I don’t much like classic American potato salad – gloopy with mayonnaise as it is, and often weirdly sugary. But I find this recipe addictively good, to the point of eating enough to send myself into a starch stupor last Fourth of July. You’ve been warned.
An aside: The reason these photos look about a gazillon times better than my usual indoor photos is that I took them with Professor Kobre’s Lightscoop. I always shove it out of the way when looking for stuff in my camera bag but recently I rediscovered the instructions so I decided to give it another try. WELL. I am glad I did. In fact, I can safely say it is only my lifelong dislike of children that keeps me from wanting to have Professor Kobre’s babies. If you have a dSLR but no money for a fancy indoor lighting setup, go buy one of the things for 30 bucks and thank me later. (I was not paid by anybody at Lightscoop to say that. But if they want to pay me, that’s fine. Contact form link is under the banner, guys.)
This originally came from a cookbook called Trade Secrets from a Three-Star Chef, which was one of the first “real” cookbooks I got when I taught myself how to cook. The author calls it “Saucisson Lyonnaise.” I’m sure there’s some association between kielbasa (Polish) and Lyon (in France) which lies beyond the capacity of this American mind. It hardly matters. Whatever you call it….it’s ambrosial.
Start by grilling a pound of fresh kielbasa.
This is a grill pan because I haven’t got a real grill. A frying pan will work, too.
I’m not going to tell you how long to grill them because I don’t know and I don’t like recipes that claim to know things like that. My stove is usually good with about 9 minutes a side, covered. Your mileage may vary.
Then grab thyself 1.5 pounds of small red potatoes, chop them into bite-sized pieces and boil them in heavily salted water until just tender enough for a fork to slide in easily, but not so tender they will fall apart – about 8 minutes.
Note that if you want to use pre-cooked kielbasa – those things that come vacuum-sealed in plastic, looking kind of like a noose of meat – all you need to do is heat it, so you can throw it in with the potatoes, assuming your pot is big enough. BUT if you do that, you will have to peel the tough-yet-immanently-shreddable skin off the blasted thing once it’s hot, and that’s – well, it’s easier to grill fresh kielbasa, let me put it that way.
Unless you like third-degree burns on your fingertips. In which case, go for it.
While the sausages grill and the potatoes boil, make the dressing:
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp vermouth (optional but nice)
1/2 c. olive oil
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
This dressing is so good, I could drink it. (And I am sure the presence of the vermouth has nothing to do with that.)
When the sausages are done, slice them up small, and gently toss potatoes, sausages, and dressing together with a LARGE shallot and about 1/2 cup curly parsley, both chopped fine.
I usually serve this as a main dish, in which case it makes enough for three people who will be immobile but very, very happy for some time afterwards.
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