Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad - www.countrycleaver.comYou can’t have a picnic without the tater salad. I mean c’mon. They just go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other. It may be cliche, but it’s true. 

Too often the potato salads served around the family picnic blanket are either tinged with too much vinegar, or the potatoes run the gambit from underdone and crunchy, to so mushy they might as well have been mashed taters tossed with eggs.

There is no happy medium. 

So – how do you find your happy potato salad medium? After taking a page out of the America’s Test Kitchen play book, I felt like I had the mental preparedness and self-confidence to go at it alone.

 They gave me the tools, it was up to me to see what I could do with them. Daunting, no? 

Seemed to me that merging the traditional potato salad with the best that the baked potato had to offer was the way to go. How can you pass up potato tossed with creamy bacon, cheddary goodness?

 
For your Grocery List include:
~ 1 ½ lbs. Red Potatoes, cut into ¾” chunks – peel ½ of the potatoes, leave skin on other ½
~ 1 oz. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix packet
~ ¾ c. Low-Fat Sour Cream
~ ¼. c. Mayonaise
~ ½ tsp. Garlic, minced
~ ½ tsp. Ground Pepper
~ 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
~ 2 tsp. Minced Cilantro
~ ¾ c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
~ 5 slices Bacon, cooked and chopped
~ 2 Tablespoons minced chives
In a medium pot, place chunked potatoes and cover with 1” of water. Bring potatoes to a boil over high heat and reduce to medium, allowing to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.


If I had done this on my own with no ATK safety net, I would have just plopped those taters into an already rapidly boiling pot of water. That would have only led me down to the path of disaster with little dots of potato haphazardly floating around lacking all structural integrity of an actual potato. Nope, nope – glad I didn’t do THAT. The gentle coaxing of simmering left all of the potato chunks fully intact and perfect done.
When they were finished doing their leisurely simmer, drain ’em and place on a lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the packet of ranch dip and fold the potatoes over with a spatula until the dip mix is evenly distributed. Place baking sheet of potatoes into the fridge for approximately 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cool.
 
According to ATK, when you put your potatoes back into the fridge to cool tossed with the vinegar and spices of a traditional potato salad they will absorb the goodness and infuse themselves. No bland starches need apply.
 
I figured if the potatoes would resorb the vinegar and spices of a traditional potato salad – why wouldn’t they absorb the ranch-iness of my loaded baked potato salad? I went for it. What can I say, I’m a rebel.
While potatoes the pretty taters were chillin’, I fried and chopped 5 slices of bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.
In a large bowl, I whisked together sour cream, mayo, pepper, garlic, mustard, and cilantro.
When the potatoes were cool, they were poured into the bowl of sour cream goo.
 
Lastly, the cheddar cheese and bacon was folded in. And finally – it was all sprinkled with chives on top
Make sure to chill for two hours until flavors meld. Devour. C’mon – you know you wanna.
 
Yield: 8 servings

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs. Red Potatoes, cut into ¾” chunks - peel ½ of the potatoes, leave skin on other ½


1 oz. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix packet


¾ c. Low-Fat Sour Cream


¼. c. Mayonaise


½ tsp. Garlic, minced


½ tsp. Ground Pepper


1 tsp. Dijon Mustard


2 tsp. Minced Cilantro


¾ c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese


5 slices Bacon, cooked and chopped


2 Tablespoons minced chives


Directions:

In a medium pot, place chunked potatoes and cover with 1” of water. Bring potatoes to a boil over high heat and reduce to medium, allowing to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.


When potatoes are done, drain and place on a lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with packet of ranch dip and fold potatoes over with a spatula until the dip mix is evenly distributed. Place baking sheet of potatoes into the fridge for approximately 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cool.


While potatoes are chilling, fry and chop 5 slices of bacon and shred cheddar cheese.


In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayo, pepper, garlic, mustard, and cilantro.


When potatoes are cool, pour into large bowl of sour cream mixture.


Fold in shredded cheddar cheese and bacon. Sprinkle chives on top of potato salad.


Chill for two hours until flavors meld. Devour.


Loaded Bacon Ranch Potato Salad - www.countrycleaver.com