Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cajun Potato Salad

Cajun Potato Salad made from potatoes boiled in crab boil, the fabulous Trinity trio of vegetables, a flaky Creole seasoning, spicy mustard, southern Chow Chow & what else but bacon!

Cajun Potato Salad

What is Cajun Potato Salad? There is no real definition for it that I can find, and in fact, most people just make a typical southern style potato salad, add a bit of spicy mustard and Cajun or Creole seasoning, and call that Cajun Potato Salad. Well, I decided I needed to remedy this!

Since we love our shrimp and crab boils down here in The Deep South, and one of the usual add-ins at any boil is gonna be little new potatoes, I thought why not add some liquid crab boil into the water to boil potatoes for a potato salad?  Then I figured a good next step for a Cajun potato salad would be to include, not just the typical onion and celery, but the full out Holy Trinity of Cooking - so, onion, celery and sweet, green bell pepper it is!


Then I thought after tossing the potatoes with the usual salt and pepper, a nice, big and flaky Creole seasoning like Zatarain's Big & Zesty Original Creole seasoning would be the best way to go. That would give it the Cajun flavors, but would let the seasonings contrast against the whiteness of the potato salad and make for a nice presentation.


Of course, like any good southern potato salad, we would need the usual mayo dressing, but instead of regular yellow mustard, it should definitely be a spicy mustard, so I used some Zatarain's Creole mustard instead of yellow. Now, some people like a little potato salad with their mustard. Not that there's a thing wrong with that, it's just that while I do like a little bit of mustard in my potato salad, I am not one of those people. If you are, that's perfectly fine with me! Just use the amount and types of mustard you like. I just used the spicy Creole mustard, and no yellow at all, but combine the two if you like.


The typical pickle add-in to potato salad, was replaced here with an overflowing spoonful of Chow Chow, a southern relish. The one I used was purchased locally at a local produce market, and is made of cabbage, onion, jalapeno peppers, and is in a nice vinegary sweet syrup. If you don't have access to Chow Chow, just use your favorite pickles, sweet or dill, or pickle relish, whatever your preference.
Even though the ritual of le boucherie is not as predominant in these modern times, pork will always be king in The Deep South, so to be Cajun Potato Salad this must absolutely contain pig in some form. I decided on bacon, but I wanted to feature it as a contrasting texture. Rather than combining it into the potato salad, I decided to utilize it as a garnish. When you are ready to serve the potato salad, sprinkle the top very lightly with a bit of additional Cajun/Creole seasoning, and garnish with the crumbled bacon and a scattering of sliced green onion. Perfect!


So, right or wrong, this was the makings of what I consider to be a Cajun Potato Salad! I gotta tell y'all - I really didn't know how I would like the green pepper in potato salad, but it worked, and between the crab boil and the seasonings, there is just enough of a Cajun kick to this potato salad, that it leaves that nice little happy tingle on the lips. Now that's what I'm talking about.

While I realize some of you won't have the same access to the exact products I tested with, certainly if you have better access to different products, make appropriate substitutions. Enjoy!

Recipe: Cajun Potato Salad

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings


Ingredients
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped, set aside for garnish
  • 3 pounds of potatoes
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large pinches of kosher salt for the water pot
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid crab boil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of big flake Cajun/Creole seasoning, or to taste, plus extra for garnish (see note)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup of chopped, green pepper
  • 1 cup of real mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of spicy mustard, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of Chow Chow relish, optional
  • 1 green onion, sliced, for garnish
Instructions

Cook bacon to crisp; set aside. Rinse and scrub potatoes, peel and cut into cubes or chunks. Place into a pot of fresh water and cover with twice as much water; tuck the eggs down into the potatoes to cushion them; bring to a boil. Add a couple of generous pinches of kosher salt and the crab boil, and boil just until the potatoes are tender - time will depend on the type and size of the potato, but don't overcook. Test by piercing with a sharp knife. Drain potatoes well and set aside to cool. Remove eggs and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process.

Once cooled, transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper and Cajun or Creole seasoning, to taste; gently toss. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper. Peel and chop the eggs and add to the potatoes; gently toss. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, and relish. Pour over potatoes and gently toss. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to blend. Just before serving, sprinkle the top very lightly with additional Cajun/Creole seasoning. Finely chop the cooked bacon and garnish the top of the potato salad with the bacon and the sliced green onion.

Cook's Notes: Substitute any type chopped pickle for the Chow Chow if desired. I used Zatarain's liquid shrimp and crab boil, Zatarain's Creole mustard and Zatarain's Big & Zesty Original Creole seasoning. I thought that the larger flake of the Big & Zesty would let the seasonings show through better on the potatoes and make for a nice presentation. If you substitute a more finely ground Cajun or Creole seasoning than the Big & Zesty, keep in mind you will probably need less, so take that into consideration when seasoning. Use less, taste and then adjust.

Shrimp Potato Salad: When adding the chopped eggs, add in one pound of medium (51/60 count) peeled, cooked shrimp. Then dress with the mayo blend.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on December 23, 2010
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13 comments:

  1. One of my favorite dishes has always been Mom's potato salad, which is just potatoes, hard boiled eggs, onion, celery, mayo and mustard and for years I wasn't interested in eating it any other way. I've since expanded my thinking and willing to try others and this sounds like a winner - without the sweet pickle though - I haven't expanded that much yet. Have a Merry Christmas.

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  2. This sounds so good!

    Thank you for sharing all the wonderful recipes this past year.

    Have a Merry Christmas!

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  3. I think the addition of Chow Chow is wonderful! Love your version of my favorite salad.

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  4. P.S. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND THE MOST PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR EVER!

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  5. Can't wait to try this! Merry Christmas!

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  6. I have always put a little spicy brown mustard in my potato salad! This recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing all you delicious recipes with us throughout the year!

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  7. I love taters...in any way shape or form. These look good, could go for some right now...I'm going to have to order some of that Zattarain spice. They don't carry it up, at least I have not seen it. The rice they carry.

    I have enjoyed your comapny and your visits this year Mary. It has been my pleasure. Looking forward to walking with you through 2011.


    Blessings at Christmas for Peace
    and Happiness.

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  8. The cajun potato salad sounds awesome--thanks for sharing the recipe. Have you ever tried steamed shrimp, lump crab or lobster in your potato salad? I've used all of these at one point or another and they are really good. Happy holidays!

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  9. I love this, mainly because I love chow chow and have half a jar in the fridge. I can't wait to try this one, Mary!

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  10. I love this potato salad! I use candied jalapenos instead of the chow chow simply because its' not available around here! I use Louisiana Shrimp and Crab Boil to boil my potatoes otherwise I make it as written. Love that little bit of "afterburner" heat. I can (and almost have)eat the whole bowl!

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    Replies
    1. I can certainly relate & thanks so much for stopping by to comment on the recipe - I really appreciate that!

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