Darlene Brown of Bradenton, asked for readers' help. She needed a good, authentic German potato salad and readers certainly did not disappoint. Five recipes came in for Brown. I will share four of them today. I've asked the reader who sent the one in German to please translate for fellow readers.
Potatoes in a German potato salad are usually sliced or left in chunks. Some recipes call for a little sugar; others do not. It is the sauce mixture that makes this salad. Be sure not to break up the potatoes too much when stirring. This isn't a mashed potato salad.
"This is essentially a warm potato salad," Werner Bayer said. "We usually have it with bratwurst, smoked pork chops or leberkaese."
Leberkaese is a Bavarian sausage loaf, which is also called a liver loaf or German meat loaf.
GERMAN/BAVARIAN POTATO SALAD
1 large (1 pound) Idaho potato
2 to 3 ounces chicken broth, heated
1 tablespoon vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 diced small onion
2 strips bacon, diced
Chives or green onions
Peel potato and cut into about 6 pieces. Boil in salted water until done. Drain, put back in pot and dry potatoes in warm pot until all the moisture is gone.
Fry onion and bacon in a bit of olive oil.
Meanwhile, cut potato chunks while warm into smaller cubes and/or slices. Place into serving dish.
Make broth hot, add vinegar, salt and pepper, and a little bit of olive oil to taste. Pour warm broth mixture over potatoes. Add fried onion and bacon; gently stir. Taste, and add more seasoning or vinegar if desired.
Garnish with chives or green onions (optional).
-- Submitted by Werner Bayer
"I wanted to share this recipe for creamy German potato salad given to me years ago by my Sunday school friend, Susan
Hester," Nancy Holderer of Gulfport, Miss., said. "Since my husband, Tom, is German born, we know really good German dishes."
CREAMY GERMAN POTATO SALAD
3- 1/2 pounds (12 medium) potatoes
8 ounces (12 slices) bacon
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1- 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup dairy sour cream
Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water for 35 minutes or until tender. Drain.
In skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving1/4 cup bacon drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside. Cook onion in reserved dripping until tender but not brown. Stir in sugar, flour, salt and pepper. Add water and vinegar. Cook and stir until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.
Peel and slice warm potatoes; toss with warm dressing and half of bacon. Turn into serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining bacon on top.
Serve warm. Serves 8-10.
-- Submitted by Nancy Holderer
"This is the recipe from my husband's family, who are very German," a reader named Jo Ann said. "I always make this a day ahead and put into the fridge. This gives the vinegar sauce time to soak into the potatoes, which also thickens it."
GERMAN POTATO SALAD
5 pounds red potatoes
1 pound bacon
2 onions (I use semi-sweet)
Boil potatoes with skin on, cut up small. Cut onion and add to potatoes. Dice bacon and fry. Remove bacon from grease with slotted spoon. Put fried bacon on top of potatoes and onions. Keep grease hot. Add vinegar and sugar to taste. You want it to be sort of a tangy sweet.
-- Submitted by Jo Ann
Carol Eichert of Bradenton shares her mother's potato salad recipe with slight variations.
"My mom's original was good, too, but the extra bacon adds more flavor -- but more calories," Eichert said. "The changes in parentheses are mine."
MOM'S GERMAN POTATO SALAD
5 pounds potatoes (I use Russet)
1/2 pound bacon, diced and fried (I use 1 pound)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water
1 cup vinegar (white or apple cider)
1 cup granulated sugar (I use Splenda)
1 large onion, chopped and sauteed in bacon grease
3 teaspoons salt
1/8 to1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Peel and slice warm potatoes and place in a bowl. Mix all remaining ingredients. (I use an electric skillet). After bacon is browned, saute onions, then stir in the flour before adding all the liquid with sugar dissolved in it. Heat till thickened. Pour the dressing over warm potatoes. (I slice potatoes and add dressing alternately so it is absorbed while potatoes are still warm. It marinates better. I keep the bowl covered between additional slicings, too, to keep it warm.) Mix and serve warm.
Can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated. Enjoy!
-- Submitted by Carol Eichert
"My neighbor, Connie, in San Diego gave me this recipe in about 1975, and they are still a family favorite," Betsy Clark said. "I make them when the persimmons are ripe and always keep some in the freezer for Thanksgiving."
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup raisins
1 cup persimmon pulp
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream butter and sugar, add egg and beat well. Stir in by hand: flour, spices, nuts and raisins. Dissolve soda in persimmon pulp, and stir in, mixing well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased or silicone-covered cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes. When cool, either dip tops or drizzle with butter frosting. These cookies freeze well.
-- Submitted by Betsy Clark
Susan Daugherty of Bradenton misplaced her copy of "Cooking for Today" cookbook and with it went the "best stuffed chop recipe I ever made." She asked readers for the recipe.
Crissy Dodge, also of Bradenton, offers some help.
"I don't have the recipe, but I think I have found the cookbook at Amazon.com."
A check at that website found "Easy Cooking for Today" selling for 1 cent to more than $10 depending on if it is used or new. It was published in 1988.
Holidays at hand
Please share your favorite holiday dish or dishes with your fellow readers. Send me those recipes, so all of us can try a new recipe this holiday season.
Andrea Yeager, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.