Saturday, May 25, 2013

Potato - Po-TAT-oh - what's for Potato Salad on your catering menu this summer?

Today’s caterBuzz blog topic is all about POTATO SALAD and globally curated potato salad recipes and techniques.  There are as many different recipes and preparations for the basic tuber as one could imagine.   It's the start of the Memorial Day Weekend and the unofficial start of summer here in the USA.  Summer picnic, tented and backyard catered events have commenced for caterers.  Our private caterBuzz catering forum on facebook has been exploring and sharing diverse sweet, white and blue potato salad recipes and options. 

The humble potato is such a well loved and versatile root vegetable that variations of potato salad are enjoyed worldwide and year round.  And of course, for some of our global caterBuzz members, this may be the winter season. Serving and eating potato salad is not of course, limited to only summer months.  For many of us, Potato Salad is a considered a staple, yet here in this blogpost and on the caterBuzz forum, buzzie members share exciting renditions that can be served warm, room temperature or chilled that you can add to your catering menus.

The diverse caterBuzz peer to peer social media group, a private catering forum on facebook, is quickly nearing 1,000 members hailing from many parts of the globe.  In the spirit of a recent caterBuzz forum post about menu ideas for the 4th of July, and a comment from buzzie member Rob Maffit III that “potato salad is a must for 4th of July” – we poised the question to our catering members “what's your favorite traditional and not so traditional potato salad preparation?

Please note that in true catering and chef tradition, some of these concepts are not precise recipes but rather ingredients lists and methodologies that can inspire you to create your own potato salad masterpiece.   There are several catering sized recipes included as well which can serve as guidelines for other potato salad recipes.

First up is a trio of potato salad recipes in catering size format that incorporate fresh veggies and a spectrum of mouthwatering homemade dressings and ingredients.   These three recipes are going into our non-traditional potato salad repertoire and are graciously shared by Western Canadian caterBuzz member and boutique caterer, Kristen Kaethler of Raw Canvas Catering in Calagary, Alberta.  Kristen is a frequent poster and active member of the caterBuzz community.  Kristen's love of salads prompted her to dedicate a blog to the leafy greens and veggies over at 365 Days of Salad which she plans to publish as a cookbook.  Her blog tag line being, "who says salads are boring?"  and the juxtaposition of flavors in Kristen's panchetta and gorgonzola potato salad is certainly anything but boring!!

Raw Canvas Baby Potato, Panchetta,

Gorgonzola Salad with Carmelized Onion Aioli

This potato salad recipe is for 24 portions/people and can be adjusted as needed for the number of guests.  This recipe is best made the same day as you will be serving it.

Ingredients for potato salad

10 # baby yellow potatoes
2 # chopped pancetta
4 cups crumbled gorgonzola 
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup loosely chopped parsley

Ingredients for aioli

1/4 cup olive oil if needed
12 yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup dijon mustard


1) Heat heavy skillet over med-high heat.  Add pancetta and cook until crispy, about 7-10 minutes.
2) Remove pancetta from pan and set aside to drain and cool, add olive oil if needed. Otherwise just add onions, salt and pepper and cook onions slowly until golden brown, about an hour.
3)  Meanwhile, get a large pot and fill with water.  Bring to a boil and add potatoes.  Boil potatoes for about 15-20 minutes, until soft, but not mushy.  Let potatoes cool and chop in half.
4) Once potatoes are cooled and chopped add in pancetta gorgonzola, parsley and salt and pepper.
5) Once onions are done, set aside to cool.  Once cooled, mix onions together with mayonnaise, sour cream, and dijon mustard until combined.
6) Pour aioli over potato salad and mix until combined.

Raw Canvas  Potato, Baby Corn and Tomato Salad with a Creamy Lemon and Garlic Dressing

This potato salad recipe is for 24 portions/people and can be adjusted as needed for the number of guests.  This recipe is best made the same day as you will be serving it.

