Bacon, Blue Cheese and BEER Potato Salad

Yes, yes, you read that right. My never ending quest to incorporate tasty beverages into all the dishes we eat has led me to adding beer to our favorite summer BBQ side.

Last week I saw that America’s Test Kitchen was having a “Dish it Your Way” Blogger Challenge, focusing on a different American classic dish each week. This week: potato salad. Within moments, the inspiration became clear. I knew what I had to do.

Bacon. Blue cheese. Beer. Potatoes. These ingredients don’t just go together–they belong together.

The fabulous thing about this recipe is flexibility. Want more bacon? Add more bacon. Not enough garlic? Add more garlic. Or add fresh, sauteed garlic.

There is just enough mayonnaise to make the dressing slightly creamy, making it a little more dense so that it clings to the potatoes. And to those who don’t like spice: DON’T FEAR THE HOT SAUCE. You don’t have to add a lot. But let me tell you, until I added the hot sauce, the dressing was lacking. The hot sauce gave it a depth of flavor that wasn’t there before.

And what I absolutely LOVE: you can taste the beer! I used Flying Dog Golden Ale: it’s crisp and clean and a nice neutral beer for this dish. But I would really like to try this recipe with an IPA, since they pair so well with both spice and blue cheese. If you experiment, let me know!

We ate this salad warm, but I’m really looking forward to those leftovers. I bet the potatoes have absorbed all that delicious dressing…yum…My cookouts just got better.

Bacon, Blue Cheese and Beer Potato Salad

2.5-3 lbs potatoes (I used red)

6 slices bacon (turkey for us!)

4 scallions or spring onions

1/2 cup beer

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

hot sauce

salt and pepper

1 cup blue cheese

Wash potatoes and chop into bite size pieces. Place in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. While you are waiting for the potatoes to come to a boil, cook the bacon and let cool. Chop your onion (use whites and greens) and bacon. In the bottom of your serving bowl, combine beer, mayonnaise, mustard, garlic powder, and add hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. When the potatoes are done, drain and add to the beer mixture. Add onions, bacon and blue cheese. Combine and serve.


Tequila Lime Chicken

Chicken marinated in tequila and lime.  Summer is here!

I’m not sure if I had ever had tequila marinated chicken before, and the flavor was semi-surprising. I did not get a strong punch of tequila (a little disappointed, most would probably be satisfied), but it was certainly flavorFUL, and even a little sweet. Maybe it was the splash of OJ? But I really enjoyed when I experienced the heat of the jalapenos–next time I will definitely use more. Actually, next time tequila chicken is on the menu, I am going to make this, so prepare yourselves. But I suppose we should give it time. Variety is the spice of life, right?

ready for marinating!

Since it was 100 degrees out, I served this over a salad and mixed up a simple lime vinaigrette to complement the flavors in the chicken. Refreshingness. But you could serve it with rice, or quinoa, or a bean salad or…..(infinity)…. You could also make a creamy lime vinaigrette by mixing it up with buttermilk or greek yogurt.

Look at that jalapeno!

I kept smirking while making this because I couldn’t help thinking of one of my favorite shows: “So the lime first, then the shot…” It’s Always Sunny fans, anyone?Tequila lime marinated chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken

*you could easily marinate more chicken with this amount of marinade, 3-4 chicken breasts

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of 2 limes
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1/4 cup of tequila (this may sound like a lot, but it’s really only 1-2 shots)
  • splash of OJ
  • splash of canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • jalapeno to taste (I used a few slices of pickled jalapenos because I had them on hand, I would say one fresh jalapeno would be great: seeds kept for more heat, discard the seeds for less.)

Combine all ingredients in a tupperware container and shake it up. Place in the refrigerator, and let the marinade work magic overnight. Grill or pan fry 6-8 minutes on each side.

Lime Vinaigrette

*I would say this makes enough for about 6 salads

  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (freshly chopped cilantro would be better!)
  • salt and pepper

Shake, shake, shake-Shake, shake, shake-Mix it all up!