Introduction: EZ Frenchfry Salad or Not, Gma's Tater Salad
Potato salad is often a side at BBQ's regardless of if you consider BBQ a verb or noun, as popular beside pulled pork or ribs as a grilled burger or hotdog.
My grandma used to make a bacon potato salad, she would peel, dice and boil 10lbs of potatoes, fry up a couple pounds of bacon and make a "dressing" from mayonaise, vinager, sugar and bacon drippings, crumpled bacon, onions and celery all went in the mix. My mom changed the recipe a bit, using miricle whip. When my kids were little some of them didn't like onions and I was never crazy about celery so they got deleted. My latest version varies quite a bit from the original, it's a lot easier to make and in fact could make a single person famous at a bring a dish bbq/cookout/picnic or other event.
Step 1: Shopping
from your pantry of shopping trip your going to need
A bag of steak fries
a bottle of blue cheese or ranch dressing
miricle whip, salad dressing or mayonaise (optiojnal)
bacon, about a 1/4lb
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Step 2: NO Peeling, Dicing or Boiling !
BIG time saver, instead of peeling, dicing and boiling the potatos we're going to simply open a bag ! Lay your steak fries out on a baking tray (mine came as a surprise one night under a delivery pizza !it works GREAT for baked fries) I usually set the heat higher than instructed on the bag, it may be my oven but I get crispier "fries" (are they really still french fries when we bake them ?) stick the "fries" in a preheated 450f oven and move to the next step
Step 3: Its BACON !
fry up your bacon, I'm using about a 1/4lb but you can always use MORE ! I like my bacon fairly crisp and it works better in the dressing, save the drippings for later
Step 4: Onions
I diced the onion and after the bacon drippings were removed from the pan, threw them in the still hot and greasy pan, I turned off the heat because the cast iron retains enough heat to cook the onions just right. If you don't have a castiron skillet, you'll have to watch that the oinions get slightly brown then remove from the pan (shameless plug for using castiron cookware)
Step 5: Dressing
Now for the good stuff !
I had a little miricle whip left in the jar and I wanted the jar for my pickled hotdogs so I used it up, about 1/4cup
about 3/4 of a large bottle of bluecheese dressing, you could replace the blucheese with ranch or other creamy salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
teaspoon of vinager
3 tablespoons of bacon drippings
stir to combine
Step 6: The Potatos
The steak "fries" were almost crisp when I pulled them from the oven, I salted the potatoes and used scissors to cut the larger pieces into bite sized then popped them back in a 500f oven for another 6minutes, then allowed them to cool slightly on the stove top. edit: Ive found that if I crsip the "frys" they dont get as soggy/mushy as quickly, HOWEVER.. if you use the "frys" when they are fully cooked through but not yet brown/crisp they absorb the dressing quicker and have more of the "normal" potato mouth feel... as usual, it's up to you..
Step 7: Ready, Set, COMBINE
In a large bowl combine your still warm potatos, crumbled bacon and sauteed onions, add enough dressing to coat well (any leftover dressing can be refrigerated for other uses, yes its THAT good!) mix well and refrigerate until time to serve. It can be served at room temp and hold up well in heat (if it lasts )