What to do when you’re mired in the wistful world that rests between the brave throes of summer and the seemingly unending doldrums of destitute as winter slowly, ever so slowly eases its decrepit grip on our souls?
Make potato salad. Not yet the potato salad of summer, with it’s cool crispness and barely cooked flavor, but a potato salad that still has holds court in the realm of warming foods to help you get through a day like…today.
Thai Potato Salad
(aka Fuck You, Winter, Salad)
• 28 oz. of Small Yukon Gold Potatoes (we like those bags of Bon Campo Potatoes), un-peeled and cut into eighths
• 4 Shallots, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
• 2 large Carrots, un-peeled and diced into pieces about an eighth of an inch square
• 1 Red Pepper, cored and diced into pieces about an eighth of an inch square
• 2 stalks of Celery, diced into pieces about an eighth of an inch square (cut off and discard leafy top portion)
• half a bunch of Cilantro Leaves, stems removed and cut into thin strips
• .75 – 1.25 cups of Vegenaise, depending entirely on how creamy/fatty you want your salad to be
• 1 4 oz. Masaman Curry Paste (be sure it’s vegetarian—we like Maesri)
• 1 tbsp. Liquid Smoke
• 2 cups Vegetable Broth (or water)
• Salt and Pepper to taste
• Olive Oil
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom or iron skillet on medium heat. Once it’s warm (throw a drop of water in—it should sizzle), add your sliced shallots and cook until translucent and they begin to brown on the edges—three to five minutes. Now add your potato pieces and toss to coat. Cover and cook for five minutes. Stir, making sure you turn and circulate potatoes to evenly brown them. Cover again and cook for another five minutes. Add 1 cup of broth (or water), your liquid smoke, and stir, unsticking the potatoes from the skillet surface. Cover and cook for another five to ten minutes, checking throughout until the liquid’s been fully absorbed. Once it has, add the second cup of broth (or water) and repeat.
Meanwhile, chop up your carrots and pepper and set aside and chop you celery and add that (separately) to a large mixing bowl.
Back at the skillet, once the liquid’s been absorbed, check the potatoes with a fork. They should be a little resistant still and not crumble to the touch, but not too firm. If they’re not at that point yet, add water, cover, and cook until they are.
Once your potatoes are good, add the carrots and pepper to the skillet, cover, and reduce to low heat. Cook for five minutes, and then remove from heat and uncover, letting everything cool for five or ten minutes.
When things have cooled a bit, add your skillet mixture to the mixing bowl with the celery and gently stir in the Veganiase thoroughly. You can do a little at a time, if you like, to ensure you don’t end up with an overly wet mix. I know. Ew.
Now add your curry little by little. This is a fairly mild curry paste, but it still packs a little heat, so add a quarter of a can or so at first, mix, taste, and then add more if you like. We generally go for a whole can, but, if you don’t use the whole thing, save the remnants—it tastes AWESOME mixed with a little ketchup or tomato paste and used as a condiment.
That’s it! Enjoy!