Deli-Style Potato Salad

This is a simple, straight-forward potato salad, which is how we like it at our house. Feel free to add more or different veggies as you like or a bit of chopped up dill or sweet pickle/relish.

5-lb. bag of potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
1 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (Not olive oil)
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

1 cup mayonnaise (I only use Hellman’s Regular)
1 tsp. celery salt
1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped carrots – (optional, sometimes I just omit)

Place the potato chunks in a large pot and just cover with cold water. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt in. Boil until they’re JUST tender – approximately 12-14 minutes. (You don’t want them mushy). Drain and gently mix and then spread them out on a cookie tray to cool down a bit; if you leave them in the colander they will definitely get mushy.

While the potatoes are cooling off somewhat, whisk the sugar with the vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil, and salt & pepper. Set aside.

Place the potatoes into a large bowl. Pour the vinegar & oil mixture over the warm potatoes and mix very gently. Let them sit like that for about 30 minutes. When 30 minutes are up – whisk together the mayo and celery salt.

Gently stir the carrots and then the mayo dressing into the potatoes. If you like your potato salad semi-room temperature, then serve now; otherwise place plastic wrap over and chill until serving time – chilling makes for a much better taste.

Marinated Beets

I’ve got this thing for beets. I really do. Not a lot of my friends or family agree with me, but that’s okay, I get more!

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup white or rice vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 cans sliced beets, undrained

In a medium-sized pot, combine the first 6 ingredients and bring this to a boil. Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the beets – juice and all. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Pour this carefully into a non-plastic bowl and cover. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight.

Herb-Buttered Carrots

These oven cooked, herb-buttered carrots will have your family requesting second helpings. You can keep the baby carrots whole, or cut them up.

1/2 cup melted butter
2 minced garlic cloves – or more to taste
1 tsp. dried parsley
1-1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 /4 tsp. crushed, dried rosemary
Sprinklings of fresh crushed pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. kosher salts, or to taste
1 lb. baby carrots

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well to combine and coat. Transfer everything to a greased baking dish. Cover and bake for one hour; stir well halfway through.

Coleslaw

A true, delicious classic and something we eat all summer long. I like the shredded cabbage pieces smaller so to achieve this I give it a whirl in the food processor for a few seconds; the choice is yours.

1 bag of coleslaw mix
1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s)
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. minced garlic (from the jar)
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Into a medium sized bowl, plop the coleslaw mix, then separately whisk together all other ingredients and stir/fold/mix until well mixed. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill. Serve.

Stewed Green Beans

Cooked slowly in a mixture of bacon-onion water makes for the perfectly stewed fresh green bean. Pair them with most any meat.

1/4 lb. bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1 medium onion, peeled & sliced
3 cups water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed & cut into 2″ slices

In a large pot, place the bacon and cook over medium heat for 12 minutes; add the sliced onion, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add water, sugar, salt & pepper – bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes stirring once in a while. Add the green beans, raise heat to bring to a boil, reduce to simmmer and cook covered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occassionally.

Creamed Carrot Puree

A lovely vegetable side dish which we served alongside baked chicken. 

2 cups water
l lb. carrots, trimmed, cut into small chunks and you don’t even have to peel them
1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 – 1/2 cup of the hot cooking water
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (dark brown sugar, if possible)
1/2 cup half-n-half

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish; set aside.

Meanwhile, place water and carrot in a pot, set to boil, add salt then cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until easiy pierced with a fork. Drain, saving the cooking water, and place the drained carrot in a food processor.  Take about 1/4 cup of the cooking water, place into processor and blend, adding more water – not too much, blend again then add the butter and sugar and process until smooth.  Empty into the baking dish, stir in half-n-half & bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Creamy Cucumbers

A different take on the run of the mill marinated cucumbers. This is delicious and tastes even better the next day – if you have leftovers.

2-3 cucumbers
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/3 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dill
Kosher salt to taste

Peel the cucumber and slice them as very thin. Spread them out on cookie sheets that have been lined with some paper towels to dry out for about one hour. Mix all the remaining ingredients together, place all the cucumbers in a medium bowl, blend in the dressing and chill for a bit before serving.

Broccoli Puff

Easy, elegant and tasty. Using a cup of shredded cheddar cheese will make it more cheesy than using grated Parmesan.

2 of the 10 oz. pkgs. frozen chopped broccoli
1 cup of Bisquick or Jiffy Baking Mix (NOT corn muffin mix)
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt (kosher salt is best)
1 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 2 quart casserole type dish. Cook and drain the broccoli according to package directions. In a large bowl add the baking mix, eggs, milk, salt and beat until smooth. Stir in the broccoli and cheese then pour batter into the greased dish. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Home Fries

Use instead of baked or mashed, your family will be thrilled. The trick is to parboil the potatoes first, then they pan-fry so much better.

About 6 med-sized potatoes, peeled & cut into slices or chunks
1/2  green pepper, chopped
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, peeled & diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

First, parboil the potatoes: place them in a large pot and just cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 10-12 minutes. You don’t want them “too” done, because they’ll continue to cook in the skillet. Drain.
In a large skillet, (cast iron is best) heat the oil and add the green pepper, onion, and garlic; cook until soft – about 5 minutes. Then place the drained potatoes in the skillet and gently fold/stir them around to mix everything up. Gently, but firmly, with a spatula, flatten them down and leave them alone for about 10-15 minutes so they brown on the bottom. Stir and turn them over and cook other side. Serve.

Broccoli Slaw

This is what you do with those bags of broccoli slaw found near the bags of lettuce and coleslaw at your grocer. Add a sprinkling of nuts (walnuts, pine nut, pecans) whatever you wish to bump it up another notch.  Oddly, this went quite well with egg salad sandwiches.

1 pkg. broccoli slaw mix
2 pkgs. chicken flavored Raman noodles
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 pkgs. of the seasoning pkgs from the Raman noodles

Into a large bowl add:  slaw mix, broken up raw noodles.  Into a separate small bowl:  mix the sugar, oil, vinegar, and chicken flavor pkgs. – whisk this together thoroughly then pour on top of the ingredients in the large bowl.  Mix and toss well.  Keep in fridge overnight or at least 8 hours.