Ingredients for potato salad

10 # of yellow potatoes
2 # halved grape tomatoes
2 #. baby corn, sliced into two or three pieces per
1 cup chopped parsley
2 cups of chopped green onions
2 # bacon
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for potato salad dressing

2 heads of garlic
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
juice of 2 lemons (approx. 1/3 cup)


1) Turn oven to 350F, roast garlic in oven until brown and soft for about an hour.
2) Grab a large skillet and heat to med-high.  Chop up bacon into large chunks and add to skillet.  Cook until crispy, about 10 minutes.  Once done, remove from skillet and set aside to cool.
3) While garlic is roasting, grab a large pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. 
4) Add potatoes to boiling water for 20 minutes until soft but not mushy.  Once they're done drain and set aside to cool.  Once cooled cut into quarters or smaller.
5) In large bowl add potatoes, grape tomatoes, baby corn, parsley, bacon and green onions and mix together.
6) Blend mayonnaise, sour cream, and lemon juice together in separate bowl.  Add in roasted garlic and blend until garlic is broken up and dressing is combined.
7) Pour dressing over potato mixture and toss to cover.

Raw Canvas Roasted Potato

and Artichoke Salad

Kristen’s roasted potato salad recipe is for 24 portions/people and can be adjusted as needed for the number of guests. Can be made up to three days ahead as the flavours continue to meld together and improve.

Ingredients for potato salad

4 # of canned artichokes
10 # baby red potatoes
2 cups of capers
1 1/2 cups of extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups of thinly sliced red onion

Ingredients for potato salad dressing

1 1/2 cups of extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 5 fresh lemons, approx. 1 cup
6 oz. fresh basil leaf
1) Preheat oven to 350 F
2) Cut potatoes in halves or quarters for larger ones.  Add salt, pepper and olive oil and toss to combine.  Lay potatoes out on parchment lined sheet pan and roast in oven for 75 minutes.
3) Drain the capers, drain the artichokes and slice.
4) Slice the red onions.
5) Loosely chop the basil and blend with the olive oil and lemon juice.
6) Once potatoes are out of the oven, let cool.
7) Add all ingredients together, pour over dressing and mix until combined.

Azura Othmanan amazing Malaysian chef and proud member of caterBuzz since our inception, travels the world in her current job as a product chef for Gelato and Italian Kitchen Equipment, as well as running her own Kitchen Equipment Company and blogging about "the World through the eyes of a girl who loves to cook" over at Sayangku Azura.
Azura shares an authentic Malay recipe that she loves to cook and serve her guests.  Please visit Azura's blog and let her know what you think.

Malay Spicy Potato

Azura shared that "this Malaysian potato dish is very popular and usually accompanies Nasi Minyak,  a special rice dish with ghee and spices traditionally served at Malay weddings. Interestingly, when you are asking a Malay bachelor of their wedding date, we subtly hinted “when will we eat your Nasi Minyak?”.   As my mother is a vegetarian we use only potato in this dish, though for me, it is also nice when you brown some chicken in a fry pan and stew the fried poultry in this delicious sauce.  

Ubi Kentang Masak Pedas a.k.a  Spicy Potato
Serves 2-6 (2 as main dish, 6 as side dish)

 - 500-600 grams (1 -1.5 #) boiled potatoes -
peeled and cut into large pieces and precooked them.
-Dried chili paste – 10 stalks of dried red chilies, soaked and later pureed in blender or .
-Shallots-Blended/minced, drain the water and the pulp separately
-Ginger-Blended/minced, drain the water and the pulp separately
-Curry powder-50 grams
-Tomato puree-1 Tablespoon
-chunk of carrot
-Optional: curry leaves (if you can  get fresh or frozen curry leaves, it would  be great)
2 Tablespoon of oil

