Give your typical cold egg and mayonnaise potato salad versions a rest and get ready for a tongue-tingling-tangy version with German roots. This potato salad recipe is unlike any other I’ve tasted! It’s not a bad thing, it’s just tastefully unique.
Before we dive into this dish let’s enjoy a special story behind it.
When I found this recipe in Mom’s cookbook I expected it to be a dish from a restaurant named Sauerkraut Bend. Reading a bit closer, I saw a well-known word to me “NIOSA” – an acronym for Night In Old San Antonio – a four-day celebration held during the city’s larger two-week long Fiesta. Two weeks of citywide partying!
The NIOSA festival dates back to 1937 and it’s held in La Villita (Spanish for “tiny village”), a small art community nestled along the San Antonio River and very close to The Alamo. NIOSA is synonymous with cascarones, crepe paper flowers, live music, thousands of happy dancing folks of all ages and loads of food and libation. If social media hashtags were around when the festival was founded I would have used #bestofdays.
Mom and Dad attended NIOSA from the time before I could walk on my own two legs until my teenage years when we worked side by side in a pretzel booth with her dear friend Bristol, an important lady to our family and this cooking blog. While I sadly don’t see the giant pretzels listed on the NIOSA menu for 2015, I’m happy to learn the festival still serves the super-crispy-cinnamon-sugary “Buñuelos” and savory Peruvian “Anticuchos.” (I also found the Anticuchos recipe in Mom’s cookbook and it’s coming very soon here at Betty’s Cook Nook).
After a few clicks on Google I surprisingly learned the origin of Sauerkraut Bend. It was one of the 15 cultural areas comprising the NIOSA festival. Sauerkraut Bend was nicknamed after a neighborhood located in San Antonio’s King William District that was founded by German immigrants flocking to Texas in the 1840s in search of a better tomorrow. The ties between this recipe, my German roots, the now historic district where a great family friend moved and NIOSA were literally fast-tracking in the overactive windmills of my mind. Turns out the pretzel booth I volunteered in as a child was located in NIOSA’s Sauerkraut Bend pavilion and I had no idea until I researched for this post (I think way back then I called the area “Germantown”).
It’s so amazing the connections a simple recipe written on an index card can ignite!
I then remembered the connection to a funny picture I saw in our family photo archive. I dug it back up – here’s Bristol and my brother Roger (behind her) having a great time in the ol’ pretzel booth in 1976!
I’m not quite sure how my Mom scored this recipe. Perhaps she smooth-talked it from a fellow volunteer friend who also worked in Sauerkraut Bend or maybe it was printed in the San Antonio Express News. Either way, I’m so glad I found it and I’m happy to share it forward to you now. Mom would want it this way.
I could go on and on (and you know I could) about this story and why I love nostalgic food blogging but I’m sure you all have better things to do, like eat. So let’s bring on the Potato Fiesta!
foodie tips ~
❤ Five pounds of potatoes? That will feed a small army! We cut the recipe in half and this yielded about 6-8 servings. The type of potato wasn’t specified but we used gold.
❤ One stalk of celery to five pounds potatoes? I’m not pointing fingers, but I am making note of it.
❤ If you have an eye for potatoes like I do (get it?) you’ll have to try my Mom’s California Potato Recipe which to this day remains one of my top favorites EVER.
5 pounds | potatoes
5 strips | diced bacon
⅔ cup | sugar
2 cups | vinegar
2 cups | pickles, chopped (we used Texas’ own Best Maid Dill Pickles)
3 | green onions, chopped
1 stalk | chopped celery
½ cup | parsley, chopped
to taste | salt and pepper
ii. what to do
1. Boil the potatoes, drain and let cool a bit. Peel and discard the skin and cut the potato into pieces.
2. Fry the bacon, reserving the drippings. To bacon and drippings add the sugar and vinegar. Heat and stir until well blended.
3. Pour the bacon mixture over the potatoes.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and blend. The recipe doesn’t specify, but a little research at Wiki mentions that a vinegar-based potato salad like this one likely came from southern Germany and was served warm. I enjoyed mine at room temperature, but either way I’m sure it’s tastefully satisfying.
Yield: A lot of potato salad!
Here’s a scan of the original recipe as penned by my Mom, Betty!
What’s the Big “Dill?”
Here’s a Texas Country Reporter video you might like to watch about Texas made Best Maid Dill Pickles!
Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Our patio at 2927 Trailend Drive in San Antonio was such a great space. A little before its time, our paved patio was surrounded by short walls of bricks that matched the house proper and it had a built-in charcoal and wood grill that was all Dads; his cooking kitchen. The grill was 2 levels tall and I’m sure considered an outdoor gourmet kitchen at the time it was built in the 1960s.
