Southwest Potato Salad
This was inspired by a salad I enjoyed at a barbecue restaurant in Dallas. I had previously created the dressing recipe as a dipping sauce for fritters and always thought it would be a delicious dressing for other salads. I’ve combined it with the elements I recalled from the potato salad I had enjoyed, and the result was something I like even better than the original! Don’t use russet or “starchy” potatoes for potato salad as they’ll break up too easily. Used thin-skinned “waxy” potatoes (red, white, and many other colors) which will hold their shape much better. Tossing the hot potatoes with the infused vinegar and dressing will allow them to absorb more flavor while their “pores” are open to absorb it. When I prepared this on my Facebook Live show we accompanied it with Red Wine Blueberry Glazed Chicken. You may want to try that too!
Yield: About 8 servings
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1/3 cup minced cilantro
½ cup buttermilk
2 lbs. Fingerling or other young “waxy” potatoes such as red, yellow, blue or white-skinned potatoes
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1/3 cup cider vinegar
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ear sweet corn
1 poblano chile
4 green onions
In a 1 qt. mixing bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients, except buttermilk. Whisk to blend well. Add the buttermilk a little at a time to thin out the sour cream/mayonnaise mixture into an even consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Set aside to develop flavors while preparing the salad ingredients.
Cut potatoes into ¾” chunks and place in an 6-8 qt. pot and cover with cold water. Add a liberal amount of salt to the water and place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
While the potatoes are coming to a boil, place an 8” or 9” skillet over medium-high heat and add the cumin seed. Toast the cumin seed until it becomes fragrant, tossing frequently in the saute pan. Remove the cumin seed from the heat and pour out of the pan into a small dish to cool. Reserve the saute pan for infusing the vinegar.
Place the cider vinegar, ground cumin, and garlic powder in the small saute pan and heat over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Turn off the heat and allow to sit until the potatoes are done.
Boil potatoes until a knife can easily be inserted into the interior of the potato. When the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a paring knife or fork, remove from the heat and drain the potatoes into a colander. Allow the potatoes to sit in the colander for about a minute to allow the excess steam to evaporate and dry them out a bit. Once the steam has evaporated, but the potatoes are still hot, return them to the pan and drizzle the infused cider vinegar over the top. Add the salad dressing and toss to coat. Set aside while finishing the remaining salad ingredients.
Preheat broiler. Using a chef’s knife or a corn kernel stripping tool, remove the corn kernels from the cob. Core and cut the poblano chile into strips that are ¼” wide and about 1” long. Place the corn kernels and poblano chile together on a baking sheet and broil until lightly charred, about 5 minutes.
While the corn and chiles are roasting, trim the root ends from the green onions and cut crosswise into ¼” thick slices. Place the reserved toasted cumin seed into a mortar and pestle and lightly break up the seeds slightly. Do not grind into a powder.
When corn and chiles are done roasting, add them to the salad mix along with most of the green onions (reserve about a tablespoon for garnish) and half of the cumin seed. Mix well to distribute all ingredients throughout. Place into a storage container and chill if preparing in advance or pour into a serving bowl or platter. Garnish top of salad with the reserved green onions and toasted cumin seed.