My husband is a picky eater. I will eat basically anything except cucumbers (although I love pickles). His list of inedible foods is quite long. It includes mayonnaise and eggs so that makes traditional potato salad a no-go for him.
A few years ago, this recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Salad showed up in my Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine. I told him about it, not really sure that he was even listening, and he said he would try it. I was overjoyed. And the best part…he loved it! I have made it time and time again, for cookouts, tailgating and sometimes just as a side dish for us.
The original recipe was from an article with a block party theme so it makes 20 servings. I have not yet had an occasion to make that much potato salad! People have asked for the recipe but I don’t have exact measurements to make it on a smaller scale. As Rachael herself would say, “You just have to eyeball it.”
Here’s what I do:
You need baking potatoes, bacon, butter, sour cream (I use reduced fat) and shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake the potatoes. I figure on one large baking potato for every 2 people. If it’s a cookout or tailgate party with lots of options, people just aren’t going to load their plate down with one item. I bake the potatoes in the oven for about an hour at 400 degrees. I do not like microwaved potatoes but if you are ok with them, then feel free to zap away.
- When the potatoes are nearing the home stretch, fry some bacon. I would say for every potato you use, figure on one slice of bacon. Throw in an extra piece for good measure if you like. You want the bacon to be crispy. I prefer to bake mine and usually will bake it on a stone sheet pan while the potatoes are finishing their bake. Bacon prepared in the oven stays flat and tends to get crisper in my opinion.
- Let the bacon and potatoes cool enough so that you can work with them without getting burned.
- If you want to use the potato skin, you can just cut the potatoes in chunks as is and put the chunks in a bowl. If you do not want the skin, my method is to cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the potato into the bowl. Then I cut it into chunks by just slashing my knife through the potato.
- When the potatoes are chunked to your satisfaction, add salt and pepper.
- The butter and sour cream are your “dressing”. Think of how much butter you might put on a baked potato to get an idea of how much to use. About a tablespoon of butter per potato is probably reasonable. I go a little heavier on the sour cream. Stir those into your potatoes. The warm potatoes will melt up the butter.
- Break your bacon into pieces and add it to the mixture. Stir it all up.
- I add the cheese last and for this, you truly are using your own judgement and taste. Add in a handful, stir up your dish and see what you think. You want each bite to have cheese.
- The end result isn’t really a “salad”. It’s more of a warm potato dish. It can be served at room temperature so it travels well.