Green Fairy Potato Salad

This recipe is a good example of an easy, bachelor-friendly recipe. The poster called it "Cari's Potato Salad," but since I know her personally, I've taken the liberty of renaming it in this post to something more attention-grabbing. (In case you're wondering, my name for it comes from Moulin Rouge! The original name of the recipe was "Bohemian Potato Salad." After watching that movie, the first thing I associate with Bohemia is the Green Fairy.)

This recipe is also a good example of a German recipe. German recipes tend to be much less exact. For example, in German recipes, a tablespoon and a teaspoon are literally intended to be measured using everyday flatware. There is no concept of half or quarter teaspoons. The only measures smaller than a teaspoon are a knife point and a pinch, both intended literally. This inexactness gives the cook a great deal of freedom to personalize the dish. It also has the side effect, that the quality of a dish directly reflects the skill of the cook.

To help you along, I'll add a few comments on this recipe.

  • First, as it states in the comments on the post, you can get away with one apple if it's big enough. What's really important is that you get the apple and onion balanced. In my experience, a red onion will balance an apple of approximately the same diameter. (Most crisp apple varieties tend to be much taller than onions, so this ratio works. If you're using a short, squat apple, you'll have to work out the ratio yourself.)
  • Be gentle with the salt and the vinegar. Both flavors will become more prominent after the dish has been in the fridge for a day.
  • I prefer to peel the potatoes before boiling them. If the potatoes are boiled with the peels still on, salting the water has little effect. With peeled potatoes, well salted water will produce boiled potatoes that don't need additional salt. This technique has two advantages. The first is that it's an almost foolproof way to get the amount of salt in the dish right. Second, the potatoes taste better to me this way. The flavor is more natural.
  • To add some textural variety, use an apple corer to slice the potatoes horizontally before chopping them up. This process results in interesting potato shapes, like wedges and medallions. I also recommend chopping the apple into small wedges instead of cubes.

Since I haven't gotten time to cover how to chop an onion yet, you'll just have to wing it for now. I'll try to make some time for that post this weekend. All in all, this is a very easy dish, it requires very little cooking, and it's quite tasty. So, what are you waiting for?

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