My family, immediate and extended, always seem to enjoy this recipe. It is straight forward, no extra’s, just potatoes, eggs, relish and mayo. Of course you can add onions, celery and other crunchies… but with a family of picky eaters, I still with the “if you like it that way, add it yourself” principle. (Is that harsh?) Oh, and I’m not really sure what southern style really means, but I live in the south, so I’m calling it southern.
Here it is:
Southern Style Potato Salad
- 1 (5 lb.) bag potatoes, russet or Idaho
- 8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup light mayonnaise (more to taste and texture)
- 1/4 cup sweet relish (more to taste and texture)
- Salt & Pepper
- Paprika to garnish
Peel and dice potatoes and boil in salted water until fork tender. Remove and drain. *If you like a chunky potato salad, allow potatoes to cool completely. I usually add the other ingredients to warm potatoes. Return potatoes to pot and add other ingredients. Stir lightly until all of the potatoes are covered. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, or refrigerate until ready. Garnish with paprika and greens if desired.
Honestly, the amount of mayo and sweet relish are approximate. I add until I reach a smooth texture and to taste. I think the key is having enough to cover all of the potatoes well. And again, I like to prepare it with warm potatoes. Some of the potatoes end up mashing some, adding to the creaminess of the dish. Yum.
A 5 pound bag makes quite a bit, enough for at least 10 servings with leftovers.
My mil is leaving for Arizona tomorrow. She has lived here in FL for 22 years, but due to economic times, she is moving. I prepared one of her favorites for this farewell dinner – shrimp.
The meal itself was easy to prepare. The only drawback I had was grilling in the cold, pouring rain. It still turned out wonderfully.
The chicken was marinated all night in Italian dressing, then slow grilled for a little over an hour. Just before removing, a Honey BBQ glaze was applied. In the meantime, I steamed corn on the cob and prepared Hasselback (aka fan) potatoes. Now these potatoes rocked – and will become a staple for a starch side from now on. We also had a freshly prepared Caesar Salad and some grilled onion packets. Overall dinner was highly successful.
I prepared the shrimp by boiling them in a lightly seasoned, butter bath and served them with melted butter. They were x-large shrimp and were purchased already deveined… mmmmm….
For dessert I made chunky brownies and served them warm with ice cream. Needles to say they were gone before photos could be taken.
Here is how to prepare the potatoes. It is very easy and well worth it.
Hasselback Potatoes(AKA Accordion, Fan etc…)
- Medium Potatoes, I used Red
- Butter, I used spray, but you could melt some
- Olive Oil
- Seasonings, as desired
- Wooden Spoon
- Sheet pan coated with cooking spray or with a thin layer of olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the potatoes about 1/4 thick (as in the picture). To do this, place one potato in the “spoon” part, of a wooden spoon. The potato will rest in the well of the spoon and you can slice all the way through the potato till the spoon stops it. This leaves just enough of the potato attached that you can “fan” them and coat them with the oils and seasonings.
Place the cut potatoes on a microwave safe dish and heat for 6 – 10 minutes – based on the size and number of potatoes. Remove and place on prepared sheet pan. Spray the potatoes with butter, then brush on olive oil. Sprinkle with course sea salt and seasonings as desired. I use Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, coating with additional butter half way through. When the potatoes are soft, remove and serve.
*Note about the microwaving – the idea is to have them slightly cooked so they don’t scortch in the oven…just a nice crispy brown. I was hesitant about microwaving, but I am glad I did. The potatoes turned out perfectly.
Why is it that Sunday seems to be the only day that we eat “dinner” at lunchtime. Tradition? Timing? Does it really matter? For my family growing up, Sunday dinner was a time when the whole family got together, usually after church, and had probably the most formal meal of the week. Time and tradition now has replaced that dinner with eating out, or something quick (that and growing families). We did however enjoy one of those dinners today.
Whole roasting chickens have been on sale for .79 cents a pound… a deal difficult to pass up. As a matter of fact, I bought several. This recipe doesn’t get more simple or cost effective. I took a whole chicken and cut it into pieces, then basted it in Italian dressing. Then wrapped the chicken in foil and grilled it for about an hour. The dressing, along with the juices in the chicken kept even the white meat deliciously moist and flavorful.
I served the chicken with a Caesar salad and macaroni and cheese (for the kids ok?). One more little tidbit. When preparing the salad, I realized that I was out of croutons… so I made my own. I have included that recipe below too. We finished dinner off with some friendship bread that I had frozen a few weeks back.
Italian Grilled Chicken
- 1 whole roasting chicken (4 – 5 lbs)
- Italian salad dressing (Wish-bone Bountifuls)
Cut the chicken into pieces, separating by breast, wing and the leg/thigh. Place chicken in foil, larger pieces on the bottom, and pour dressing over the chicken. Wrap tightly with foil and let marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Place foil package on hot grill until the chicken reaches at least 165 degrees internally. For the final few minutes of cooking, remove the chicken from the packet and place on grill to brown the skin. Remove and serve. I satisfied 5 respectively with no leftovers.
