May 17, 2009

Potato Salad Face-off

In the June/July issue of Food Network magazine, there are two potato salad recipes: Aaron McCargo, Jr.'s Classic Potato Salad, and Paula Deen's Red Potato Salad with Bacon. I tried both recipes, following them to the letter.

Prior to making either one, I thought I'd like the Classic recipe better; The Mister favored the Red Potato version.

The secret weapon in the Classic recipe was Worcestershire (What'sThisHere, as I call it) sauce. I was afraid it would give the salad a taste that was more savory than usually found in a salad. Paula Deen's secret weapon was bacon - I've had bacon in salads before, it doesn't seem like too much of a secret to me.

The results of our taste test?

We both liked the Classic version better, although it was a bit salty. It tasted better the second day (either the flavors blended together, or we were ready to accept the saltiness). I will make this recipe again, but probably decrease the What'sThis Here by a tad.

The Red Potato Salad's flavor was a bit too tangy from the vinegar, I assume. Also, the amount of peppers (I used red) in the recipe seemed to be a bit much. I won't be making this one again. I've included both recipes, give them a try, let me know how it works out for you!

Aaron McCargo, Jr.'s Classic Potato Salad
Time to prepare: 25 minutes
Serves 4-6

3 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 large eggs
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
2 T sweet relish
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 C mayonnaise
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and spread out on a sheet pan to cool. Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the eggs; cook for 12 minutes, then remove to a bowl of ice water to cool completely. Peel the eggs under cold running water, then roughly chop.
2. In a large bowl, combine the onion, celery, relish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, 1 1/2 t salt, 1 t pepper and the mayonnaise. Fold in the potatoes, eggs and scallions. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Paula Deen's Red Potato Salad with Bacon
Time to prepare: 30 minutes
Serves 4-6

6 cups cubed red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled (about 1 3/4 pounds)
2 ounces bacon (2 or 3 strips)
1 cup chopped bell pepper (any color or a combination)
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup sliced scallions (about 2 scallions)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
1 T mayonnaise
Freshly ground pepper

1. Put the potatoes in a large pot; add water just to cover and season with 3/4 t salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels and finely chop.
3. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, chopped bacon, bell pepper, onion and scallions.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, 3/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper. Pour over the potato mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate or serve at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. I don't like Aaron McCargo. I think there were other people who should've won that season of the Next Food Network Star. I personally like Adam.

    I make a Loaded Baked Potato Salad that's killer and always gets gobbled up. Red potatoes, sour cream, a smidgeon of mayo, fresh chopped chives, dill, salt, pepper, cheddar, and bacon (or you can leave it out). One time I even crushed up some Ritz crackers and put it on top. Daryl LOVED that version.


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