I am on the search for the perfect potato salad.
Generally speaking, I’m not a huge potato salad fan. There are often mysterious crunchy bits and weird things hidden inside or it is bland or too sweet and needless to say, I have issues with it. The only potato salad that I’d ever made before that I really enjoyed was this one. It is a vinaigrette based salad that is really delicious.
So, why am I on this quest for the perfect potato salad if I have so many issues with the genre?
Because I was home in Arkansas recently and had some that absolutely BLEW MY MIND!
When I was home for my brother’s wedding last month, for one of the many meals we had as a family with the wedding party, my mother picked up some BBQ. This particular BBQ came from Whole Hog BBQ. I’ve mentioned them previously here. They are some of the best in the state. However, it wasn’t until this past visit that I tried their potato salad. It was so good! No weird crunchy bits. Lots of bacon. So good. In fact, after the wedding reception, when my parents and I made it back to the house long past midnight, exhausted, hungry, and a few drinks in, we sat around together and passed around that tub of potato salad until we polished it off. It was just about the best thing ever. That is family bonding my friends.
Understandably, I’ve been thinking about it since then. In fact, my boyfriend has since been back to AR and called me to tell me he was eating some more of it. I was very jealous. I wanted him to bring some back, but we decided it might not do so well after 6+ hours on a plane.
But, I’ve been inspired. I played around and I have come up with a seriously good potato salad recipe, inspired by the one at Whole Hog. It isn’t exactly the same, but it has been my favorite thing to sneak a bite out of when I peek in the fridge the last few days. It is darn near perfect and I will probably be making more for Memorial Day weekend this week. I recommend you do as well.
Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
1.5 lbs baby yellow potatoes
1/2 pound bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Not Miracle Whip. I’ll come after you if you use Miracle Whip.)
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
1 TB chopped Dill
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped chives
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika (optional)
Bring pot of salted water to boil. Add whole potatoes and cook until easily pierced by a fork.
While potatoes are cooking, fry bacon until crisp. When bacon is cool enough that you aren’t going to burn yourself, chop it up.
In a large bowl, mix mayo, ranch, dill, dijon, chives, and bacon.
When potatoes are cooked, drain them and run cool water over them until you can touch them without burning yourself. (It is very important to me that you don’t burn yourself.)
Here is the cutting of the potatoes that gave me the best consistency: Quarter potatoes (or cut into 6 pieces if they are larger) and put them in the large bowl with the sauce. For every four potatoes that you quarter, smash one and add to the sauce as well. This gives you a nice mix of bite size pieces and the yummy mashed parts between the pieces. Do this while the potatoes are still warm. It will make the sauce soak into the potatoes better, giving them more flavor.
Taste and then add plenty of black pepper and the salt if needed. Wait to add the salt until the end, because you will want to gauge the saltiness of the bacon you added. If you add the salt earlier, you could over do it. Add paprika.
Stick it in the fridge for a few hours for the salad to cool and the flavors to come together and then enjoy!
If you are off to a BBQ this weekend, you will be the belle of the ball if you bring this dishy dish.