Back when I was a kid, there was a German delicatessen on the corner of 238th Street and White Plains Road in the Bronx. It was really no different from any other delicatessen, but, for some strange reason, they made really, really good German potato salad.
The place went out of business when I was in college, but I have craved that taste ever since. And wanted desperately to duplicate it.
I sought out recipes on-line. Then, I asked for the counsel of the lady who runs the German cold cut store here in Los Angeles. I've talked about that place before. Johnny Mathis buys his bratwurst there.
So I pulled together all this info and adapted it myself. On the very first try, I got the taste that I was looking for. Nailed it. And now I will share this with you in the event that this summer has you craving some German potato salad. Lots of folks like it served warm. For me, chilled in the refrigerator is the way to go.
Here's how you do it.
Take three medium-sized potatoes and peel them. Use Yukon Gold as they offer the best flavor.
Take a mandolin and... What? You don't have a mandolin?? Well, go down to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and buy one, for God's sake.
Carefully slice the potatoes in medium-sized slivers. Watch your fingers. That's the problem with owning a mandolin.
Take all the potato slices and dump them in a pot of boiling salted water. Let them cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Go fold your laundry and check your e-mail.
Drain the potatoes in a colander. What? You don't have a colander?? What the hell are you doing in a kitchen??? Anyway, let the potato slices cool in the sink, which is where I hope you put your colander.
While that is happening, take four slices of bacon and crisp them up in a pan. When done, let them cool on a paper towel. Save the drippings. You will want to use them.
So you've got potatoes cooling and bacon draining. Now slice up a medium sized red onion into small bits.
In a measuring cup, pour 3/4 of a cup of apple cider vinegar. Don't use balsamic or white vinegar. This one has the flavor you want. Whisk in the bacon drippings from the pan. Now whisk in two tablespoons of sugar.
In a bowl that you can refrigerate, place the potatoes. Break up the bacon into small bits. Use your hands. Those things are your best tool in the kitchen. Add the onion pieces. Pour the liquid mixture over the potatoes, bacon, and onions. Mix well.
Here is what the hardest part always is for me. Fight with a roll of Cling Wrap for a piece that will cover the bowl. This will often take me about twenty minutes.
Let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours and then.....ENJOY.
Dinner last night: Hamburger and macaroni salad.