Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Hardly a day goes past this time of the year when I don’t have something fresh from the garden. The possibilities are endless when you have a the likes of tomatoes, beans, summer squash, peppers and onions.

I just finished off a big bowl of steamed green and yellow beans that was tossed with a little butter and seasoned with salt, pepper and white wine vinegar. A tomato on the side completed my all-vegetarian lunch.

I’ve been doing a bit of digging lately for some new recipes to try, especially ones that include eggplant, since a bumper crop of the purple beauty is imminent. Here’s a pasta dish that caught my eye that also includes zucchini, onion, basil and tomatoes. (You could use whichever vegetable combination you want for this dish.) The vegetables are roasted before being combined with cooked pasta such as fusilli and then topped with Parmesan cheese.

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Basil
¼ cup olive oil, divided
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Favorite all-purpose seasoning
4 yellow summer squash or zucchini (about 1¼ pounds total), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium red or white onions, halved and sliced ½-inch thick
1 pint grape tomatoes, rinsed
8 ounces short pasta, such as cavatappi or fusilli
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Have ready 2 large (10-by-15-inch) rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil on one large rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven while it’s preheating. Prepare all the vegetables.
When the oven is preheated, remove the baking sheet and quickly add the eggplant cubes and garlic to the baking sheet (they will sizzle) and season with salt, pepper and seasoning. Using tongs, toss quickly, but carefully because the oil is hot. Return to the oven and roast until the eggplant is just tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes.
On the other baking sheet, place summer squash or zucchini, onions and tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and seasoning. Toss to coat. Place in the oven and roast until the vegetables are just tender and still hold their shape, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, and return to pot.
Add vegetables, butter, Parmesan and basil to pasta; season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to combine. Serve with more cheese if desired.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 474 calories, 38 percent of calories from fat, 20 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 60 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams protein, 626 milligrams sodium, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams fiber.

The Perfect Brownies

If you’ve never had a homemade brownie served with a scoop of ice cream and some freshly picked raspberries, you just don’t know what you’re missing. I was the recipient of such a treat this past week.

Our raspberry patch has been producing nicely this summer, so we’ve had quite a few opportunities to sample the tasty red berries. They’ve been a nice addition to my morning bowl of oatmeal as well as a being a good snack. Plus, there have been enough to freeze, too.

And when Therese made a batch of tasty brownies this past week, it allowed us yet another chance to use some of them as a topping for the chocolate morsels and a bit of vanilla ice cream.

Therese’s brownies are hard to beat, but the following recipe that I came across recently looks like it might give my hers a run for its money. With a delicate, crisp crust wrapped around a gooey filling and then coated with more chocolate,, this brownie might be called perfect by some dessert aficionados.

The Perfect Brownies
BROWNIES:
½ pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ pound salted butter
5 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
1½ tablespoons instant coffee
3¾ cups sugar
1½ cups plus 2½ tablespoons (7 ounces) flour
1 cup chopped walnut pieces
Line 2 9-inch square baking pans with foil, and grease the foil. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the bittersweet chocolate and butter, stirring frequently until melted and combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, coffee and sugar over high speed until combined and the mixture increases in volume (it will look almost like softened ice cream), 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the mixer.
Beat in the melted chocolate and butter over low speed just until combined. Add the flour and nuts and stir just until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the pans, dividing evenly between the 2 pans. Bake the brownies until barely set: A crust will form on top, and a toothpick inserted will be very gooey (though not wet like the batter), 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the brownies and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the brownies (still in the pans) for at least 6 hours to chill and fully set.
GANACHE AND ASSEMBLY:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons milk
7½ tablespoons salted butter
Prepared brownies
4 ounces white chocolate
Place the bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl.
In a large saucepan, combine the cream, milk and butter and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and combined with the cream mixture, forming a ganache.
Remove the chilled brownies from the refrigerator, and invert the pans over a cooling rack set over a large rimmed baking sheet (the sheet will catch the excess ganache when it is poured over the brownies). Peel the foil liner away from the brownies.
Pour the ganache over the brownies, making sure it covers the tops of both batches (do not worry about the sides, as these will be trimmed when the brownies are cut).
Set the brownies aside to allow the ganache to cool and set.
Melt the white chocolate (place it in a glass container and heat it in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until completely melted). Place the white chocolate in a piping bag, coronet or a sealable plastic bag (after the chocolate is added to the bag, trim one of the tips to the desired size to make a makeshift piping bag).
Streak the brownies with the white chocolate, then set them aside to give the white chocolate time to harden.
Trim the edges from the brownies, then cut the brownies into squares; each pan makes about 9 (3-inch) squares.
Yield: 18 brownies.
Approximate nutritional analysis per brownie: 574 calories, 6 grams protein, 66 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 35 grams fat (18 grams saturated), 107 milligrams cholesterol, 53 grams sugar, 162 milligrams sodium.

