Potato salad is a much-loved staple of any Barbecue*. That being said, traditional potato salad can get a little boring, especially after the millionth time you’ve eaten it. This recipe is not only a fancier, spicier take on a great classic, its also super easy to make. From chopping and peeling vegetables to putting together the actual salad, every step of this recipe, can be done ahead of time (like hours ahead of time, Yay!). Though I recommend doing it at least the day-of to prevent things getting a little mushy, it still tastes awesome the next day. So put your fancy pants on and get cooking!
* Being from Texas, the Holy Grail for barbecue, when I say Barbecue, I mean Barbecue. Grilling is a completely different animal all together. If you invite me over for a Barbecue, just know that I will come over expecting slabs of delicious smoked meats. If what you serve me is a buffet of grilled hamburgers and turkey hotdogs, I will smile at you out of politeness, but will spend the rest of the gathering hiding your gross excuse for meat in your bushes and thinking of all the ways I will Godfather you.
Fancy Pants Sriracha Sweet Potato Salad: Serves 6-8 depending on if they want seconds (which they will)
- 6 cups of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes; this is about 4-5 sweet potatoes depending on the size.
- 1/2 packet of center cut bacon (about 6-8 slices), cooked* and roughly chopped into bite sized pieces (Cook Bacon however you like to cook it, just make sure its crispy. I’ve cooked bacon both in the oven and in the microwave with equally great results).
- 1 cup mayonnaise (NO Miracle Whip!); I like Hellman’s as does Ina Garten because she is a Contessa and we are best friends
- ¼ cup Sriracha chili sauce (Green top, white rooster on label)
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup (if you really love cilantro, like I do, then add more. If you hate cilantro, omit it completely from both this recipe and your memory). Chop a little extra for garnish if you want to be extra fancy, which of course, you do.
- 1 bunch green onion, white parts only, finely chopped (at the grocery store, these skinny guys with their little bulbs come in a bunch of 8-10)
- A really big bowl
- A big pot of salted water for boiling the potatoes
1) Start a large pot of water to boil on high; like preheating the oven, boiling water takes awhile, so do it first. Add a large pinch of salt (1 Tablespoon) when the water officially is boiling (great big bubbles). If you salt it first thing, the salt will increase the boiling temperature and your water won’t boil as fast.
2) Pour in the potatoes and turn it down to Medium heat or medium high to prevent it from boiling over. Stir occasionally and cook until tender. This takes about 15 minutes.
3) When the potatoes are done, drain them and put them in a Tupper war that’s slightly cracked open to keep them from steaming themselves in to mush and put them in the fridge to cool them down. You want them cooled down completely before adding any sauce or the sauce will thin out due to the heat of the potatoes.
4) Make the sauce: Mix together the mayo, Sriracha, cilantro, green onion, and the juice of half of a fresh lime. Add a pinch of salt (about 1/8th of a teaspoon).
5) Make the salad: This can be done like 5 hours in advance, just make sure the potatoes have cooled (see note above). Combine the potatoes, bacon, a 1/2-teaspoon of salt, and a couple of heaping spoonfuls of sauce and mix. To avoid over-saucing, add the sauce a few spoonfuls at a time. Everything should be evenly coated with sauce, without a pools of sauce gathered at the bottom of the bowl.
* If you have leftover sauce, save it for hamburgers or fries later.
6) Taste the potato salad to see if you need to add any more salt, then wrap it up in a Tupperware or bowl with saran wrap for safe keeping in the refrigerator.
A HEALTH and SAFETY NOTE: Anything you make that is mayo based needs to be kept cool to prevent bacteria growth. If people are serving up food inside or you have freakishly cool summer weather, you’ve got about 2 hours before your salad needs to go back in the fridge. If you’re in hot weather, then give it an hour tops (its 100 degrees on average right now in Texas. Its like living in the bowels of hell. Nothing is safe outside). If you want to serve it outside, I recommend putting it in larger bowl filled with ice or with some ice packs just in case. Also, I am not a health expert, so if you are paranoid like me and don’t trust some lady on the internet, take it out for serving and then stick it right back in the fridge.
I received no payment of any kind for writing this post. Bleh.