The patio was our main portal to the outside world. There were three patio exits into the backyard, north, east and west. If the yard could speak it would likely tell you stories about many baseball games (shown above) … family adventures with the riding lawnmower, clothes that were line-dried, lots of Easter and 4th of July celebrations and my first hammock. And while the yard was our green space, the patio was our center to family fun.
Probably the craziest thing I remember us doing was boarding-up the patio exits one super cold night so we could try our hand at filling-up the patio with enough water to freeze and make an ice rink! I don’t remember our devious plan working but suffice it to say we all loved that patio.
With the love of the patio in mind, I hope you like this recipe! It’s savory, bacon-y and Texas-tasty. Give it a whirl!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ If you haven’t read other recipe posts here on Betty’s Cook Nook yet, you may have missed the 4-1-1. My Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Faulfurrias brand butter for all cooking. So while this recipe clearly calls for Kraft Miracle Brand Whipped Butter, I’m sorry I have to insist on Nanny’s behalf that we use butter. Just doin’ my job!
♥ Whoopsie. The same is true about the Kraft grated parmesan cheese from a can. Tres 1970s. For an updated taste go fresh n’ cheesy and hand-grate it. Sorry, Kraft, we make up for our pet foodie peeves by eating plenty of your other greatness, like Kraft Mac n’ Cheese. From a box. Gasp!
♥ I can’t figure out why this recipe is called “Patio Potatoes” since they are cooked on the stove top … maybe if you have a gas grill on your patio with a side burner you can get in some patio time.
♥ Adding the onions and peppers a little later into the potato browning stage is a good idea; our veggies were a bit over cooked.
1 stick | falfurrias brand butter
4 cups | cooked potatoes, sliced no larger than ¼” thick
1 cup | white onion, sliced
⅓ cup | green pepper, chopped
to taste | salt and fresh cracked pepper
¼ cup | fresh grated parmesan cheese
4 slices | crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
ii. what to do
1. Melt butter in skillet; add potatoes and brown lightly. Add onion and green pepper. Cook until browned, turning frequently.
2. Season to your liking with the salt and pepper; top with the cheese and bacon.
Yields 4-6 1970s servings or 2-3 2014 servings. :)
Here’s a scan of Mom’s original Patio Potatoes recipe!
How did this get in here? Oh yeah, I couldn’t resist! Here’s a picture of me as a wee tot on our patio at Trailend. Proof positive it didn’t take much to make me smile. Or wear striped shorts.
These tasty bacon roll-ups are such an “easy-do”
Enjoy this family recipe from Betty and me to you
A savory bacon-y sensation in every single bite
Serve ’em warm with sweet tea and they’ll certainly delight!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ When cheese heard it wasn’t invited to the roll-up party it was pretty sad. :*( Next time we’ll toss-in a little shredded Trader Joe’s 4-Cheese blend (a tasty mix we lovingly call stinky cheese) to help liven the roll-up party.
♥ I used to be on a black peppered bacon kick but for this I used Applewood smoked bacon.
♥ If your bacon isn’t super crunchy it may be hard to crumble. I used kitchen sheers to help me cut things into shape.
♥ Dividing 6 pieces of crumbled bacon into 8 equal portions can seem tricky. I spread the bacon crumbles on a round plate, divided them into half, then I halved the halves again and then each half I halved again. The result? A lot of halving plus 8 mouth-watering piles of bacon-y deliciousness that were pretty close in size. Shazam!
♥ If you dream in Bacon-Vision then make sure and check my favorite Trader Joe’s Bacon Cheesebread recipe or click the little “bacon” word at right … riiiiight there between avocado and baking soda! Yes! Clicking the “bacon” link will load-up all the recipes here at Betty’s Cook Nook that contain bacon … including my all-time favorite California Potato Salad. The magic of bacon!
1 package (8 rolls) | pillsbury brand crescent rolls
a few dashes | onion salt
6 pieces | bacon, cooked and crumbled
ii. what to do
1. Cook 6 slices of the bacon until they are crisp. Drain, pat dry (or rest between paper towels) then crumble.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
3. Separate crescent rolls from the package. Sprinkle each with a little onion salt.
5. Roll-up the dough starting at the wide end. Place on a baking sheet, point side down. Continue until you’re done with all 8 roll-ups.
6. Bake in your oven for 10-15 minutes (do not overcook, like I did. My temperamental gas oven and I are on shaky ground with one another.)
