Bill E’s Bacon – Fairhope, Alabama

You know I love my husband. The other day I asked him to go to the Apple Market which is not close to our house, but not terribly far either. It is just one of those place I do not get to often enough. I wanted some ham salad for Easter and it was great ham salad. [See post about letting others do things if they can do them better than you.]

Well, since the MotH had not been to Apple Market in donkey’s years, it was like a field trip for him and he just kept sending me photos at the office. One really struck a cord – Bill E’s bacon out of Fairhope, Alabama. It wasn’t ridiculously priced and, well, I am a sucker for local foods of all sorts. “Serenaded by Songwriters. Savored by Carnivores.” Interesting, if nothing else. Still not sure what it means. D&D_1831

Damn, I fried up a few strips to adorn the deviled eggs and the German potato salad for Easter brunch. That is totally gilding the lily.

Now, what do I do with the rest of it. Ah, we shall see. I love bacon-wrapped dates (or any dried fruit for that matter) stuffed with cheese, or even better some other piggy parts. Although that may be over kill.

This bacon is really smoky, so I think going with a dried fruit and some kind of neutral cheesy-ness that I think might be just amazing.   D&D_1833

Sometimes others do things better than I do. German potato salad –

I have finally given in for real to the fact that sometimes other people do things much better than I do.

Case in point,I have been trying to make German potato salad as good as the Creamery for years. It seems to be an effort in futility. I would love to find someone in the family to give me the recipe, but that, I doubt, will happen.

So my lack-luster versions or even decent versions, have been just that, to me – lack luster compared to the Creamery. I thought about it so much before our Easter picnic luncheon and realized that be beloved father-in-law loved a canned German potato salad. And, honestly, it was the first German potato salad I had ever had too. So, damn it, I just did that.

Read German potato salad is what I went for – I mean, why not? My in-laws like it, I like it the MotH likes it. The Boy likes it. Why make things more difficult?D&D_1846

That is not to say that I did not “decorate” it. I added minced chives and some amazing local (Fairhope, AL) Bill-E’s bacon. Because, um, again why not gild that lily?

Edna Frillmann’s Warm Potato Salad 

I have not made “German” potato salad for Thanksgiving before, but I did this year just for kicks. Once again, we shall see how this works.

I love family recipes which, based on what I’ve read, this is, from a good Lutheran family (read: German) in the Midwest. It was from the NPR show Here & Now just before Thanksgiving and well, any excuse to try a new German potato recipe – I will take it. dd_1657

1 3/4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled – my decision to use Yukon Golds
6 slices of thick cut bacon
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar

Place potatoes in medium sized pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil until tender but still holding its shape. Drain well, let cool and slice into 1/4 inch slices.

Fry bacon in a large skillet until crisp.  Remove bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Leave bacon fat in skillet.

Cook onion in bacon fat until soft. Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture is bubbly. Add water and vinegar and heat to boiling, stirring and watching carefully. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add the potatoes. Stir until all potatoes are coated. Check seasoning. Serve warm.

In my case for this Thanksgiving, I will reheat and add bacon just before serving. 

This was not bad, but did not live up to my ideal version from The Creamery. I honestly don’t think any recipe would. But I would give just about anything for that recipe. No, really, just about anything.  

German Potato Salad

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Yukon Gold German Potato Salad

When we first moved to Pensacola, there was a restaurant in Gulf Breeze called The Creamery. You must understand that Gulf Breeze is only three miles across a bridge from Pensacola. The Creamery was a local mom and pop restaurant with great sandwiches, salads, German fare …. and they made their own ice cream – hence the name. The family that owned the place, the Schroeders, were always there and we really enjoyed going. At the time the Boy was young so ice cream was a draw, but he loved their club sandwich too. German food always has the MotH’s interest, so it was a win all the way around. My father-in-law loved the German food too. Miss that man. Damn it.

My favorite part of the visit was without a doubt, the German potato salad. It was amazing, and I hold it up as the paragon of German potato salad. I would inevitably bring home a pint or so each time.

I have tried and tried to find something that comes close, but have had no luck. Nothing has touched it and that makes me sad. This version is really good. Not quite “my Creamery German potato salad” but – yep – pretty damn good. Finally, a German potato salad that is worth the effort. Thanks to Nancy Fuller.

1 3/4 pounds Yukon gold, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
5 slices bacon
medium yellow onion, diced
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, + extra for splashing
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1/4 cup minced chives

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add salt and cook until potatoes will be easily pierced by a paring knife. Drain and put into a large bowl and sprinkle with rice wine vinegar. The potatoes will soak up the vinegar which is a very good thing.

While the potatoes cook, place bacon in sauté pan over medium low heat and cook till crisp. Remove bacon, but leave bacon drippings in pan. Drain bacon on paper towels, crumble, and set aside. Add the onion to bacon drippings, season with salt and cook until very soft. Add the chicken stock, vinegar, mustard, and bring to a boil and reduce a good bit – probably by half in my opinion. Pour dressing over potatoes and coat. Add chives and top with bacon crumbles. Serve warm or room temperature.

This is my modification of Nancy Fuller’s recipe of German Potato Salad. I think it is a great start to a German potato salad recipe and I did tweak it a bit.

14 August 2015

Right now, Yukon Golds are very inexpensive at the farmers’ markets, about .99 cents a pound and the potatoes are the size of somewhere between golf balls and baseballs. Very nice and cook up so well. These will always be my potato salad potatoes – I’ll leave the little red creamers for roasting – they are so like candy.