Friday, January 30, 2015

Texas Coastal Queso /Sarah Penrod

Houston Rodeo Blue Ribbon Texas Potato Salad /Sarah Penrod

My favorite dish, was the potato salad that won best side dish. It was in very good company with several pots of baked beans and cilantro laced boracha beans but it shined through the others and haunted me long into the weekend.

Monday night I got busy cracking the recipe (my hidden talent, no one is safe).

It became clear to me that the potato salad hinges on the sauce and the sauce is a careful formula of 3 ingredients that you can whip up and pour into any good potato combination with killer results! Ready for it? Here we go...

1 c. mayo (Hellman's or Duke's for us purists)
2 T red wine vinegar
1 t. sugar
Note- I salt and pepper the potatoes. That's why no salt or pepper here.

Whisk this mixture together in a big bowl and you are all set. I would go ahead an add the white onion to the sauce recipe if I made it ahead of time and chilled the dressing bc that onion flavor needs to marry and mellow in the dressing.

Blue Ribbon Potato Salad from the Houston Rodeo 2014

4-5 red potatoes or 4 large russets ( I microwave mine until cooked ( 6 min) but feel free to mess with that big old bath of boiling water if you want).

1 batch of the dressing

1/2 white onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, jullienned and then the strips but into thirds
1-2 carrots, jullienned and then cut into thirds
1 t dijon (optional)
Fresh Chive and Parsley
Pepper and Salt
Dash of Celery seed

Optional Add Ins- These would be fabulous but I didnt have them the night I cloned the recipe... 

1 stalk of Celery, 2 hard boiled eggs, Green Onions, Crisp Chopped Bacon

After whipping up the dressing I cut the potatoes in half down the middle, then I cut the halves in thirds. So I have 6 potato spears at this point. Then I line them up and dice them. If you use reds you will have more structure to your chunks, if you use russets you will have potato salad that resembles mashed potatoes. I love both variations and you should try them both with this kickin' dressing. I salt and pepper all of my chunks of potato before moving forward. Many people use an old Cooks Illustrated trick of drizzling the potatoes with a little red wine vinegar or lemon juice at this point so you have very flavorful marinated potatoes.

Add the minced onion to the sauce mixture and stir well.

Pour the potatoes into the sauce mixture and fold in all of the remaining veggies, herbs, dijon, and celery seed.

Chill 2 hours or overnight. It should be flavorful when you first make it but the magic of this dish is letting those flavors combine in the refrigerator. The next morning dishes like potato salad are peaking in flavor as opposed to consuming them right after they are made.

Chefs Note- I like a really "wet" potato salad. If you do too, you will want to make as much of the dressing as neccessary to get the potatoes filled with moisture. This recipe is perfect for the red potatoes but with russets they absorb so much liquid you may want to make a double batch of the dressing in case you need a little extra sauce. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

@JonBonnell #ZestFest2015 @IrvingTxCC

Yep Bob's real name is David.

I'ma jerky lovin` fool, and this was the best Jerky I've ever had.

Got me sum of this stuff.

Chef Bonnell was by far the best stage show of the day, and a really great guy to meet.  Bought one of his books.

Sleepin` on the job.

Chehalem Ridge Fruit Salsas was the "Bomb".

Was one of the best conventions I've ever been too.  Next year will be way more prepared.  Hope to see you there.