Yields 8 bacon roll-ups and up to 8 happy people!
Here’s a scan of Mom’s original Easy-Do Bacon Roll-Ups recipe!
The Best Of Days
One of the happiest of days growing up was “birthday day.”
We were lucky in that I can’t remember a single birthday when the Kiker boys of three were given a store-made birthday cake. Not that there’s anything wrong with store bought cakes … I just love the fact that Mom always made us our own “wish cakes.”
A wish cake was truly something just for us. A chocolate cake with trains. A circus-inspired cake. Or an Angel Food cake topped with chocolate frosting and sliced almonds, if you’re my brother Roger.
So when my birthday rolled around this year, I didn’t make cake. I just let my fingers find our next recipe in Mom’s cookbook. That’s all it took ~ this Italian Zucchini Casserole recipe.
If you love bacon, you’ll find its flavor woven throughout this dish … and that makes this a recipe worth celebrating!
foodie tips ~
♥ If you’re serving this as a side it’ll yield 10-12 servings. But if you eat like me, it will yield 6 servings.
♥ We used ciabatta bread vs. sliced bread. It was great!
7-8 medium | zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
8 slices | bacon
1 large | white onion, chopped
1 large | garlic clove, crushed
4 slices | bread, torn
2 cups | cheddar cheese, shredded/grated
15 ounce can | tomato sauce
1 teaspoon | italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon | freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup | freshly grated parmesan cheese
ii. what to do
1. Cook zucchini in a small amount of boiling water for about 5-8 minutes; drain well and set aside.
2. Cook bacon in a medium skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and let the strips rest on paper towels. Reserve the bacon drippings in the skillet. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
3. Sauté onion and garlic in the drippings until tender; drain.
4. Combine onion mixture, zucchini, bacon and remaining ingredients EXCEPT the parm cheese; mix well.
5. Pour into a lightly-greased 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking dish.
6. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until your eyes say “it’s done.”
Yields: 10-12 Servings (side dish) or 6 Servings (main course)
You Say “Potato” …
I Say … “Get out of my way, It’s mine!”
There have been some great “home run” recipes in Mom’s cookbook and this is one of them. While blue cheese sometimes makes my nose turn and run for the hills, this dish isn’t smothered with the sharp and salty taste.
With the arrival of the microwave to modern cooking, potatoes were often “zapped” because who wants to wait for an twice-baked potato!?
After I made this recipe, I’m reminded of the slow-baked potatoes Mom used to make … they arrive on your plate super soft all the way through! And well worth the wait.
Cheers To My New Spud Bud
to coat | shortening
4 | baking potatoes, medium
½ cup | sour cream
¼ cup | blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup | milk
4 tablespoons | Falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
¾ teaspoon | salt
dash | black pepper, freshly ground
4 slices | bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 400°F.
1. Rub each potato with shortening. Place them in the oven uncovered or wrapped and cook for 1 hour, or until done.
2. Remove potatoes from the oven. Cut a lengthwise slice into each potato (the potatoes are hot so be careful)! Scoop out the inside of each potato and mash the innards (yup, I wrote “innards”) in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
3. Add sour cream, blue cheese, milk, butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes then beat with an electric beater until fluffy. Some remaining potato lumps are OK.
4. Spoon the blue cheese potato mixture back into the potato shells.
5. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and return them to the hot oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon.
Yields: 4 Servings (or 1 meal, if you’re me)
foodie tips ~
♥ It may take some practice but try and keep the potato from breaking into 2 separate halves. 1. When slicing, don’t cut it all the way through top-to-bottom. 2. When scooping, you can leave about an 1/8″ of the potato’s inside with the skin to give it a happy but hollow foundation.
♥ This is a great sidekick for this steak diane recipe that I also made on the 2 year anniversary of BCN. It’s also a good side for this barbecue pork chop recipe. Come to think of it, it’s really just a great recipe all by itself!
♥ Note below that this recipe hails from Better Homes and Gardens, March 1968. Why, I was just a young tot of one way back then!
It donned on me as I started cooking the first ingredient for this dish ~ bacon ~ that most of our family has lived with a microwave in the kitchen, than without.
Gulp. I’m old!
While the microwave’s origins go back as early as the 1930s, by the late 1970s, the prices made them more affordable. By 1986, only 25% of Americans had a microwave meaning us Kikers were early adopters of magic!
Aside from microwave popcorn, and scrambled eggs, bacon was something that the microwave could heat fast n’ good, turning Mom into a time-saving magician.