-Spanish onions and sliced green chilies for garnishing

1. Heat oil and fry shallot and ginger and curry leaves, add a little salt to help the browning.  Continue to cook until it is slightly brown, add garlic, chili paste and curry paste.  Sautee until it fragrant but be careful not to burn the curry paste.
2.  Add the  remaining liquid of the onion and ginger if you are pureeing it with  a blender, if you use a chopper or buy them as bottled paste, add water or  some vegetable stock.
3. Follow by adding tomato paste
4. Season the sauce with sugar to balance the spiciness.
The sauce should have a sweet sugary chili  spiciness..
5. Add potatoes and carrots, cover the pot.
6. Turn the fire off.  Garnish with some Spanish onion and green chillies and cover the pot again so  you let the onions  and chillies steamed while still keeping it’s crunchiness.

Let come to room temperature and serve (or also delicious served hot) with roti bread or  steamed rice

Lisa Teiger of CuisinEtc Catering and Events NYC and moderator of caterBuzz, shared with the buzzies that her personal favorite "traditional" potato salad involves bathing the just warm boiled potato in apple cider vinegar and letting cool to room temp before adding mayo, scallions, finely diced celery and finely diced onion or scallion with Italian parsley added for freshness and color.   “This is loosely based on my great Aunt Rose’s potato salad, except she used white vinegar instead of the apple cider.”
…Lisa also loves German potato salad with BACON of course.

Lisa’s NYC catering company clients gravitate towards the  non traditional potato salads at CuisinEtc catered events.
Here are a few chef recipes (ingredients lists) for non traditional potato salad offerings cuisinEtc clients have enjoyed over the years.

Bhel Puri Potato Salad

boiled potato,
fresh chopped cilantro (aka coriander for the Europeans),
cooked chickpeas,
finely diced white Vidalia onion,
tossed with tamarind and cilantro chutney dressing and sprinkled with crunchy Indian stuff (bhel puri mix available in Indian markets like Patel Brothers).

Ubud Potato Salad

Fingerling white and purple potato, leave fingerlings whole if small enough or halved to retain shape,
Tossed with housemade Asian peanut sauce + scallions surrounded by purple cabbage and garnished with sprinkling of chopped honey roasted peanuts.

Ginger Sweet Potato Salad

Small to medium diced boiled sweet potato or yam
Finely chopped pickled sushi ginger, mayo, finely chopped scallions.  Can be made a day or two ahead to let flavors develop.

Passover Sephardic Sweet Potato Salad

Roasted diced sweet potato, scallions and smoked paprika aioli (smoked paprika, lime zest, fresh lime juice, mayo and garlic) with sliced almonds.

Passover Sweet Potato Española Salad

CuisinEtc Catering offers another popular potato salad 
that our clients enjoy and request often.
French Potato Salad
Boiled Potatoes
Chopped Marinated Artichokes
Haricot Vert String Beans
Whole Grain Mustard
Roasted Red Pepper
Northern White Beans (optional)
Using the liquid from the marinated artichokes, mix with whole grain mustard, add a touch of lemon juice and toss with all the ingredients.  It’s a great gluten free potato salad recipe.  Best made same day and add haricot vert just before serving if you want to preserve brighter green color.  Can also substitute pickled string beans or okra, as we did in the rendition below.

Paula Glessner, of Paula's Plate, a caterer from  Santa Cruz  shared this traditional with a twist german potato salad recipe with the buzzies …

“I am making German potato salad for an event next week… I will serve it cold… I am going to use turkey bacon on some and regular bacon in the rest. I bought a 50# bag today for $7… I'll make it a day ahead to let the flavors mingle.

