Spicy Dill Pickle Potato Salad

Good old, classic American potato salad doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

It’s gotten a bad rap for being bland, unexciting and outdated. But I think it belongs right at the top of the list with the other star members of the comfort food group.

With potatoes and mayonnaise acting as ingredients number one and two in this dish, potato salad lends itself to flavor-boosting ingredients.

I’ve seen variations like bacon-ranch potato salad, green goddess potato salad, cobb potato salad, and tons of other ingenious recipes on Pinterest. This gives me hope that potato salad has officially made a comeback and is here to stay.

This spicy and pickle-infested variation of potato salad checks two important boxes for me: spice and brine.

I always find ways to sneak pickled vegetables, capers, olives or cured salty fish into dishes that lack a “salt & vinegar” vibe. Does anyone else do this?

Quick-pickled red onion and habanero peppers, along with a hefty amount of spicy dill pickles, juice included, do a good job of cutting through gloopiness and high fat content of the mayonnaise dressing. I also used Peewee potatoes, which are ultra-velvety and the perfect size for biting into.

Once it’s all had a chance to meld together in the fridge, you can’t go wrong with the combination of the mayonnaise tang, zippy pickles with their garlicky juice, and a flaming hot pickled habanero bite. If these potatoes were potato chips, they would be McClure’s Pickles Spicy Pickle Kettle Potato Chips.

I didn’t go homestyle with this recipe, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have a place in my heart for the usual stuff. It’s instinctual food that serves a purpose. Like when you mechanically grab that pre-made container in the grocery store on your way to the cash register.

Sometimes, you just need the predictability that potato salad provides. 😊

I N G R E D I E N T S

Serves 4.

  • 2 lbs. Peewee potatoes, cut in half, or 2 lbs. Yukon Gold if you can’t find Peewee potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • 6 spears McClure’s Spicy Pickles, small diced, plus 4 tablespoons juice
  • 1 habanero, minced
  • 1 / 4 red onion, small diced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 / 2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 / 2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of sugar

D I R E C T I O N S

  1. Heat the vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small saucepan until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour into a bowl. Add the diced onion and minced habanero and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the Peewee potatoes in half. Bring a large pot to boil, adding a tablespoon of salt. Add the potatoes, and boil for 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Strain the potatoes and cover with a clean dish towel to steam while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, 5 spears’ worth of diced pickles, pickle juice, 3 tablespoons dill, and pinches of salt, pepper and sugar. Add the potatoes and combine. Once 30 minutes have passed, add the pickled peppers, discarding the brining liquid.
  4. Once all the ingredients have been thoroughly combined, taste for seasonings, garnish with the fresh dill & pickles, and let sit in fridge for as long as possible so the sauce has a chance to seep into the potatoes.
  5. Serve chilled.

Petaled Red & Yellow Potato Gratin

I’m half Irish – on my dad’s side. And I think there may be some residual potato famine related hoarding issues I need to work through, because I always have potatoes lying around. In all colors and sizes.

Yukon Gold potatoes, in my opinion, are the vegetable equivalent to butter.

Mashed, fried, baked, even grated and fried. You name it. And the best part is depending on how you prepare them, you can eat them for breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Have you seen those gorgeous ratatouille presentations where the zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes & whatever else are layered so prettily? I get off on stuff like that.

Like this one from The Petite Cook.

I attempted to go for a similar look here. Using a mandolin I sliced equal parts Yukon Gold and Red Bliss potatoes and let them marinate in the fridge a while before arranging. The marinade consists of the usual suspects you’ll find in most gratins – half & half, garlic, nutmeg, herbs, cheese and salt & pepper.

There’s a lot of room for variation. A lot. Share some of your favorite gratin recipes here if you’d like. I’m very, very open-minded about these things.

It took every ounce of strength not to layer a half pound of shredded gruyere on top of this. But I really wanted to be able to see the crispy bits of the potato rounds when I pulled it out of the oven.

It’s all good, though, because the outrageous amount of half & half & cheese layered into this dish made it fattening enough to meet my high dairy-based calorie needs. I didn’t even put butter in it. Crazy, right?

I hope you enjoy. And get yourself seconds, and then thirds, and then fourths.

I N G R E D I E N T S

Serves 2.

  • 2 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 medium-sized Red Bliss potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 / 3 cup gruyere, shredded
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

D I R E C T I O N S

  1. Preheat the oven to *375.
  2. Slice the potatoes with a mandolin, or carefully as thin as possible with a sharp knife. Soak the potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes to remove the bulk of the starch. After 30 minutes, strain the potatoes and pat them very, very dry with paper towels.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl with the half & half, gruyere, garlic, nutmeg, thyme and salt and pepper. Let marinate in the fridge for at least a half hour.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the fridge. In an oven-proof dish, layer the potatoes in alternating colors, starting on the outer edges of the dish. Toward the end when you’re running out of potato slices, start sticking them in the gaps so they’re all packed tightly.
  5. Pour the remaining liquid, including the cheese and flavorings, over the top of the gratin. Sprinkle with additional fresh thyme, and pepper, if desired.
  6. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes, sprinkling additional cheese at this point if desired 😉.
  7. Enjoy bubbling hot.