This recipe doesn’t call for microwaving the bacon, but either way you’ll find every spoonful of the salty stuff a special surprise.
3 slices | bacon, finely chopped
1 cup | onion, chopped
½ cup | celery, chopped
2 large cloves | garlic, minced
1 teaspoon | basil leaves
1 can | campbell’s beef broth
1 can | campbell’s bean with bacon soup
1½ soup cans | water
1 can (16 ounces) | stewed tomatoes, undrained
½ cup | uncooked ditalini pasta
½ teaspoon | salt
1 cup | cabbage, cut into long, thin shreds
1 cup | zucchini, cubed
1. In a large saucepan, brown bacon and cook onion and celery with garlic and basil until tender.
2. Stir into soup the water, tomatoes, ditalini and salt. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat.
3. Simmer 15 minutes.
4. Add cabbage and zucchini. Cook 10 minutes more or until done, stirring occasionally.
Yields: 8 cups.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Why not partner a bowl of this soup with some tasty bread?
♥ This recipe can easily be doubled for larger food gatherings.
Foodie Note ~
When I found this recipe, it didn’t have a name. I went online and found out that this was indeed a minestrone soup recipe. I later found a couple other minestrone recipes in Mom’s cookbook so I know it was one of her favorites.
One my most favorite dishes is any meal that includes pasta. I’m a sucker for carbs and savory, so this dish hits the spot. Toss-in eggs, butter, cream, cheese and bacon and I get weak in the knees.
What’s interesting is that as I looked closer at mom’s original recipe clipping (below,) I noticed it was from the March 1976 issue of “Apartment Life” magazine.
A few clicks online and I found a picture of the magazine (below) on eBay that was selling at $12.99 ($12.04 above it’s original cover price of $.95). Since we lived in a house at the time, I thought it was odd that mom subscribed to an apartment themed magazine but then I remembered that when I was a baby, our house at 2927 Trailend suffered from an electrical fire and burned to the ground.
I don’t remember the fiery ordeal since I was still living in a crib, but we Kikers put up a fight… we all survived and my parents moved to the 1965 built El Chaparral apartments while our house was rebuilt. I suppose mom kept the subscription when we moved back home because of the lifestyle content (that and how to make life better, like with a “sausage bolster,” shown below). Hah!
There on the pic of the original cover I spotted the headline “The Short-Order Gourmet: Quick and classy dinners for a pair or a party.” I was able to confirm the cover’s ’70s-esque couple on another recipe that mom clipped along with the spaghetti carbonara recipe.
Just call me online digital sleuth (a.k.a. cyber stalker). I can usually research and find anything online.
Carbonara hails from Italy around the 1950s, although the exact story about its creation varies widely, according to this wiki post. Regardless, this is a tasty Italian home-cooked dish (the first I can remember), and you’ll love it, too!
Mangia! Mangia! (Italian for let’s eat!)
½ pound | vermicelli spaghetti
2 | cage free egg yolks
¼ cup | parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons | romano cheese (or more parmesan), grated
to taste | ground black pepper
¼ pound | lean bacon, diced (or ¼ pound prosciutto)
1 tablespoon | soft unsalted falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
¼ cup | heavy cream
garnish | romano cheese, grated
ii. what to do
1. Start the spaghetti by bringing water to a boil in a medium-large stock pot. Drop spaghetti into the boiling water and cook according to directions.
2. Lightly beat the eggs, cheesees and pepper. Set aside.
3. In a large frying pan, saute the bacon (or prosciutto) just short of crisp. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Keep warm in pan.
4. When the spaghetti is just firm, drain it and ross with bacon in the frying pan or a large serving bowl.
5. Quickly add the butter, cream and the egg and cheese mixture, tossing constantly.
6. Garnish with some of the romano cheese and serve immediately; it’s best enjoyed when it’s very hot (“molto caldo” in Italian).
Serves: Due (2)
Foodie Tip ~
♥ My favorite long cut dried pasta is a traditional Italian spaghetti named “Pastificio Lucio Garofalo.” It’s made in Napoli (Naples) and is crafted 2 feet long and cooks in just 11 minutes. This pasta means business; it’s birthed with an expiration date and comes in a set of two wrapped in a purpled-colored eco-friendly paper, perfect for gift-giving. I found my pasta at my local Dallas Italian Market… Jimmy’s Food Store.
♥ Serve with a Texas toast side kick… or go totally Italian and whip up a batch of garlic and herb bread from Giada.
♥ I really like a lot of creamy sauce on my pasta, so if you agree, double-up on all ingredients (except the pasta).