There's a lot of people here in Santa Cruz, who don't eat pork or beef… but they will do turkey bacon… I like Applewood Turkey bacon the best… it has a good flavor.  I peel and slice the potatoes about 1/4" thick… and then boil them til just done… I add all the rest afterwards… My grandmother used to boil the potatoes in their jackets, then peel and slice afterwards… I don't like doing that… too much work”

Paula Glesser’s German Potato Salad

As told to her by her Grandmother, Ann Hanssler,
who was of German-Dutch heritage

(Note: I have used turkey bacon with good results. My favorite brand is Applegate Turkey bacon. I think it has a more bacon like flavor than most I've tried. I made it for 60 guests a couple days ago. I used 30-35# of potatoes, which yielded  four x half hotel pans full. I wasn't sure just how much vinegar/sugar mix, so I increased it by 10 to make sure… I think it would be enough for 50# of potatoes.)


One potato per person plus one extra
1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1/4" inch strips
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar (white is okay)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 onion, diced (use bacon fat or 3 TBS butter) THIS IS an Optional ingredient
2 green onions, diced (Optional for topping)

Bring potatoes to a boil and cook just fork tender. Drain and put into bowl. When cool, peel and cut into ¼" slices.

Cook bacon in frying pan till brown. Drain meat reserving fat.

You can use some of the fat to cook off some onions if desired or use 3 TBS butter.

Mix vinegar, water and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust the sweetness or acidity by adding water or sugar to taste. Pour mixture over potatoes and add the bacon and onion. Stir gently so as not to break your sliced potatoes into small pieces. You can top with green onions if desired.

Can be served warm or cold.

Julia Kendrick Conway of Assaggiare Mendocino
proclaimed “ I use a killer chipotle potato salad recipe “
and in true caterBuzz spirit, Julia graciously shared the following recipe that she uses for her  Northern California Catering business.  Julia is a member of the Northern California Slow Food movement and often sources vegetables directly from local and sustainable Mendocino farmers.

Julia Conway’s Chipotle Potato Salad

1.5 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons chipotle / adobo puree
1 large ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
4 scallions, chopped, (complete both white and green parts)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped/minced
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

16-20 New or Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 -5 lbs) well-cooked, drained and cubed 1/2 inch thick
Combine all the ingredients (except the potatoes) in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper (to taste) Place warm potatoes in a large bowl and pour the mixture over the potatoes. Mix well. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

Phyl Rubinstein 
Is a retired Kosher caterer from Portland, Maine who shared her methodology for a delicious Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with olive oil, lime, cilantro, roasted pecans and celery – Phyl noted that it been a while since she made it think that was everything - oh – don’t forget to add some cumin, salt, pepper and a touch of cinnamon.

Brian Machay, a Chicago caterer, whose family has been catering for decades and who now runs the family business himself, Polonia Catering, shared his grilled potato salad recipe.

Grilled Potato Salad 
with Mustard & Green Onion Dressing
3 # Red potatoes
4 green onions (aka scallions or spring onions)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
3 T Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt & Pepper

Cut potatoes in half and season with oil and S&P, grill.
Make vinaigrette with mustards, garlic, vinegar, oil
and season with salt & pepper.
Add parley and green onions.
When potatoes come off grill dice up and add to dressing and mix.

Cathy Rowe-Desroches  an experienced caterer and active caterBuzz member, from Boston's corporate catering company, A Wicked Catering, shared her favorite roasted potato salad:

Roasted yukon golds, crumbled blue cheese, fine diced green onions, crumbled bacon, drizzled with a blue cheese vinaigrette.

Lon Lane III founder of Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions and Inspired Weddings,  Kansas City, Missouri, always has an interesting twist on the recipes that Lon frequently shares with the caterBuzz community both on the caterBuzz facebook wall and in the caterBuzz files section.   
Lon writes:
“Here is a recipe for A Roasted Poblano Chile Potato salad that is amazing and one of our signature dishes at Inspired Events ......Goes great with everything from BBQ to Fried Chicken 

.....The yogurt makes the difference."

What's also great is that this recipe is also a catering size portioned recipe.

