Tangy Buffalo sauce meets creamy bleu cheese in this perfect summer potato salad.
Here in Upstate NY, the summer is winding down. The kids have gone back to school, the leaves are slowly turning red and orange, pumpkin spice coffee has made its debut, and the first week of the NFL season is coming to a close.
Ah, football. The return of the NFL is one of my favorite parts of fall. Even if you aren’t personally obsessed with a new year of tailgating, fantasy leagues, and lazy Sundays spent in front of the TV, I’m sure you can definitely deal with the food culture that goes hand-in-hand with the sport.
The most popular food complement to football is, of course, the chicken wing. Born and perfected in nearby Buffalo, NY, the chicken wing is somewhat of a legend in this part of the country. Frank’s Red Hot is a miracle. A poorly seasoned, under- or over-cooked, or miniature-sized wing is pure blasphemy.
Earlier this summer, I was trying to come up with an easy salad recipe to make as a dish-to-pass to a Memorial Day barbecue. My husband and I had picked up some great-looking potatoes at the local public farmer’s market, and I thought a tangy, Buffalo chicken wing-inspired sauce would be the perfect accompaniment. The result has been one of my most complimented and requested recipes of the summer.
It’s so simple and quick to prepare, and it is even better if you make it a day ahead so that the flavors can blossom overnight in the fridge. First, roughly chop your potatoes into ½” to ¾” chunks. I prefer to cut the potatoes before boiling them – they stay in neater chunks and there’s less sitting around, waiting for whole potatoes to cool before cutting into them. Cover your potato chunks with cold water, fire up the stove, and boil them for about 10 minutes. You’ll want them to be cooked through and tender, but not mushy.
While your potatoes are cooking, prepare your dressing by whisking mayonnaise, melted butter, Frank’s Red Hot, and a packet of Hidden Valley ranch seasoning together in a small bowl. I’ve formulated a delicious homemade ranch seasoning to use as an alternative to the Hidden Valley packet, if you choose. It includes common spices that you probably already have in your pantry, and is a healthier, less-expensive option that is just as tasty as the packet.
Toss your cooked potatoes with the dressing and throw in some chopped celery and green onions. Refrigerate the salad for about 2 hours, which will cool it down enough so that you can mix in the bleu cheese without it melting. Serve the salad now, or throw it back into the fridge for up to a day to let the flavors blend together.
The real stars of this recipe are Frank’s Red Hot, the ranch seasoning, and a good-quality crumbly bleu cheese. It’s the perfect dish to bring to a late-summer barbecue or to serve as a side on a random Sunday afternoon. And if it doesn’t get you pumped up for the 2014-2015 NFL season, then that’s pure blasphemy.
- 3 lbs. potatoes
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- ½ c. Frank's Red Hot
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 c. celery (about 3 stalks), diced
- ½ c. green onions, chopped
- 4 oz. bleu cheese crumbles
- 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning (or Homemade Ranch Seasoning*)
- 1 tsp. fresh or dried chives
- ½ tsp. parsley
- ½ tsp. dill weed
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- Roughly chop potatoes into ½" to ¾" chunks. Put chopped potatoes in a large pot.
- Cover the potatoes with cold water, filling until the potatoes are covered by about an extra inch of water.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium high and cook potatoes for 10 minutes, until they are cooked through but not mushy.
- Drain potatoes and set aside.
- While potatoes are cooking, chop the celery and green onions, and prepare the dressing.
- To prepare the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, Frank's Red Hot, melted butter, and Ranch packet/Homemade Ranch Seasoning.
- After potatoes have cooled for 10 minutes, transfer them to a large serving bowl.
- Fold dressing into potatoes, then add celery and green onions.
- Refrigerate potato salad for at least 2 hours, then mix in crumbled bleu cheese.
- Continue to refrigerate up to overnight before serving to allow the flavors to blend together.