I'm always on the hunt to add to my salad repertoire for the summer months and BBQ season. This is how I found this wonderful potato salad. I think there is no such thing as too many salad recipes. I thrive on trying out new dishes, and also on not eating the same thing all the time. True, I do have a few recipes that date back to my childhood which I will make to this day since they are pure comfort food but my family has fun with new meals and they enjoy giving me commentary on what to improve or when to toss the recipe and ban it forever from the table.
This salad was well received all the way around. Considering the 4 main "players" are potatoes, peas, bacon and cheese I didn't think it was going to go any other way. The salad is a combination of a tasty potato salad and a pea salad. Two of my favorites combined into one was all I needed to be convinced to make this dish.
I like to make all of my potato recipes with Yukon Gold potatoes (or any other waxy kind). I think they hold their shape much better than russet potatoes even after boiling. Nothing worse than a "mushy" potato salad. Usually I steam my potatoes with the skin on to make potato salad and remove it after they are cooked, but in this recipe it calls for peeling and slicing the potatoes prior to cooking. I stuck with my regular method, but I'm sure either way works fine.
The recipe calls for cheddar cheese, so I decided to go with my favorite extra sharp cheddar. I don't ever bother with mild or medium cheddar since I want to be able to taste the cheese, and I believe by using a cheese with more flavor you tend to use less, hence you save a few calories and don't we all like to do this when we can. The salad also calls for regular mayonnaise, but can also be made with the low-fat kind since the mayo just helps bind it all together and is definitely not the star of this dish. The recipe makes enough to feed a big family or a small crowd, but can easily be halved or quartered if you are cooking for less.
If you are looking for a unique salad to add to a BBQ for Father's day, look no further and make this one. Dad will thank you!
(adapted from "Cuisine at Home")
8 strips bacon
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 cup (8 ounces) diced sharp Cheddar
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt, Pepper and Cayenne Pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the potatoes.
Cook bacon until very crisp; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Crumble bacon; set aside.
Quarter potatoes. Thinly slice potatoes with a knife or mandoline. Boil sliced potatoes until tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Rinse potatoes to remove excess starch and drain well; transfer to a large bowl. Add peas, 3/4 of the crumbled bacon and cheddar; toss gently to mix.
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, and onion powder in a separate bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Gently fold mayonnaise mixture into potato mixture. Adjust for additional seasonings if needed. Chill until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle reserved bacon bits over salad.