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By David Ross
When I think of Potato Salad, I think of my mother and paternal grandmother. Summer picnics and backyard parties are the first memories that come to mind. But I came to realize that not all potato salads are the same. My grandmother kept her recipe basically the same. Usually russet potatoes off the ranch and farm she and my grandfather owned in Central Oregon. She would add mayonnaise, out West "Best Foods" was her mayonnaise of choice if she didn't make it from scratch. She would add a bit of yellow mustard, some vinegar and chopped canned pimentos. (Today we'd do something she would have called "fancy" and add fire-roasted red peppers). Sometimes Grandma would add chopped, hard-boiled eggs to her potato salad.
My mother was more adventuresome with her potato salads. She usually used Russets since she grew up in Idaho potato country and my grandfather had a small business that sold burlap sacks to potato farmers. On occasion she would use "new potatoes," either red or white. We didn't have potatoes called "baby" or "fingerlings" back then. Sometimes she added chopped dill pickle, hard-boiled eggs or diced celery. If my father had his way, she would make his potato salad with Miracle Whip. I wouldn't touch the Miracle Whip potato salad.
One thing my mother and grandmother always agreed upon was the potato salad had to be on ice in the metal ice chest so the mayonnaise wouldn't spoil and make us all sick at the picnic.
Mother didn't limit her potato salad cookery to the summer months. In Fall and Winter she made a hot German potato salad and served it with sauerkraut and German sausage we bought from a German butcher in a small farming town.
She boiled russet potatoes and cut them into thick slices. The dressing was made by frying bacon, then draining the bacon and crumbling it into bits. Into the skillet with hot bacon grease she added onions and apple cider vinegar and tossed the potatoes with the hot dressing. Instead of diced celery she seasoned the salad with celery seeds and lots of cracked black pepper.
It seems as though potato salads are uniquely tied to family, yet cross borders in terms of variations and ingredients. Let's join together and share our family memories, present old favorites and create some new variations of potato salad.
See the complete eG Cook-Off Index here: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/
i had a whole post typed up, but alas, it's been lost.
i searched the forums but didn't find a thread dedicated to fried breads, thus.
yesterday, i fried up some toutons to go with a beet soup. toutons are the popular newfoundland version of fried bread, historically made with bits of dough left overnight and fried in the morning with salt pork fat. like in the south, they were/are often served with molasses, butter, and/or beans. on the rock you'll find any number of restaurants serving them, some of which have a whole touton menu with various toppings or spreads. a lot of restaurants deep fry them instead of pan fry them out of ease of cookery, which has become a point of contention among many newfoundlanders.
i had a bowl of leftover dough in the fridge from making khachapuris a couple of days ago, so i portioned out a couple of balls, patted them flat, let them proof for twenty minutes or so, and then pan-fried them in a mix of rice bran oil and butter.
fried breads have a long history all over, often but not always as a sustenance food for cold weather climes. the navajo are known for their version of frybread from the 1800s, but it's commonly believed that first nations groups of north america also had their own forms of bannock made with local ingredients before it was re-imported from scotland.
anyway i'd like to investigate fried breads more; post your own favourites and experiments here.
A SANDWICH TO GO
Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a snack which you can grab and eat "on the go". I know that it is unhealthy. We should celebrate eating and eat calmly and with deliberation. However, sometimes the day is too short for everything on our schedule and we still have to eat. Admittedly, we can sin and go for some fast food, but it is healthier and tastier to prepare something quickly in our own kitchen.
Today, Camembert cheese and cranberries in a fresh, crunchy roll take the lead role. It sounds easy and yummy, doesn't it? Try it and get on with your day . Today I used a homemade cranberry preserve which was left over from dessert, but if you like you can buy your own.
2 fresh rolls (your favourite ones)
150g of camembert cheese
1 handful of lettuce
2 teaspoons of butter
2 teaspoons of pine nuts or sunflower seeds
100g of fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
100ml of apple juice
Wash the cranberries. Put the cranberries, sugar and apple juice into a pan with a heavy bottom and boil with the lid on for 10-12 minutes, stirring from time to time. Try it and if necessary add some sugar. Leave to cool down. Cut the rolls in half and spread with the butter. Put some lettuce on one half of the roll. Slice the camembert cheese and arrange it on the lettuce. Put a fair portion of the cranberry preserve on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with the roast pine nuts or sunflower seeds and cover with the second half of the roll.
Enjoy your meal!
How to Make Rye Sourdough Bread
I don't know what it is about bread, but it is my favorite thing to make and eat. A freshly baked loaf of bread solves a world of problems. I was lucky enough to get to be one of the main bakers when I worked at the Herbfarm. We baked Epi, Baguettes, Rolls, Pretzels and so much more.
