I find that I'm very partial to which tv cooks I decide to trust with my dinner, so when a new one shows up on the scene I'm always a bit skeptical. Enter Mary Nolan. As skeptical as I am, her title sold me on her show - Chic and Easy. This totally defines my personal style and the way I like things. Although I'm a bit uneasy about my abilities to produce anything "chic" in the kitchen, I was quite intrigued by the "easy" aspect.
After watching this show, I have to be honest, I was not feeling so tight with Mary. She uses a lot of "I" language and did not seem all too relatable. She also made a comment about how her grandparents used to own a farm with chickens and how she loved meeting the chickens before they were served up at dinner...totally creepy! I'm all for eating locally and knowing what you're putting into your body, but this was a little extreme. Needless to say, we will not be discussing the chicken dish she made on that show.
The potato salad, however, looked totally delicious and was unlike any potato salad I had seen before. This is not your typical backyard picnic potato salad. This one is served hot with a heaping pile of bacon. It's practically a meal in and of itself (and considering that I totally burnt the pre-marinated roast from the grocer that was supposed to be the main part of the meal, it was exactly that). It was tasty and very easy, but it certainly was not chic! In fact, it looked a bit of a mess. If you can get past the physical aspects, this is definitely worth making when the weather is a little cooler, as it is rather heavy. The combination of the bacon and the mustardy type sauce was just awesome, and it's already been requested to make a repeat appearance by my soon-to-be hubby. It would certainly make a nice replacement to the tried-and-true mashed potatoes, or even as a main course if the rest of your meal seems to hit a bit of a snag ;)
Thanks Mary - I'll keep watching and trying and maybe we'll end up BFFs after all!
Mary's German Potato Salad
Adapted from Chic and Easy - Mary Nolan
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (I used 4 medium sized)
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced chives (These are meant for garnishing -- I'm lazy and didn't add them.
- Put the potatoes in a pot and fill with water until it is a few inches above the spuds. Add some salt to the water and up the heat until the water starts to boil.*
- Cook potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until they feel tender when you poke them with a fork. I would say it's definitely more on the 20 minute side, as when I was eating the salad it seemed like they could have been a bit softer in the center.
- When the potatoes have cooked, drain and slice them. I chopped them up a bit as I didn't want to huge pieces, but size to whatever your heart desires.
- While the potatoes are cooking, fry up your bacon until it's nice and crispy over medium-high heat.
- Blot it on a paper towel lined plate and discard of bacon grease until there is only about 1/4 cup left in the pan.**
- In the bacon pan, turn the heat down to medium and toss in the chopped onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions start to look slightly clear.
- In a small bowel combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard and salt.
- Whisk vinegar mixture into the pan containing the cooked onions until it begins to boil a bit and thickens up.
- Add potatoes and toss to combine with sauce.
- Place in serving bowl and crumble bacon over top.
- Serve immediately.
*I boiled the water first and then went to add the potatoes before realizing I did it backwards. I started over, but have no idea if it would have made a difference. I think it might have just increased cooking time -- thoughts?
**Note - it is not a good idea to put bacon grease down your kitchen drain or to attempt to pour it into a disposable plastic bottle because you think you have devised a "smart" way of disposing of it. Not that I think anyone would ever actually do something so unintelligent....