Recently, I was inspired to whip up a potato salad. The weather was just too hot for a heavy, mayo-based salad, but it was great for a lighter, vinegar-based one. I based this recipe on the traditional hot German potato salad, but tweaked it to remove the bacon and to substitute some ingredients that are sometimes used in foods in South Louisiana. Specifically, I subbed cane vinegar for the cider or white vinegar that is commonly used in a German potato salad. I also swapped super-spicy Creole mustard in place of the traditional grainy mustard. To top things off, I threw in Creole seasoning and the ubiquitous thyme.
Be sure to check out my second variation of this salad using Crawfish & Crab Boil seasoning for the potatoes. (In Louisiana, it is not uncommon to use up the leftover spicy potatoes from a crawfish boil in a salad.)
Two more things: 1) Leeks aren't commonly grown back home, but I had one in the fridge and it was just begging to be used. I really liked the flavor it brought to the salad. 2) One of these days, I need to post my recipe for the traditional mashed potato salad sometimes eaten with gumbo.
Warm Creole Potato Salad
1 lb baby red potatoes, washed and cut to your liking
1 Tbsp olive oil
half of a red onion, thinly sliced
half of a large leek, cleaned and sliced
1/3 cup cane vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Creole mustard (or more, to taste)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Creole seasoning
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
green onion or chives, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1) Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, but not falling apart.
2) While potatoes are boiling, saute' onions and leeks in a pan with olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent and just beginning to carmelize. Set aside.
3) Drain potatoes, place in a serving bowl, and keep warm.
4) Add onion and leek mixture to serving bowl with potatoes.
5) Immediately pour vinegar dressing over potatoes and toss to coat.
6) Add thyme and green onion/chives to bowl and stir to mix.
7) Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional Creole seasoning, if needed.
Warm Creole and Cajun Potato Salad - Crawfish Boil Variation
Prepare in the same manner as above except use leftover potatoes from a seafood boil, or add 1 Tbsp or more liquid boil seasoning (such as REX or Zatarain's brands) to water for boiling potatoes.