Sunday, October 9, 2011

Crispy Hot German Potato Salad

I went to an Oktoberfest party last night at an old school German restaurant in Lake Zurich, Illinois called Fritzl's European Restaurant and Pub. It has the reputation of being one of the better German restaurants in the greater Chicagoland area.

They make a fine schnitzel and have a decent German potato salad. I have always liked the traditional tangy flavor of a Hot German Potato Salad. It is a pretty old school dish whose recipe traditionally revolves around potato, onion, bacon, mustard, and vinegar.

Anyway some genius that was sitting at the bar ordered his hot German potato salad grilled/fried on the flat top. It looked great when it hit the table and it inspired this recipe which updates an old favorite. Texture and the layering of flavors is what makes this one a little different than any other one you have had.

My father was a true potato salad aficionado. He was an engineer and engineers are typically pretty precise people. He made a precise traditional mustard potato salad which remains the very best I have ever had in my life. Nothing comes close to it and the thing that made it special was the texture.

He always said what made his so good was how he controlled cooking and cooling times which resulted in the perfectly textured potato. He also precisely controlled the size and crispiness of the Walla Walla Sweet Onions, sweet pickles, and boiled eggs. Everything was the uniform perfect size so every ingredient worked exceptionally well with the other.

I use the same principles of potato salad preciseness as my father with what I call the Crispy Hot German Potato Salad. I like to serve this with grilled sausages and sauerkraut...Lederhosen optional!

2 1/2 lb Yukon Gold Potato
1/2 lb Bacon
1 Medium Red Onion
1/4 Cup Crushed Garlic
1/8 Cup Chopped Chives or Scallions
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Brown Sugar
Paprika to taste
Fresh Dill
1/8 Cup Stone Ground Mustard
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil the Yukon Gold Potato's and refrigerate overnight. Slice the cold potato's into 1/4 inch rounds and set aside. Dice the bacon into 1/2 inch slices and fry it in a cast iron frying pan until crisp and set aside. Fry the onions and the garlic in a trace amount of the bacon grease until translucent and set aside. Fry potato rounds in the olive oil until reasonably crispy on both sides.

Combine red onion, garlic, chives, bacon, cider vinegar, and the stone ground mustard and toss with potato's and return to the frying pan for a final crisping on both sides. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with paprika, chives, and fresh dill.

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