Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Warm Potato Salad

I came across a Wolfgang Puck recipe for a warm potato salad and it sounded interesting. However I can't find the recipe. But since I did read it, I tried to re-create it as best I could and the result were delicious. So hat's off to Chef Puck for being the inspiration. If I find the recipe again, I'll compare and see how close I got.

  • 1.5 lbs fingerling or small red skin or white potatoes. I used small whites. Whatever you do -- no baking potatoes.
  • Salt
  • 1 large clove of garlic, cut in half
  • Fresh or dried parsley
  • Fresh or dried thyme
  • A small white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 Tbs of sugar
  • Fresh ground back pepper
Prep and assembly:
  • Cover the potatoes and the garlic clove pieces in water, add a teaspoon or so of Kosher salt.
  • Boil until tender. I use the knife test. Of course the smaller the potatoes, the quicker they will cook. Whatever you do, do not overcook or you will have warm potato paste instead of a salad.
  • Remove from the water and let sit while prepping the marinade.
  • Small dice the onion
  • Whisk together the vinegar, water, oil, sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of parsley, and the onion.
  • Let the marinade sit and slice the potatoes to about 1/4 inch slices. Next time I think I will try an egg slicer.
  • Pour the marinade on top of the warm potatoes and let sit for 20-30 minutes. The volume of marinade might not cover them completely, so you might need to stir them gently. An alternative would be to place everything in a Ziploc bag and turn every 10 minutes or so.
  • After 30 minutes, heat a little oil in a large saute pan on a medium heat.
  • Strain the most of the marinade from the potatoes and toss the into the oil and saute for about a minute. You aren't looking for browning as much as you are to reheat the potatoes quickly. A little browning is OK, but too much and you will burn them because of the sugar in the marinade.

Serves about 6.

I'm not sure how close I came to Chef Puck's original, but it turned out terrific. I would have never thought of the re-heating technique although I do recall Good Eats doing something similar -- only Alton Brown applied the dressing while it was hot and then let it sit in the fridge to cool off.

Anyway, I really liked it. The next time I plan on cutting the onion into thin rings and adding some garlic to the marinade. What I really liked about this recipe is you can make it ahead of time and re-heat right before serving. I do plan on removing the marinade after no more than an hour of soaking because I am after a nice potato flavor, not to heavy on the vinegar. But I figure it can easily sit at room temp for a while, or the fridge until I am ready. I also intend on reheating a little more gently if they have been in the fridge.

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