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Potato Salad is a nostalgic and quintessential part of any summer picnic or BBQ. It's creamy, chilled, mayonnaise-based sauce is the thing summer dreams are made of. This recipe comes with all the fixings - bacon, red onion, tangy dill pickles and more!
I know many are on the fence about mayonnaise (a lot of calories, a little overused, I totally get it), however it is truly one of the miracles of modern cookery. Invented by a French chef in the 1750's, mayonnaise is a tricky emulsion of eggs and oil that transforms into this creamy, thickened impossible sauce. Unless you've tried to make it yourself, it's hard to understand how delicate that emulsion is. Though once you get the hang of it, it's not that bad to make at home and can be done easily in the food processor. Luckily, we turned to a trusty jar of Hellman's for this recipe and all we have left is to ponder the miracle and (more importantly) eat.
Let's get back to this potato salad recipe and all that fantastic bacon crumbled on top. The one and only downside to bacon is the chore of preparing it. Frying up bacon in a frying pan usually means cooking in batches (ugh), a fine splattering of bacon grease all over your stove-top and the pops of bacon fat that inevitably hit your arms while trying to flip slices. Not my favorite, but obviously sacrifices must be made in the name of, bacon.
However, after trying several different methods, including the microwave and air fryer, we've found that our favorite way is baked in the oven. This method is employed in restaurants and is truly a game changer. Lay bacon out on a sheet pan lined with foil for easier clean-up and cook in a 375˚F oven for about 20 minutes - or until browned and crispy.
No flipping, no babysitting the stove, and no bacon grease burns. Just throw the baking sheet in the oven and prep the rest of your meal. After the bacon is done to your liking, remove bacon from the pan and place on a towel-lined plate or cooling rack as per usual to help drain excess fat. The bacon will continue to crisp as it cools.
Potato salad is pretty forgiving when it comes to adding different ingredients. We went with a colorful mix of diced pickles, celery, red onion, bacon, and green onions. You could easily omit any one of these items and replace it with something else that more fits your liking. Not into pickles? You're crazy but forget 'em. Want to add hard-boiled eggs because they're delicious? Sure, go ahead. Add an extra splash of vinegar for more kick, yes! But please. My final words to you. Do not replace that miracle of miracles, mayonnaise. No yogurt subs this time. Please.
TIP: With these recipes comes lots of slicing, dicing, mincing and chopping. Checkout the end of this post for our short piece on 4 great Chef's Knives that are masters at food prep.
The smooth and tapered silicone blade of the Flex-Core Spatula is supported by a nylon core, making it pliant enough to conform to the curves of bowls, but strong enough to stand up to heavy mixtures.
The silicone coating is heat safe up to 600° F and creates a smooth surface for frosting cupcakes and cakes. The head of the spatula has both a rounded and squared corner that easily reaches into any spot.
The Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife is a marvel to hold and use. the Pakk-wood D-shaped handle is comfortable and the fully forged, Damascus-style blade features 33 layers and is both handsome and extremely sharp. And, at only $119.95 for the Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife, it's a deal. Smaller hands may prefer the Shun Classic 6" Chef's Knife for only $89.95.
The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Four Star II 8" Chef's Knife is also fully forged and a great deal at $99.95. It's forged from one single piece of steel, the blade is ice-hardened and hand-sharpened with a double 15˚ beveled edge.
Another choice from Germany is the popular Wusthof Classic Line starting at $59.95 for the nimble and capable Wusthof Classic 6" Chef's Knife. It features a deep heal and a sharp tip. It is also precision forged from a single piece of metal. For larger hands or cutting large foods try the Wusthof Classic 10" Chef's Knife, at $179.95
Last but certainly not least is the Global G2 8" Chef's Knife. It features an innovative and light-weight blade stamped from Global's proprietary 18 Stainless steel alloy. It exhibits exceptional resistance to corrosion, has excellent edge retention and it resharpens with ease. Each thin-ground blade is beveled on both sides, at a slight 17° angle per side to create a very sharp and fine edge. The blade transitions smoothly and seamlessly into the dimpled, stainless handle that is filled with sand to achieve a precise weight for the perfect balance. The Global G2 8" Chef's Knife is $124.95.
All of these fine Chef's Knives are ideal for chopping, slicing, mincing, dicing and rocker-style cuts. Remember, the chef's knife is the most used knife in professional and home kitchens alike. Make sure yours is worthy.
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