- 5 – 6 slices of day old bread (any variety – I used white and wheat)
- Olive oil Cooking Spray
- Mrs. Dash Original seasoning
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and coat with olive oil cooking spray.
Slice the bread into squares and place in a single layer on cookie sheet and spray generously with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with seasoning and Parmesan. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges of the bread slices begins to brown. Remove pan and turn slices over, coating again with spray and light seasonings. Return to oven and bake until crisp, about another 10 minutes.
You could use any seasoning blend or cheese. You could also use regular olive oil in place of the cooking spray, I was just trying to keep them relatively healthy.
I received a huge compliment today. It came from my teen daughter when she tried my lasagna, and even better, asked for more. You see, she has refused anything pasta or tomato based for years now. As a matter of fact, if you say the word “ravioli” to her, she nearly gags (drama, I know). Hence, the other family members suffer and rarely have Italian dishes. I do too, since many pasta dishes are easy and convenient to prepare. I didn’t care though… if necessary, she would just go hungry. Reluctantly, she agreed to taste the lasagna, and low and behold, she asked for more. I was honored!!! Anyway, here is the recipe.
This is an easy, no frills lasagna recipe that can be prepared the night before, or even frozen. As simple as it is, the taste is very good. Served with garlic bread and a Caesar salad, you have a great meal. I must pay tribute to my friend Michelle who taught me way back how to prepare this dish…
Classic Meat Lasagna
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce (I like Prego)
- 16 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
- Lasagna noodles (go ahead, use the no boil!)
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, (if cooking right away.)
Brown ground beef and drain. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer until heated through. Now add the ricotta cheese an stir until thoroughly blended. In a 11 x 7 ” pan, place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish. Now, in a single layer place three lasagna noodles. Top with more sauce, then mozzarella, and another thin layer of sauce. Repeat layers until it reaches the top of the dish, finishing with the sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for one hour, removing the foil the last ten minutes. If preparing early, cover well and refrigerate or freeze.
Note – the idea with no boil noodles is to cover both sides with the sauce, leaving no open spots on the noodles. I prepare a smaller portion (we had leftover too), but you can double the ingredients easily and prepare in a 9 x 13 pan, you will have to cook a little longer however.
I also prepared a Caesar salad using romaine, light dressing and more grated Parmesan cheese then topped it with croutons. This is a good way to get finicky kids to eat romaine.
Then finally, the all American Italian favorite, garlic bread. Can’t have pasta without it!
Tonight we had a wonderful meal, and at a wonderful price. This is the kind of meal you have at a summer picnic, but the last few weeks in Florida have felt like summer…so why not. Today was quite beautiful. The temperatures were in the 70’s and there was not a cloud in the sky. I actually wore shorts today, in January. Now I had no idea what the weather would be like when I planned this meal earlier in the week, but it turned out to be very fitting.
Leg 1/4’s were on sale at Publix this week at .59 cents a pound. I got a pack of 5 huge 1/4’s for $2.50… To go with the chicken I made classic potato salad and some steamed corn and broccoli. Dessert was a new twist too, but I will post that tomorrow.
To prepare the chicken you will need:
- Boiling water, salted
- 5 -6 chicken leg quarters
- BBQ sauce of choice (I prefer Kraft Original for this chicken)
I always boil leg quarters for a few minutes before throwing them on the grill. Bone-in meat always requires extra cooking time, and I cannot stand charred meat. So about 10 minutes in a boiling bath starts the cooking and also enhances moisture in the finished product.
Boil Leg Quarters for 10 minutes and gently transfer to hot grill (to keep the skin from tearing). Grill for 10 minutes right side up, then flip to brown the top. After about 5 minutes spread desired BBQ sauce on the bottoms of the chicken. Let cook for a couple of minutes and flip the chicken again. Thoroughly coat the tops with sauce and allow to simmer on grill until cooked through, which won’t be long… Remove and serve! My total cooking time after boiling was about 10 minutes on each side. The temperature on my grill was at 500 initially, and remained at 400 ish for the rest of the time.
Now, for the potato salad!
Classic Potato Salad
- 3 – 5 lbs baking potatoes, diced
- 6 boiled eggs
- Sweet Relish
- Salt, Pepper to taste
- Diced Onions & Celery (if desired)
Boil potatoes until tender, remove and drain in colander. Chop eggs into small pieces, or use egg slicer. Place in large bowl, lightly salt and pepper then add potatoes. (Now this is where I just eyeball measurements and add to taste). Add 2 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise and sweet relish. Stir into potatoes. Add more mayo, relish and salt & pepper to taste. I like to prepare the salad while the potatoes are still warm. It kind of mushes the potatoes, but I think that contributes to the creaminess of the potato salad. If you stir gently, you will get a combination of creamy and chunky potatoes – yum. If using, add the chopped onions and celery and stir until well mixed. Maybe next time I will measure how much of everything I add.
After dinner I broke out the dessert, which I made last night. I will talk more about that tomorrow – I still have to take pictures.
Finally, after dinner cleanup, I prepared Sunday lunch. Home made lasagna. I will pop it in the oven before church and it should be hot and ready to serve when we get home. That’s it! Good night all.