Posted on | August 9, 2010 | 5 Comments
It’s been another interesting week, what with being sick, getting better and then celebrating my upcoming twenty-first birthday with my gal pals from school. I definitely overestimated myself a bit. It was originally my plan to knock out two recipes at my party, but only managed one. But no bother. The Summer Blog Project will simply be extended into September a bit. Maybe you guys will get a glimpse of my new kitchen in my new dorm. Ooh, la la!
Anyway, I thought my party was the perfect excuse to cook. Having six girls over calls for a decent amount of food. So I decided to go with the No Mayo Potato Salad featured on Gluten Free Cooking is Easy. It would go perfectly with our burgers and hotdogs and it was something I had wanted to try ever since coming across the post. My grandmother makes a mean potato salad, but I wanted to try one without mayonnaise. It’s one of my major vices, my consumption of mayonnaise. So while I still slather it onto my sandwiches, it’s not an awful idea to try and cut it out of other delicious foods, right? And this potato salad looked so delicious on Jessica and Jerilyn’s blog that I couldn’t resist.
Gluten Free Cooking is Easy is one of the newer blogs that I follow and since I’ve been covering pretty popular, well known blogs, I thought it a nice idea to add in some of my new favorites. Jessica and Jerilyn are sisters who love to cook. Jessica has Celiac Disease and as their blog title displays, their philosophy on gluten free cooking is that it doesn’t have to be difficult. I find the idea of two sisters cooking and blogging together so charming and they really come up with some great recipes, some derived from family classics, other twists on cultural dishes.
The two are definitely onto something. Gluten free cooking is easy, as long as you have the tools to do it. And the potato salad was definitely easy to make. There isn’t any substituting since normal potato salads are gluten free. But taking mayonnaise out of the mix makes it perhaps a bit healthier, which never hurt anybody. The potato salad calls for:
1 bag red potatoes
2 or 3 celery stalks
1 can sliced black olives
1 red onion
1 handful of chopped, fresh basil leaves
Juice of two lemons
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
I actually don’t like olives, so I omitted that from the batch. I also somehow forgot about the basil, which is pretty silly considering I had the recipe right in front of me the entire time. I think, perhaps, I was so eager for my friends to arrive that it slipped my mind!
The first thing I did was wash the potatoes and put them on the stove to boil. I decided to boil them before cutting them. My mom showed me a trick to figuring out when the potatoes are done. Try to slide a knife into one of the potatoes. You can feel how soft the potato is by how far the knife goes into without a struggle. Jessica and Jerilyn say that you want your potatoes tender but not mushy.
While your potatoes are boiling, you’ll want to put everything else together. Chop up the red onion and the celery and put them into whatever bowl you’ll be serving your potato salad in. Then douse them in your lemon juice. This is when the kitchen starts becoming really fragrant. The lemon and onion smell take over the room. Then add your olive oil, salt and pepper. I think next time, I’ll add more salt. As Jessica and Jerilyn don’t specify how much salt, pepper and olive oil to put into the potato salad, it’s a lot of deciding for yourself how much you want. I like this because everybody likes their potato salad a little different.
Once you feel that the potatoes are where you want them to be, drain them and run them under cold water. Do this until the potatoes are cool enough to touch, but still hot on the inside. Now, you cut the potatoes into cubes. Since they’re still hot on the inside, the pieces will absorb a lot of the flavors of the mixture in the bowl once added to the mixture. So after cutting each potato, throw the steaming pieces in. Once finished, mix the entire concoction and you’ll have something like this:
I prefer my potato salad at room temperature, and since there isn’t any mayonnaise in it, it’s not imperative that you put it in the refrigerator right away. After having some of it, I put it in the fridge (and am still nomming on it as we speak). The flavors of the onion, salt, pepper and lemon all work really well together and smell so fantastic. The colors of the red potatoes, the red onion and the celery make it a dish that’s nice to look at as well. I’ll add more salt next time, but as I’m still learning how to adequately spice my food, I think I did a pretty good job.
So the potato salad and the party were a great success! I also have something else I’d like to show you from the party. My aunt recently started decorating cakes and she’s really talented. She also decorates cookies and cupcakes. Her business is called Cake Emprise and she makes some really beautiful desserts that taste good too! For my party, she made me a gluten free Sherlock Holmes cake and it came out great! She used the ‘Cause You’re Special yellow cake mix, which is really moist and sweet. The cake was really impressive so I thought I’d let you have a look:
It was a really awesome gluten free cake! And everything was edible, even the letters and the pipe. She worked really hard on it so I wanted to give her a shoutout here and a thank you. Everybody loved the cake, Aunt Lisa!
I’d also like to thank Jessica and Jerilyn for allowing me to use their recipe on my blog and for making such great food. Go check out their blog, Gluten Free Cooking is Easy.