Recipe By : Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions

24 pounds red potatoes-cut into a ½ dice with skins on
24 each poblano peppers-roasted and diced.
9 cups yogurt (plain-no sugar added)
4 cups mayonnaise
16 each scallions, thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 teaspoons cracked black pepper
4 cups cilantro -- rough chopped
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cut potatoes in ½” dice and cook until just tender in salted water.
Drain and cool
Meanwhile roast poblano peppers and dice.
Chop cilantro 
Combine yogurt (Plain-no sugar added), mayo, scallions, poblano peppers, garlic and cilantro then combine with potatoes….Adjust seasonings 

Depending on group this serves about 75-80 guests

And a Tri- Colored Potato Salad
Sweet Potato, White Potato and Purple Potato
with Green and Red Peppers
Red and green onions
Cracked black pepper
Dressed with honey mustard vinaigrette

Susan Parish-Schwab, Splendid Fare Catering, Akron, Ohio 
My Nana's Potato Salad.
"I don't have a “recipe”.
Boiled in the jacket russet potatoes,
skin peeled and chunked warm.
Add hard boiled eggs, equal amounts of chopped celery & onion,
salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper and
Hellman's mayonnaise.
No other mayonnaise allowed near it!
Combine mayo and potato while potatoes are still hot.
Add celery, onion, salt and pepper.
I toss with my hands, even smooshing some of the potatoes.
Add hard boiled eggs last..toss. Can serve warm or cold eaten out of the bowl 5 minutes after making it."

our caterBuzz South African born member, Cynthia Creighton-Jones of Cape Creations
currently of Savannah, Georgia shared one of her favs:

Cape Creations Roast Sweet Potato Salad 

with Maple Vinaigrette

Roast sweet potatoes tossed with toasted walnuts, chives, sultanas and a maple syrup vinaigrette

Yield: 10 x 2oz servings


2 ½ # sweet potatoes (peel and cut into 1” cubes, hold in water)
S&P to taste
¼ cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
½ cup walnut pieces roasted
¼ cup sultanas (white raisins)
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives


4 Tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
2 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
8 Tablespoon maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 350F. Drain the potatoes well, and toss with a the olive oil and season with S&P. Lay on a sheet pan, or roasting pan, and roast in oven until tender.

Whisk together the maple syrup and vinegar, then slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify.

Whilst the potatoes are still slightly warm, toss all the ingredients together, with the exception of the nuts. Check seasoning. Chill overnight. Add the nuts to the salad just prior to serving.

Steve Meyberg, a second generation owner of Gunther's Catering, in San Jose offered this unique add in to traditional hot German potato salad. 
"Hot German Potato Salad has been one of our staples on our Octoberfest and Bavarian menu. Here at Gunther's, we use pastrami in our recipe, sliced thin on the slicer, then chopped."

Blackbird Catering, St. Helen's, Oregon, head bottle washer, Trent Dolyniuk, notes that "our spud salad variation at Blackbird is a Simple Bacon Dijon"

Blackbird Catering's Spud-nic Salad

10# red “b” potatoes steamed
2-3# cooked weight diced bacon
1-2 red onions julienned
1 bunch Italian parsley
Dressing 1 part Dijon to 3 parts mayo,
2 Tablespoon coarse black pepper
2-3 cups pickled something...asparagus, green beans, or cukes if you have to

Jody Wimer CEO/Creative Director at the JCP Event Group  loves to put fresh crispy applewood bacon and ranch in the potato salad at JCP's local organic sustainable Element Cafe in downtown Butler, Pa.  Check out their seasonal menu offerings....Jody's team also offer a yummy sweet potato salad with cranberries, candied pecans, scallions, honey and a ramped up chipotle dressing to their Pennsylvania clients.

Amy’s Culinary Adventures, Los Angeles, owner Amy Jurist 
who runs underground POP UP dinners and is all about bacon, offers their clients a mixed sweet potato and baby red potato salad  with crispy bacon, relish and mayo.

