Saturday, May 31, 2014

NEW RECIPE: Curried Leek Potato Salad (BBQ Weekend Special, Part 2)

© Constantine William Spyrou

My favorite side dish for barbeques has to be potato salad. It's a refreshing but delicious side that helps refresh the palette and make it ready for more barbecue. However, a well-executed potato salad can stand on its own in an amazing way too. 

This potato salad can be served as a side, but really eats like an entree. Not just because of the varying amounts of ingredients that star in it, such as bacon and leek, but because it also has a thorough depth of flavor while still having some palette-refreshing properties. This allows you to have a new experience every time you take a bite of this salad or the barbeque you serve it with. 

The reason this potato salad is so complex is because instead of traditional ingredients like eggs, pickles, and mayonnaise, I went with leeks and bacon that I braised in a curry sauce. I then added that to some fork-crushed seasoned potatoes to give them a spicy, sweet, and smoky flavor that surround the potato. To bring it all together and cleanse the palette, this dish is garnished with fresh green onion and cilantro to balance out the richness of the dish. 

Recipe will serve up to 15 people.

For the Bacon-Leek Compote:

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound bacon ends, trimmed and diced (no more than 10-15% fat should be left. Bacon ends are cheaper cuts of bacon that some places like Trader Joe's sell that have more meatiness.)
2 leeks, washed and trimmed
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to season

For the Potatoes:

3 pounds small potatoes, washed and diced (I used red, but yukon gold potatoes also work great for this)
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons coriander
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to season


1. Add your potatoes to a pot with salted water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 15-20 minutes until fork tender.
2. Add a small amount of olive oil to a hot pan. Place in your trimmed bacon ends, and add pepper to taste. Cook until the bacon is crisp, degreasing your pan as needed throughout (removing the bacon fat that accumulates).
3. Once the bacon is crisp, add in your garlic and half of the Worcestershire sauce to deglaze. Mix well so the garlic is broken up into the bacon, then add in your leeks. Let the leeks caramelize and sweat out until they turn to a translucent color. Add in your spices at this point.
4. Deglaze with the rest of the Worcestershire sauce, your chicken stock, and your lime juice. Bring to a boil, and let the mixture reduce to a paste-like consistency, about 10-15 minutes on a low heat.
5. Drain your boiled potatoes, and crush roughly with a fork. Add your olive oil, butter and spices, and mix thoroughly. Mix in the cooked leeks, bacon, and half of your green onions and cilantro. Garnish with the other half.

This dish has some heat from the curry, but the sharpness of the green onion and freshness of the cilantro bring it back. The sweetness of the caramelized leeks and the smokiness of the bacon also play a key role in the flavor profile, making it a full-bodied dish.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =) 

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