Hey, you made it – Happy July 4 Everyone and welcome to our blog!
We decided that, not only our newsletter subscribers, but the entire *world* needed to hear Our Opinions. So this week the first vine blog had its beta launch. The title – “Vine Art … from the palate of first vine wine online” should give you a good idea of what we’ll be blogging about – not only food and wine, but all aspects of the Good Life as determined by who else – us. We’ll blog about all sorts of local finds; think of it as a somewhat wordier Daily Candy for the “just a shade older” set 😉 Plus you finally get a chance to talk back to us! Now onto the post –
Forget about Michael Jackson, Iran, Iraq, Bernie Madoff and the Economic Recovery. Right now the Big News is potato salad. Specifically – where to buy the best classic American potato salad locally or what’s the best recipe if you make your own.
Some of the votes for best locally store-bought this year include Safeway, Costco and Harris Teeter. Someone commented “Just sprinkle with paprika and no one will know!” (uh, sorry. We’ll definitely know).
In our experience store-bought potato salads are too mayonnaisey, mushy, bland and worst of all, dangerously on the verge of being sweet – Miracle Whip anyone? Ditto for coleslaw and macaroni salad. If you’ve had a great experience with a store-bought potato salad we’d love to be knocked off our high and mighty pedestal – so go ahead and enlighten us by taking our poll!We think in general the keys to a great potato salad include not too much mayo, something crunchy like chopped celery for texture contrast and – very important – the addition of something acidic like vinegar, pickle juice or lemon juice which will brighten up the whole dish. Just about any mayonnaise heavy salad will benefit from a little brightening. If you’ve ever had a tuna salad sub from an authentic New Jersey sub shop, you’ll remember how delicious that zing of vinegar makes the tuna salad!
So since we can’t tell you where to buy a good American style potato salad, we’re giving you our recipe. We assume you’ll be serving it alongside some 4th of July classics like hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, etc. And it will be HOT that day, no doubt! Wash it all down with one of our light roses such as the Cuvee des Templiers Côtes du Rhône Rose ($11) or if you prefer, try a light to medium bodied red such as our Domaine Chaume-Arnaud Granges Rouges ($15). Made with 100% grenache grapes, it is eminently quaffable because it has very little tannin resulting in an unusually smooth easy wine. Chill it for about 20 minutes in the fridge prior to serving and you and your guests will be quaffing up a storm!
Wishing you a very happy and safe 4th of July – whether it’s store-bought or homemade!
Dare & Tom
Zingy 4th of July Potato Salad
- About a dozen medium sized waxy or red skin potatoes
- 4 Tbsp juice from Kosher dill pickles (or to taste)*
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped dill pickles *
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 or 2 chopped scallions
- 1-2 chopped hard boiled eggs
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes (skins on). Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from pot. Let cool enough to handle, but still warm. Cut potatoes into inch sized cubes.
2 Put potatoes in to a large bowl. Add the juice from the dill pickles. Add the finely chopped pickles themselves. Add parsley, onions, celery, scallions and hard boiled egg.
3 In a separate small bowl, mix mayonnaise with mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the dressing with the potato mixture. Again, salt, pepper and additional pickle juice to taste.
* If you’re not into pickles, try this with fresh squeezed lemon juice and a tsp or so of grated lemon zest instead. Or for something very different, brown rice vinegar and a little wasabi powder!