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Spice-rubbed Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Potato Salad includes crushed red pepper, thyme leaves and ancho chile pepper.
Courtesy photo
Spice-rubbed Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Potato Salad includes crushed red pepper, thyme leaves and ancho chile pepper.

Potato salad gets update, new flavors

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com · 340-2446

This is not your grandmother's potato salad.

That's partly because she didn't have access to the world of flavors and seasonings you can find in today's supermarket.

If you're tired of the same old mayo and mustard flavors at picnics and cookouts, it's time for variety. Many potato salads can be made with meats, creating an all-in-one entrée dish.

You can also add fresh garden vegetables, such as chopped cucumber, red and green bell peppers, green beans and peas.

Try this Chimichurri Potato Salad, which gets its name from a sauce famous in Argentina. It is similar to pesto and is often served with beef, but it can be used as a marinade or a finishing sauce.

You can make your own Chimichurri Sauce with red wine vinegar, olive oil, parsley, garlic cloves and seasonings. Then use it to dress this potato salad and as a dipping sauce for the spice-rubbed grilled steak served with it.

Look at other versions of potato salad, and you’ll see more that were influenced by various cultures.

One good-for-you version is from Peru, where potatoes have been cultivated for centuries on slopes of the Andes. A Peruvian Potato Salad recipe, made with sliced black olives and reduced-fat feta cheese, is published in the “Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook” by the Cleveland Clinic.

German Potato Salad, which is served warm, is a dish familiar to many. The recipe printed today is from Decatur First Presbyterian Church missions cookbook.

Cajun Potato Salad, which includes smoked sausage, is one of the “Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2007” compiled in a cookbook by Taste of Home magazine.

Spice-rubbed Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Potato Salad

This Chimichurri recipe is from McCormick & Co. and includes seasonings such as crushed red pepper, thyme leaves and ancho chile pepper.

For Chimichurri Sauce:
1 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Potatoes:
2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

For the Flank Steak:
2 pounds flank steak
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree all Chimichurri Sauce ingredients in food processor or with an immersion blend. Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature. Reserve 1/2 cup for potatoes.

Cook potatoes in lightly salted boiling water 8 to 10 minutes or until done. Drain and refrigerate for 1 hour. Just before serving, add celery and red bell pepper. Toss with 1/2 cup of Chimichurri Sauce.

Rub flank steak with olive oil. Combine ancho chile, thyme, black pepper and salt in a small bowl.

Evenly sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides of the steak. Refrigerate 1 hour. Preheat grill. Grill over medium-high heat 6 minutes per side or to desired degree of doneness. Serve with remaining Chimichurri Sauce.

Makes 8 servings, each with 385 calories.

Peruvian Potato Salad

11/4 pounds small Peruvian blue potatoes (or small red or white potatoes)
1/4 cup minced red onions
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar substitute
2 hard-boiled egg whites, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
2 tablespoons sliced black olives, optional

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Simmer the potatoes until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size. Drain and cool.

Quarter or slice into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl.

Combine the potatoes with the onion, bell peppers, tomato, jalapeno, vinegar, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt (if using), sugar substitute, egg whites, oregano and cheese.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with olives, if using. Makes 8 servings, each with 220 calories.

German Potato Salad

1 pound diced bacon
2 large onions, diced
2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup vinegar
2/3 cup brown sugar
8 to 10 cups potatoes, cooked and diced

In a large skillet, fry the bacon and onions until tender, but not crispy. Add flour to the bacon and onions and mix well. Stir in water, vinegar and brown sugar.

Mix well and add the cooked, diced potatoes. Stir to mix completely. Heat potato salad thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.

Cajun Potato Salad

2 pounds small red potatoes
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
6 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided
1/2 pound smoked kielbasa or smoked Polish sausage, sliced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool completely.

Cut into 1/4-inch slices; transfer to a large bowl. Add onions, parsley and 3 tablespoons vinegar; toss.

In a medium skillet, cook sausage in oil for 5-10 minutes or until it begins to brown. Remove with slotted spoon and add to potato mixture.

To drippings in skillet, add mustard, garlic, pepper, cayenne pepper and remaining vinegar; bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

Pour over salad; toss gently and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

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