Dawn LaRochelle – a self proclaimed recovering Harvard grad lawyer and foodie who joined the ranks of the catering world less than a decade ago but who is well on her way to building a food empire which includes a kosher catering division, a boutique catering division, cooking lessons and two casual gourmet Berkshire restaurants, Perigee Restaurant and opening this weekend, Wyld Thyme Restaurant,  offered three recipes to share with the buzzies.

"I don't like soupy potato salad, and in almost any case, no matter what the recipe, we use quartered red bliss potatoes and cook 'em so they hold their shape. We also ALWAYS toss 'em with vinegar while still warm."

Here are specifics for those three potato salads offered at each of  Dawn's burgeoning businesses.

Wyld Thyme Restaurant  
Grilled Blue Potato and Bacon Salad 
with Roasted Peanuts
Yield: 6 to 8 servings 

3 pounds baby red potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup thinly-sliced red onion
6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
8 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
½ cup roasted peanuts (Dawn likes them left whole)

1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

PREPARATION: Preheat grill to 350 to 400°F (medium-high).  Place potatoes in a single layer in center of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bring up foil sides over potatoes; double fold top and side edges to seal, making 1 large packet.  Grill packet 15 minutes per side; carefully open packet, using tongs, and let potatoes cool 5 minutes.
Dressing:  Whisk together all ingredients; toss with potatoes.  
Stir in onion, blue cheese and bacon.

Perigee Restaurant 
Warm Greek Potato Salad
Yield:  8 to 10 servings 


4 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed, with skins
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and left whole
2 tablespoons capers
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette:
1 cup olive oil
6 shallots, chopped
3 bunches oregano, leaves only, chopped
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Salt (to taste)
White pepper (to taste)
Pinch sugar

PREPARATION: Salad: Cut potatoes in quarters; cook in large pot of boiling, salted water until tender but still firm to the bite (approximately 8 minutes).  Drain; toss with lemon juice while still warm.  
Dressing:  Whisk together all ingredients.  Toss with potatoes to combine.  Stir in remaining salad ingredients.  Serve warm or room temperature.

Apogee Catering's 
French Country Potato Salad
Yield: 6 to 8 servings 


3 pounds small creamer potatoes (about 30), unpeeled and scrubbed well
4 pieces leek (white part only), split lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 roasted peppers, jarred or handmade, sliced
½ cup artichoke hearts, quartered
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
¼ cup cornichons, chopped
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

Sour Cream Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup sour cream (or creme fraiche)
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced


Salad: Cut potatoes in quarters; cook in large pot of boiling, salted water until tender but still firm to the bite (approximately 8 minutes).  Drain; toss with Champagne vinegar while still warm.  
Dressing:  Whisk vinegar and salt together until salt dissolves.  Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Toss with potatoes to combine; carefully stir in remaining salad ingredients. Serve room temperature.

Another frequent poster and one of our original caterBuzz members, Chef David Paquet, of Niagara Gourmet Catering in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada writes  “I use Red Bliss Potatoes for convenience in catering but yes, peeling the cooked potatoes is great, because they are starchier.   I make a blender dressing of dill pickle juice, chopped dills, Dijon mustard and mayo.  Its awesome!
Put it on the hot potatoes so its absorbed.

David notes that when making Potato Salad for Nicoise they add warm chicken stock to the Dijon Vinaigrette...which really kicks up the flavor.

The Buzzies have been enjoying posts and photos on caterBuzz from Didier Gusching, a caterer and chef born in Marseille, France with an illustrious luxury hotel and catering pedigree. Didier's career has been focused in the Middle East for the past 20 years.  Currently he is the Executive Chef I/c Food & Drink, Radisson Blu Hotel and Park Inn Abu Dhabi, Yas Island

and recently shared with caterBuzz members, this recipe for

Kebbet Batata which Didier learned during his time in Syria.

Potato Kebbeh (Kebbet Batata)
This a simple recipe, home cooking “mama” style , great taste when consumed warm/ room temperature without going through chiller – cook and eat !

