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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day and grilling

I'm not sure when Father's Day became associated with grilling. To my ancient memory, it was not a day to make Dad work at the grill (to my knowledge, my father never grilled anything--cooking the food was woman's work, but then he was of two or three generations ago). Instead, it was a day to wait on Dad hand and foot and present him with his favorite meal, without him having to lift a finger. But nowadays, we expect him to grill.
Christian lived up to that tonight. Because they have two new dogs at their house, as of yesterday, he elected to grill rather than go out. He does terrific hamburgers and does mine rare, the way I like it. So I said I'd bring a can of beans (had it in the cupboard) and potato salad--did he want that wonderful recipe I have for a lemon-y potato salad or a more traditional mayonnaise one (I do not like mustard potato salad). To my surprise, he said German and then I remembered he loves the German potato salad I make. I'm afraid I may have posted it before, but if so I apologize. It's fairly easy (you're always going to have to chop if you make potato salad) and reheats beautifully. Also I think it's good cold the next day, maybe with a  dollop of mayonnaise, but it is a hot potato salad. So here it is again:

Christian's favorite German potato salad

What you need:

sliced, cooked potatoes
chopped parsley for a touch of color (optional)

Fry three or four slices of bacon crisp and set aside to drain.

Drain off the grease in the skillet, leaving just enough to sauté vegetables.

Saute until soft two or three stalks of celery and two or three scallions, diced fine

Sprinkle with three Tbsp. flour, stirring to make a paste--if it's a bit too dry, add back some of the grease (you can use vegetable oil, but the bacon grease imparts wonderful flavor and you're going to add the bacon anyway, so.....)

Mix 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar; gradually stir into pan until mixture thickens, then add more liquid until all is added

Add about a Tbsp of mustard

Stir in sliced potatoes. Note: This is the one time in my life I use canned potatoes, because they hold together better than if I cook my own new potatoes--but that's an option. I used to be able to find pre-sliced canned potatoes, which made it really easy but lately I've only found whole and had to slice them (oh, hardship!). If you want to use new potatoes, I'd cook them and cool in refrigerator overnight; then peel and slice.

Crumble the bacon and stir in gently so as not to break up the potatoes.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving (Christian doesn't like "little green things" so I omitted it for him).

Serve warm. Serves 4-6.

Cooking hint: I know how bad bacon is for you. Someone told me recently every piece of bacon you eat takes nine minutes off your life, but who's counting? There are sometimes when a bit of  bacon grease makes all the difference in the world. I keep a grease can in the refrigerator (my daughter is horrified and keeps hers under the sink--I tried to explain that it would go rancid more quickly at room temperature, but got nowhere). But I keep a separate small jar, with a lid, of pure bacon grease. Diet or not, it comes in handy sometimes.


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