Baked Potato Salad

Have I mentioned I love potato salad.  I think I've made this declaration of love on another blog post so it should not surprise anyone if different potato salads pop up on this blog from time to time. Today I made a Baked Potato Salad or some people may know it as Loaded Potato Salad.  It's usually the same salad, give or take an ingredient or two.  The recipes usually call for potatoes (of course), green onions, cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and bacon. But, I don't do bacon--at all--for many reasons. 

One of the reasons is because I'm vegetarian so the little porkers are always safe in my kitchen but I do like that smoky, salty taste that fake "bacon" imparts to my taste buds.  I say fake because I've never eaten real bacon so I liberally and happily sprinkle simulated bacon flavoured textured vegetable protein bits all over my salads, baked potatoes and garlic fingers.  I'm happy. The pig's happy. So, no arguments from anyone please.

I've easily gotten around the bacon problem by substituting "fakon" or fake "bacon" strips found in many grocery stores.  Of course, I could just leave it out but as I stated above I like that salty, smokey flavour, particularly in this salad.  

Red potatoes are especially nice in this salad as are new potatoes.  If you have new red potatoes you have the best.  I didn't have red potatoes but I did have new so all was not lost.  Actually, use whatever potatoes you have on hand.  I like to leave the peel on new potatoes so I just scrub them well and throw them in the pot to cook.  But if the potatoes are old with lots of blemishes and spots I always peel.  

So here you have it--my vegetarian version of the Baked Potato Salad. I'm taking mine to a church potluck this Sabbath. 

Baked Potato Salad
2 pounds potatoes, about 7-8 small and medium mixed
¾ cup small diced fake "bacon" strips
2 tablespoons oil
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup sliced green onions, white and green parts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, optional
½ cup teeny, tiny cubes of cheddar cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

½ cup grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
1 green onion, sliced for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped chives for garnish
¼ cup of reserved fried fake "bacon"

Scrub or peel potatoes. Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until just soft.  If potatoes are large cut in half or quarters.  The potatoes should take 20-30 minutes to cook.  Don't over boil. When cooked, drain and cool completely.  This can be done the day before and the cooked potatoes refrigerated until needed.

Chop the fake "bacon" strips into small pieces and fry in the oil until crisp.  Drain on paper toweling.  Remove ¼ cup for garnish and lay aside.

Cut cold cooked potatoes into medium dice.  Place in large bowl.  Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, green onions, chives, cubed cheese, and remaining fried "bacon".  Mix until everything is evenly distributed and coated in dressing.  Adjust salt and pepper.  Pile into a nice serving dish and chill for several hours.

Before serving garnish with the grated cheese, sliced green onion, chives and fake "bacon".

If you wish, this salad may be served with additional sour cream. 

Makes 6-8 servings.

Two pounds of potatoes just about fills my medium size pot.  I used seven small and medium potatoes, cutting the larger ones the size of the smallest potato.  They took nearly 30 minutes to cook.  Let potatoes cool thoroughly before using in salad.

I used 6 slices of the Yves brand of veggie bacon.  Chop in small pieces and fry in the oil until it starts to get crispy.  Drain on paper toweling.  Don't forget to save some for the garnish.

Cut the cold the potatoes in a medium dice.  Mix with the additional salad ingredients.  Mix until everything is evenly distributed and coated in dressing.

Pile into a nice serving dish and chill for several hours. Just before serving garnish with the reserved "bacon", green onions, grated cheese, and chives.  

Serve the salad with additional sour cream or mayonnaise.

 A delicious salad for any time of the year.


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