Monday, June 2, 2014
For me, planning the entree isn't the hard part; it's the sides that give me fits. I feel like I have a nice variety in the entree realm, but the sides are a different story. I feel like I get in a rut; I make the same few things over and over again and try to rotate them in such a way that the family doesn't get burned out. Does anyone feel my pain?
One thing to keep in mind is keep the sides simple. I know I don't want to be in the house prepping and assembling the side dishes while everyone else is out visiting and enjoying the summer sun. I am always on the lookout for dishes that can be assembled quickly, or even better, ahead of time. This will require very little time in the kitchen, away from your guests. Cool dishes are also a plus, especially on a hot summer day.
One popular side that comes to mind that fits all my summer side requirements is potato salad. It's quick, requires very little prep time (especially once the taters are boiled) and can be made earlier in the day or even the day before. My MaMaw always made the best potato salad and to this day I still use her recipe; a little mayo, a little mustard, both dill and sweet pickles, a little onions and some hard boiled eggs. It was creamy, tangy, a little sweet, a little salty and had a lot of textures running throughout the dish. Simply, it's delicious.
It came together in no time. I was able to assemble it early the morning of, so the flavors were able to meld together and really develop before we headed out for the day. By the time we started making our plates the flavors had really come together and each bite was bursting with flavor. The potato salad was creamy with chunks of potatoes along with a little tang from the cider vinegar, and a little crunch from the celery, the dill and chives were running throughout and the flavors were obvious in each bite. This was a perfect side to go along with the delicious smoked ribs we had, and would be an ideal side at your next cookout.
Creamy Potato Salad
2 1/2 Pounds new potatoes, quartered
3 Tbsp cider vinegar, divided
1/2 Tsp Kosher salt
1/2 Cup mayonnaise
1/2 Cup sour cream
1 Tsp sugar
1 Cup chopped celery
3 Hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/4 Cup chopped chives
1/4 Cup chopped dill
Salt and pepper, to taste
Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain the potatoes, transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar and Kosher salt. Allow to sit until cooled.
Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, sour cream and sugar and stir to combine. Pour over the cooled potatoes and toss to coat. Add the celery, eggs, chives, and dill and gently toss to combine. Taste, add salt and pepper if desired.
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe source: Food Network Magazine, June 2014