Endless the ways you can present it – ! I truly enjoyed it many time, especially while I was in Syria .. few years back ..

1 kilo (2.2#) potato
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 medium onion
1/4 cup of tahina [ sesame paste]
200 grams (approximately a half pound) chopped walnuts
A bunch of spring onions (aka scallions)
Extra virgin olive oil [Lebanese/Syrian preferably]

pomegranate molasses for dipping or drizzing

Boil the potatoes. When cooked, peel off skin while hot. Grind the potatoes in a vegetable mill in a large mixing bowl. Chop the mint leaves with a sharp knife. Do the same with the onion.
Chop the walnuts or crush them with a pestle in a mortar. When potatoes cool, mix all the ingredients together. Slowly combine the tahina into the mixture.
Thoroughly mix . Add salt to taste.

This presentation a real traditional way .."mama style " when you take a part of the potatoes mixture and shape it into your hand pressing it slowly .. then it will be shaped with your fingerprints... the sauce is a dip sour pomegranate syrup [pomegranate molasses] I like it contrast wise as the potatoes are naturally a bit on a sweet side.    

Serve with a bunch of fresh mint leaves and spring onion. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Jennie Cook, of Plant Based Parties, a vegan Los Angeles caterer and a tireless slow food and real food advocate, is one of our resident caterBuzz expert in all things Vegan and Vegetarian.
Jennie enthusiastically shared this wonderful vegan potato salad recipe which she promised we were all going to LOVE !! 

Endive, Avocado & Potato Salad
"We eat a lot of avocados here in California, and this is a simple and sublime celebration of the avocado’s greatness that we love to serve. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful salad. Enjoy at room temperature."
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes resting time 

Cooking time: 10 to 15 minutes
Serves 6 to 8
1 pound potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks for potato salad
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced shallot or onion 1 tablespoon Dijon or Pommery mustard 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 Belgian endives, cut in small, salad-size slices
2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch cubes 

1/4 cup diced green onion or chives
Place potatoes in a medium pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
While potatoes cook, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, and mustard in small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Add salt and pepper; taste and add more of both or either if desired.
When potatoes are cooked, drain and put them, still warm, in a medium bowl and toss with three-quarters of the vinaigrette. Let stand for 30 minutes. Add endive and avocado just before serving and toss with remaining vinaigrette. Stir in green onion or chives, and crack more fresh pepper on top. Serve at room temperature.

We hope that you will consider 
caterBuzz as your traveling eye for inquisitive 
catering professionals around the globe.  Sharing and learning from each other as only like minded professional caterers can do, through pictures, industry stories, probing questions and detailed answers, available here on and also on our facebook caterBuzz group pagea private forum for the experienced professional catering community.  Contact me for more details.  

Contact Lisa Teiger for more details.


Renee Weir- Fontes said...

The potato salad I would love to share, is a South American version called Peruvian Potato Salad. Tangy slightly spicy with bright flavor from peppers, red onion, olives, cilantro and queso fresco. Dressed in a light red vinegar and oil, it's my summer picnic pick!

Amy's potato salad sounded delish...maybe I'll add bacon this summer! Thanks for bringing these stunning ideas, I'm Irish and this just calls to me!

Unknown said...

SOUND amazing Renee - will have to keep that in mind. Is it in your book, "Cook Like A Caterer?" We can always add to the blog post - I know you've been ultra busy with getting ready for the OC Fair

Debi Brim said...

I grew up with Mashed Potato Salad, made with left over mashed potatoes, and what I love about this method is that I can use a large decorating tip and pipe the salad into cupcake papers (I like using the silver, alum ones because they are stiffer). It helps with portion control and makes a cute presentation for picnics or other casual events.

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Caribbean catering in uk

Unknown said...

This sounds delish! I like to make coleslaw with Greek yogurt instead of mayo–with some lemon, it’s really light and refreshing.