Rye Sourdough Wood Oven Baked Bread
My fondest memory when I worked there was our field trip to the Bread Lab(wait something this cool came out of WSU, of course!) here in Washington. They grow thousands of varieties of wheat and have some pretty cool equipment to test gluten levels, protein, genetics and so on. I nerded out so hard.
What came out of that trip was this bread. Now I can't recall the exact flour we got from them, but using a basic bread and rye will do the trick. We used to get a special flour for our 100 mile menu. This was where we were limited to only serving food from 100 miles away. So finding a wheat farm that made actual hulled wheat in 100 miles was a miracle. The year before...the thing we made, was closer to hard tack.
Now if you don't have a starter, I recommend starting one! It is a great investment!
1000 g flour (60% Bread Flour, 40% Rye)
25 g salt
75 g of honey/molasses
200 g of Rye starter
650 g of water, cold
Baker Scale (or other gram scale)
Bread Razor (you could also use one of those straight razors)
Start by taking the cold water, yeast and Honey and mix together and let sit for 10-15 minutes
I know, some of you just freaked out, cold water? Won't that kill the yeast.
Nope, the yeast just needs to re hydrate. I prefer using cold water to slow the yeast down. That way the lactobacillus in the starter has a good amount of time to start making lactic acid, and really get to flavor town!
While that is sitting, I mix the flour and the salt together(How many times I have forgotten to salt the bread).
Now mix the two products with a kneading hook for 3-5 minutes, only until thoroughly mixed but not yet at the window pane stage of kneading.
Instead, place into a bowl and set a timer for one hour. Then when that hour is up, push the dough down and fold all the corners in
Repeat this step 2-3 more times, pending on the outside temperature.
If you happen to have those cool bowls to shape round loafs! Awesome, use them. I would break the boules into 3 balls of about 333 grams
If not then just put the dough in the fridge and do the steps below the next day.
Once you have bouled the bread, can put it into the fridge and let it sit over night
Again, this lets the bacteria, really get to work(misconception is the yeast adds the sour flavor, nope, think yogurt!)
Now on the next day, heat up whatever form of oven you plan to use. We used a brick oven but if you just have a normal oven, that is fine. Crank it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have not bouled your bread yet, go back and watch the video and break the dough down into three balls of abut 333 grams. Then place the balls on a lightly greased sheet pan. Let sit for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
If you have used the fancy bowls then turn the the bread out on a lightly greased sheet pan, without the bowl and let temper for 15-30 minutes.
If your oven is steam injected, build up a good blast of steam.
If not, throw in a few ice cubes and close the door or put a bath of hot water inside.
The steam is what creates the sexy crust!
Let it build up for a few minutes!
Right before you put the bread into the oven use a bread razor to slice the top of the bread.
Place the dough balls into the oven and douse with another blast of steam or ice and close the oven.
Let them bake for 13 minutes at 450 degrees. Then turn the loaves and bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove when the crust is as dark as you want and the internal temperature exceeds 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now pull out and make sure to let cool off of the sheet pan with room to breath underneath. You don't want your crust steaming!
Now here is the hardest part, wait at least 20 minutes before getting into the bread. Also, cutting into bread to early really seems to come out poorly. I would rip the bread until 1-2 hours has passed.
Now serve it with your favorite butter, goat butter or whipped duck fat!
Today I would like to share with you a recipe for a slightly different sandwich. Instead of traditional vegetables, I recommend strawberry salsa, and rather than a slice of ham – a golden grilled slice of Halloumi cheese. Only one thing is missing – a fresh and fragrant bread roll.
Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese made with sheep's milk or a mixture of sheep's, goat's and cow's milk. It is semihard and so flexible that it is excellent for frying and barbecuing, and it is great fresh too.
Ingredients (for two people)
2 fresh rolls of your choice
2 big lettuce leaves
4 slices of Halloumi cheese
2 teaspoons of butter
half a chili pepper
2 tablespoons of minced peppermint leaves
¼ a red onion
2 tablespoons of chopped almond without the skin
1 teaspoon of honey
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of balsamic sauce
Start by preparing the salsa. Wash the strawberries, remove the shanks and cube them. Dice the onion and chili pepper. Mix the strawberries with the onion, chili pepper, peppermint and almonds. Spice it up with honey and lemon juice. Leave in the fridge for half an hour. Grill the slices of Halloumi cheese until they are golden. Cut the fresh rolls in half and spread them with butter. Put a lettuce leaf on each half of roll, then a slice of the Halloumi cheese, one tablespoon of salsa, another slice of cheese and two tablespoons of salsa. Spice it up with balsamic sauce. Cover with the other half of the roll. Prepare the second sandwich in the same way. Serve at once while the cheese is still hot.
Enjoy your meal!
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