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One last official barbecue & Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad

September 7, 2010

It was a wonderful Labor Day weekend, complete with a visit from my wonderful friend and cousin, plenty of wine tasting, some sunny California weather, and one last official barbecue.  (I say official because you can barbecue year round in CA, but it’s just not the same in January.)

I was inspired by a posting last week from Fine Cooking for recipes that involved grilling foods you may not traditionally think of grilling.  To cap off the weekend we decided to grill out some wonderful steaks and fix up one of the side dishes mentioned in the posting: Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad.  The salad was incredibly flavorful, although tricky for me to eat since I am still avoiding onions and bell peppers for my son’s sake.  Nonetheless, it tasted very fresh and much lighter than the stereotypical mayo based potato salad.

Here is the recipe:

Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad
Yields: 10 Servings

2 large Red onion (cut into 1/2-inch disks and threaded onto metal skewers)
4 Red bell pepper (halved, cored, and seeded)
3/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
2 2/3 tablespoon Kosher salt (more as needed)
1 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper (more as needed)
1 1/2 cup Cooked fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
1/2 pound Bacon (8 to 9 slices, cooked until crisp, drained, and crumbled)
3/4 cup Fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 teaspoon Chili powder
3 pound Red potatoes (cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces)
3 tablespoon Cider vinegar (more as needed)

1. Heat a gas grill to medium or prepare a charcoal fire with medium- and low-heat areas. Put the onions and peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 2 tsp. of the salt, and the pepper. Turn and rub the vegetables to coat all over with the oil and seasonings.
2. Grill the vegetables, covered, until they have good grill marks, about 5 minutes. Flip, cover, and continue to grill until the peppers are softened and nicely browned, about another 5 minutes. As they finish cooking, transfer the peppers to the baking sheet. Reduce the heat on the gas grill to medium low or transfer the onions to the cooler part of the fire and continue cooking until they are just tender and browned (it’s fine if they’re charred in places), about another 8 minutes. Move to a cutting board and let cool. Scrape the skins off the peppers if you like. Coarsely chop the peppers and onions and toss in a large serving bowl along with the corn, bacon, cilantro, and chili powder.
3. Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water by a couple of inches, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and toss with the grilled vegetables, the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil, and the vinegar. Season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar to taste. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours at room temperature before serving.

*Notes from experience: As I am executing a recipe, I often prepare the ingredients as I go.  When I get to the section on potatoes, I chop the potatoes.  When I need to add fresh herbs, I chop them on the spot.  When fixing this recipe I wished I had prepared all of the vegetables and herbs ahead of time as the recipe indicated.  I ended up feeling like I was doing too many things at once and cooked my vegetables on the grill a little too long as a result.

I ended up grilling the corn as well and would definitely recommend doing so.  One other change I would recommend would be to grill the potatoes, rather than boil them as the recipe calls for.  Since they would take a long time to fully cook on the grill, I would suggest either pre-boiling or roasting the potatoes and then proceed to finish them on the grill.  I think the extra crispness from grilling would really enhance the overall flavor.  Even if you choose not to, the original recipe is a perfect for any barbecue.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2010 11:59 am

    Brava! This looks amazing. We were inspired to try new things on our grill via the piece in the FC magazine too, but I haven’t made this one yet. Thanks for the great review-it just moved up in our queue!

  2. Amanda (Kate's cousin) permalink
    September 7, 2010 1:48 pm

    I can attest that this potato salad was very tasty and a great, new twist on an old BBQ standby! Great job, Kate!

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