I have France to thank for many things, one of which is the start of this blog, whose title first bore the name “Cooking For One in Paris.” Although I delighted in the flavors and offerings of Paris for over 2 years, from oozy cheeses to shared bottles of wine on the banks of the Seine, I returned to the states three months ago to establish a culinary career, something which proved to be near impossible as an American in Paris. Fortunately all is not lost, for what America lacks in terrines de foie gras and boudin noir, it more than makes up for in multicultural variety. I am now living in New York, and I find myself acting like a kid in a candy store every time the subject of dinner comes up. Will it be Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, German, French, or Brazilian tonight? The possibilities are endless, and the quality of food is unrivaled.
All international food delights aside, I decided to kick off this blog with an American classic, albeit with a few twists. In this potato salad you will find no mayonnaise or pickles, staples that are replaced instead by such actors as lemon juice, basil, cayenne pepper, and chives. It is a straightforward, simple recipe, and my only suggestions/notes are twofold: firstly, Yukon gold potatoes worked well because they softened once boiled but still maintained their shape in the salad. However, other varieties that would likely work well include red-skin potatoes, Yellow Fin potatoes, and white round potatoes.
Secondly, I converted that salad into a sandwich by placing it on a soft brioche bun, courtesy of Amy’s Bread, but this dish holds its integrity as a salad, and if I were to repeat this recipe I would probably omit the bun altogether (although I have nothing against the bun itself, which was delicious and properly fulfilled its brioche destiny).
For perfect hardboiled eggs, cover the eggs with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for at least 12 minutes.
2 hardboiled eggs
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon shredded basil
juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/8-teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 brioche bun (optional)
2. Remove potatoes from boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water (this stops them from cooking any further).
3. Peel eggs and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. In a small bowl, toss eggs with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste; add basil and toss gently to combine.
4. Once cool enough to handle, cut potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces, add to bowl and toss with the other ingredients. Add lemon juice, chives, and cayenne pepper. Toss and season once more with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil to taste.
5. Serve as a salad or atop a brioche bun.