Julia’s American-Style Potato Salad

Julia’s American-Style Potato Salad
Epicurious | October 2009

2 pounds red gold potatoes, or other waxy, boiling potatoes
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup chicken stock or potato-cooking water
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3 or 4 slices crisply cooked bacon, chopped or crumbled
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped pickle, sweet or dill
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced thin
3 tablespoons or so finely chopped fresh chives or scallions, including a bit of their tender green
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 cup or so mayonnaise
Sour cream (optional)

For garnishing
Crisp whole red-leaf or other lettuce leaves
Canned red pimiento, diced; sliced hard-boiled eggs; tomato quarters; parsley sprigs (optional)

Peel the potatoes and slice each one lengthwise in half, or in quarters if very large; then cut crosswise into half-round or quarter- round slices, about 1/2 inch thick .

Put the slices in a saucepan with water just to cover and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water. Heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes, or until just cooked through. It is essential that they be just cooked through. Bite into a slice or two to be very sure. Immediately remove from the heat and drain the potatoes into a colander, but save a cup of the cooking liquid for dressing the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Stir the cider vinegar with 1/3 cup of the potato water or chicken stock and drizzle this over the potato pieces, turning them gently to distribute it evenly. Let sit 10 minutes to absorb the liquid.

Add the prepared onion, celery, bacon, pickle, hard-boiled eggs, and chives, and season carefully to taste. Top with 2/3 cup of mayonnaise (or a mix of mayonnaise and a bit of sour cream) and, with a large rubber spatula, gently fold everything together until well blended. Taste the salad and add more salt, pepper, or mayonnaise as needed. Cover the salad and set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so before serving. If it is refrigerated longer, let it come back to room temperature before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning again. Serve with optional garnishes if desired.

Egg Salad with Radishes and Scallions

Egg Salad with Radishes and Scallions

6 large eggs 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 medium scallion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1/2 medium stalk celery, chopped fine (about 3 tablespoons)
3 medium radishes, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon table salt
Ground black pepper

Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with 1 quart water and 1 tray of ice cubes (or equivalent). Transfer eggs to ice water bath with slotted spoon; let sit 5 minutes, peel and dice medium.
Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl, including pepper to taste. Serve. (Can be covered and refrigerated overnight.)

Cabbage Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Cabbage Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

1 pound green cabbage (about 1/2 medium head), shredded fine
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped coarse
1 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled
1/2 jalapeño chile, halved and seeded
4 medium radishes, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
4 medium scallions, sliced thin
Table salt

Toss shredded cabbage, carrot, and 1 teaspoon salt in colander or large mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Let stand until cabbage wilts, at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Rinse cabbage and carrot under cold running water (or in large bowl of ice water if serving immediately). Press, but do not squeeze, to drain; pat dry with paper towels.

In bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, puree peanut butter, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño until smooth paste is formed. Toss cabbage and carrot, radishes, scallions, and dressing together in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Stir-Fried Szechuan Green Beans

Stir-Fried Szechuan Green Beans

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 pound ground pork
3 medium cloves garlic , minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 scallions, white and light green parts sliced thin
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

In small bowl, stir together soy sauce, sherry, sugar, cornstarch, white pepper, pepper flakes, mustard, and water until sugar dissolves; set aside. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add beans and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender and skins are shriveled and blackened in spots, 5 to 8 minutes (reduce heat to medium-high if beans darken too quickly). Transfer beans to large plate.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add pork to now-empty skillet. Cook, breaking pork into small pieces, until no pink remains, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Stir sauce to recombine and return beans to pan with sauce. Toss and cook until sauce is thickened, 5 to 10 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in scallions and sesame oil. Serve immediately.

Feathery Fennel-Yogurt Sauce

Feathery Fennel-Yogurt Sauce

1 1/4 cups fennel tops
1 large scallion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
White pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup whole-milk or low-fat yogurt

Drop fennel into boiling salted water. Return to a boil; drain. Combine fennel in a food processor or blender with scallion, salt, and pepper. Add the oil and one- third of the yogurt and process to chop fine. Pour into dish and whisk in remaining yogurt. Chill to serve. Serve over salmon, shrimp or steamed vegetables.

Soba Salad with Carrot and Zucchini

Soba Salad with Carrot and Zucchini

3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 lb soba noodles, freshly cooked to tender, rinsed under cold water, and drained
3 carrots, cut into 1/8-inch matchsticks
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch matchsticks
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced crosswise

Whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, sugar and oil in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Lettuce-and-Mint-Braised Sugar Snap Peas

Lettuce-and-Mint-Braised Sugar Snap Peas

1/2 pound sugar snap peas
8 large Butter lettuce leaves
1/4 tsp sugar
1 Tbs butter
1 bunch mint
2 scallions, halved across
Salt

Rinse peas and remove strings. Rinse lettuce leaves and arrange half of them, with water still clinging to the leaves, in a smallish heavy saucepan to hold ingre- dients snugly. Add sugar snaps, sugar and 1/2 Tbs. but- ter. Divide the mint into 4 bunches and tie each with one of the scallion halves. Add the bundles to each leaf. Press remaining lettuce over to enclose contents.

Turn the heat to high. When contents steam, reduce heat to moderately low and cover pan. Cook, shaking several times, until sugar snaps are just tender, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove lettuce covering and mint bundle, discard. Transfer sugar snaps to a warmed serving dish. Toss with salt and remaining 1/2 Tbs. butter.

Bright Green Spinach and Pea Soup

Bright Green Spinach and Pea Soup

2 T. butter or olive oil
2 bunches scallions, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1 t. dried marjoram
2 T. chopped parsley
1 bag of spinach (or about 1 lb.)
1 cup sugar snaps, trimmed
lemon juice to taste

Warm the butter or oil in a soup pot and add the scallions, onion, carrots, celery, herbs, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ c. water. Cover and stew for 5 minutes, then add 5½ cups water or stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 2-3 minutes and then poke the spinach leaves into the soup and cook until they turn bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend the soup in two batches until perfectly smooth. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and stir in enough lemon juice starting with ½ teaspoon to bring up the flavors. Serve immediately with a swirl of good yogurt and croutons on top.

This recipe is from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone which I’d wholeheartedly recommend.