Warm Potato Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese and Crispy Bacon
I think I need to add a new a new category to my recipe index, something like “Not Quite Paleo” or “Some Shade of Paleo”… This Warm Potato Salad would definitely fall under one of those categories.
But since I only get to choose between Paleo or Non-Paleo, I elected to give this one a green light and indexed it as Paleo. After all, white potatoes have been officially accepted as a Paleo ingredient and dairy is tolerated by most, when consumed on occasion. But in the end, I guess it doesn’t really matter what category the dish falls under. Ultimately, you get to decide whether this Potato Salad fits your own personal definition of healthy and whether you want to eat it or not.
Personally, I find it to sit very well with my current goals and beliefs, although this would be more like an occasional thing and not necessarily the kind of food that I would have every single day. Still, if you asked me whether I considered this salad to be good for me, I would answer yes, without even so much as a moment’s hesitation.
This Warm Potato Salad I used to make regularly back in the days when I was always out camping, fishing and hunting. Back then, I would spend most of my week-ends out at the “cottage”, a little shack that my family and I had built at the very top of a mountain on a great big piece of land that we’d acquired some chunk of years ago.
At the cottage, we had no electricity and no running water; most of our food we would cook directly on an open fire, so needless to say we liked to keep it simple, but without compromising taste in the least. This particular salad was one of my favorite things to eat while over there, alongside the catch of the day or, when luck hadn’t been on our side, a big juicy steak or a whole pile of chicken drumsticks.
It’s just so easy to make: you just basically throw everything between a few sheets of aluminum foil, throw it on the grill (or over some hot coals) and let the heat take care of the rest.
Let me show you how it goes…
First things first, preheat your outdoor grill to 400°F.
Next, dice the bacon and cook it over medium heat until it’s nice and crispy. When it’s cooked to your liking, use a slotted spoon and remove it to a plate that you will have previously lined with paper towels to absorb excess fat. Now you may keep the fat that’s in the pan for ulterior use or discard it.
If you want to put it to good use right away, though, here’s a tip for you: slice an onion and sauté it in the bacon fat for a few minutes, until it starts to become fragrant and turns translucent. Oh, and if you’re a fan of mushrooms, you can slice a handful of them and throw them in that pan, too. Then, set that aside so it gets to cool a little bit. I’ll have you add it to your potatoes a little later.
For the time being, you’ll want to wash and cut your potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size. The important thing is that all your pieces need to be relatively equal and they have to fit in your mouth in just one bite.
Now place the potatoes on a double layer of aluminum foil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped fresh thyme.
If you chose to make good use of your bacon fat and cooked some onions and/or mushrooms, now would be the time to add them. Just dump them right over your potatoes and mix them in roughly with the tip of your fingers.
Next, distribute about three quarters of the goat cheese and crispy bacon over the potatoes. Make sure you save a little bit of both ingredients to garnish the salad later.
Now cover all this with another double layer of aluminum foil.
Fold all four edges onto themselves 2 or 3 times to make sure they are completely sealed: we wouldn’t want any precious steam to escape, we need it to cook the potatoes!
Place your little packet directly on the grill, close the lid and cook for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, carefully remove the aluminum pouch from the grill and allow your potato salad to cool for a few minutes; then carefully tear the foil open and let the steam escape for a few more minutes.
Transfer your salad to a serving bowl and garnish with the remainder of the cheese and crispy bacon, as well as the sliced green onions and a little bit more chopped fresh thyme.
See how nice and beautifully caramelized the potatoes that were at the bottom of the pouch became? Oh, there’s tons of amazing flavor and texture for ya, right there. Your taste buds are gonna want to make a little dance when they get a taste of this, I swear!
And while this salad is meant to be served warm, know that it’s also excellent at room temperature, so you can make it a little bit ahead of time, if you have to. Also, any leftovers could be eaten cold, right out of the ice box, although you could give it a few seconds in the microwave it you prefer it a bit warmer.
One last thing… don’t be afraid to play with the ingredients: replace the bacon with a few walnuts or pine nuts, throw in a couple of handfuls of greens, like arugula for instance, add an apple, some mushrooms or caramelized onions, or a few chunks of cooked chicken… with very little imagination, you could easily turn this into a complete and delicious meal!
Go wild, my friends. Go wild!
Warm Potato Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese and Crispy Bacon
- 4 slices smoked bacon
- 1.5 lb baby new potatoes
- 3.5 oz soft, unripened goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 green onions, sliced
- Preheat your outdoor grill to 400°F
- Dice the bacon and cook it over medium heat until it’s nice and crispy. Then, with the help of a slotted spoon, remove the cooked bacon to a plate that’s been lined with paper towels to absorb excess fat. Keep the fat that’s in the pan for ulterior use or discard it.
- Wash and cut the potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size. You want all your pieces to be relatively equal and to fit in the mouth in one bite.
- Place the potatoes on a double layer of aluminum foil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped fresh thyme. Next, distribute about three quarters of the goat cheese and crispy bacon over the potatoes (save some of both to garnish the salad later) and cover with another double layer of aluminum foil. Fold all four edges onto themselves 2 or 3 times to make sure they are completely sealed.
- Place the pouch directly on the grill, close the lid and cook for 25 minutes.
- Carefully remove the packet from the grill and allow your potato salad to cool for a few minutes; then carefully tear the foil open, let the steam escape for a few more minutes and transfer your salad to a serving bowl.
- Garnish with the remainder of the cheese and crispy bacon, as well as the sliced green onions and a little bit more chopped fresh thyme.
- While this salad is meant to be served warm, it’s also excellent at room temperature and any leftovers can be enjoyed cold, right out of the ice box.