stir very gently so as not to break up the potatoes too much.
This is when I added my pickled green beans, but you can skip this step if you aren’t adding anything else.
Toss in the chopped parsley, give it a light stir and that’s it!
Thank you so much for joining me this week. I hope you give this summer side a try, give it your own spin by adding a crunchy veggie and let us know how you make it your own! Be sure to pop by again next week as we revisit an American classic. Remember, you can find me on Instagram and Facebook too. Thanks again, everyone, be well and take care. xo Kelly