One day I was thinking about potato salad. And then I thought about how I could change it. And then I thought about bacon and how good it tastes with potatoes. Suddenly, in a moment of cosmic clarity, I knew exactly what I was going to make: baked potato salad.
I scrubbed a few of my finest tubers and tossed them in the oven to bake. Afterall, if I was going to make baked potato salad then I needed to have baked potatoes. Right? After the potatoes had baked and cooled, I diced them and added crispy bacon, chopped onion, salt, pepper, and sour cream.
It tasted pretty darn good, but I noticed that the potatoes absorbed the sour cream really fast and the salad seemed kind of dry. I played around with the recipe for a few years trying to find the right combination of ingredients that would keep the potato salad moist while still providing that delicious baked potato taste.
Surprisingly, the first thing to go was baking the potatoes. I now boil them whole with the skins on and I tend to use red potatoes. The white potatoes work well, too, but sometimes I like to shake things up and use the reds. I’m such a potato maverick. Besides, just because the name of the salad is baked potato salad, doesn’t mean that the potatoes actually have to be baked…although it does add another “level of flavor”.
The best change that I have made, though, is using buttermilk along with the sour cream to keep things moist. Why didn’t I think of this sooner. Seriously…years to figure out that buttermilk was the answer?
The onions have evolved, too. I went from using white/yellow onions to using green onions to using purple onions. The purple onions are the winners.
Last but not least, my most recent addition to the flavor team is chili powder. Just a little for a really unexpected flavor boost.
Baked Potato Salad
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
- 6 medium size potatoes
- 6 slices bacon, fried crisp and chopped
- 1 small purple onion, diced small
- 1-1 1/2 cups sour cream (yes, lite or fat-free is fine)
- 1/2-3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2-3 teaspoons salt (use your taster to decide)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- chives, chopped for garnish
- **Boil the potatoes whole with skins on until fork tender. (Don’t overcook. You don’t want mushy potatoes.) Cool the potatoes quickly either by rinsing them under cold water or by submerging them in ice water. You can make an ice water bath in a large bowl and just drop the potatoes into the ice water. Let them sit for a few minutes until they are cool, then drain off the water and any remaining ice. (You can also bake the potatoes until tender. Allow to cool, remove skins if tough. Dice potatoes into bite-sized pieces, then proceed with remainder of instructions.)
- For boiled potatoes, with skins on, dice the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and toss them into your mixing bowl. Add the onion and bacon to the potatoes and lightly toss together.
- In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, buttermilk, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Pour over potato mixture and gently mix everything together until well combined. Put in refrigerator to chill.
- When ready to serve, garnish with chopped chives.
**Start potatoes off in cool water. Using warm or hot water will cause the potatoes to cook too quickly on the outside. The outsides will get mushy before the insides are done.