This showstopping BLT potato salad is a summer cookout game-changer
Courtesy of The Club at Pasadera
Welcome to Clubhouse Eats, where we celebrate the game’s most delectable food and drink. Hope you brought your appetite.
The summer season brings everyone outside, not just for recreation but for al fresco cooking, too. Not surprisingly, amateur grill-masters spend the lion’s share of their attention on the coals — and, of course, on all of the fare that they’ll sear on piping hot cast-iron grill grates set just above them. But don’t sleep on the potato salad. When done right, it can steal the show.
How do you do potato salad right, you ask? According to Colin Moody, the executive chef at The Club at Pasadera in Monterey, Calif., it starts by choosing a classic flavor profile for the salad’s foundation (think bacon, mustard, horseradish, etc.). “Most people enjoy something familiar but with a twist,” he says. “Don’t do anything too outside the box. Remember that by its nature, potato salad is comfort food.”
In Moody’s opinion, waxy potato varieties tend to work best, so seek out Yukon gold, marble potatoes, red creamer potatoes or fingerlings. Also make sure that you cook the potatoes the day before, or at least early in the day that you plan to serve them. Moody also likes to lightly drizzle the potatoes with rice wine vinegar once they’re cooked. “This helps add layers of flavor,” he explains.
According to Chef Moody, the most common mistake most amateur cooks make when preparing potato salad is overcooking the spuds. To avoid that fate, try this: with a slotted spoon, remove a piece of potato from the boiling water, set it on a cutting board, then using the back of a spoon, press down on it until you smash it. If properly cooked, the potato should require just a bit of force. Also, mix all other ingredients in the potato salad separately from the potatoes, then fold in those ingredients (including any sauce). “If you add each ingredient one by one and keep mixing,” says Moody, “the potatoes will get over-worked and smashed.”
If you’re looking for potato salad inspiration, try Chef Moody’s BLT potato salad (recipe below). “It’s one of my favorites,” he says, “and everyone loves it!”
Chef Colin Moody’s BLT Potato Salad
2.5 lbs of tri-color marble potatoes, washed well and quartered
2 Tbsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
12 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 romaine lettuce heart, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
6 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. stone ground mustard
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. dill pickle relish
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Place potatoes in a medium to large pot add salt and enough water to cover the potatoes by an inch.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. (Be careful not to overcook the potatoes.)
Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl, then gently toss with the vinegar. When cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, though preferably overnight.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, mustard, white vinegar, pickle relish, salt and pepper until well combined.
Pour the dressing over the cooked potatoes and toss gently to combine. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, though preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, garnish the potato salad with chopped lettuce, cooked bacon, sliced tomatoes and chopped chives.