Jerk Chicken Salad

I’ve always liked food with a little zing, no matter if it’s an appetizer, side or main course. One of my mottos when I was younger was, “More hotter, more better.” My tastes have tamed down some as I’ve gotten a little older, but spicy food still appeals to me.

Earlier today, we went out for lunch at the Blue Moose restaurant in East Grand Forks, and I ordered a mini-salad that featured some buffalo chicken with a Caribbean flair. It was excellent with the blue cheese dressing that accompanied it.

But you don’t have to go out to enjoy this kind of food. After returning home, I came across the following recipe for this jerk-seasoned chicken salad along with another for a with berries. Combined, they could make a quick, refreshing summer supper.

Jerk-Seasoned Chicken Salad
10 ounces cooked chicken breast strips or cubes
2 teaspoons jerk seasoning
1 teaspoon canola oil
5 cups washed, ready-to-eat salad greens
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup sliced green bell pepper
4 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 ripe, medium tomato cut into wedges
2 crusty sourdough rolls
Toss chicken with jerk seasoning in a small bowl. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute 2 minutes.
Divide lettuce between 2 dinner plates. Scatter celery and green pepper on top. Spoon dressing over vegetables. Add chicken to the salad. Sprinkle cilantro on top and place tomato wedges around the edges. Serve with rolls.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 428 calories, 23 percent of calories from fat, 10.8 grams fat (1.9 grams saturated, 4.3 grams monounsaturated), 127 milligrams cholesterol, 49.3 grams protein, 37.3 grams carbohydrates, 7.2 grams fiber, 758 milligrams sodium.

Mixed Berry Salad
1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and cut in half
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed
2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing
¼ cup flaked or shredded coconut
Mix berries in a small bowl. Toss with dressing. Divide berries between the 2 dinner plates and sprinkle with coconut.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving:132 calories, 38 percent of calories from fat, 5.6 grams fat (3.8 grams saturated, 0.6 grams monounsaturated), 1 milligram cholesterol, 1.4 gram protein, 21.8 grams carbohydrates, 4.3 grams fiber, 40 milligrams sodium.

Mexican Hotdish

I grew up eating a lot of pasta hotdishes and casseroles. We would have them at home at least once or twice a week, and I could always count on at least that many for school hot lunch every week or so.

And I liked just about every one, no matter what kind. I can remember only one hotdish that I didn’t like, and it wasn’t made my mom or by my Auntie Helen, who was the head cook at our school.

I still am pretty fond of pasta hotdish. Therese makes one with ground meat, green beans, a can of tomato soup and a little onion. (Her secret ingredient is a dash of Worcestershire sauce.) It’s one of our grandchildren’s favorite meals. They have fondly have named it “Grandma’s Hotdish.”

Here’s a recipe for another hotdish that just came my way from  the National Pasta Association. It’s called Mexican-Style Bow Ties. The recipe offers a way for families to enjoy a fast family-style Mexican meal with a new twist.

Mexican-Style Bow Ties
8 ounces bow tie, elbow macaroni (or your favorite pasta shape), uncooked (see note)
8 ounces. lean ground beef
1 16-ounce can kidney beans or pinto beans, drained
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 8-ounce cans whole kernel, no-salt-added corn, drained
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup sliced green onions
1 cup low-fat, plain yogurt
½ cup medium salsa
In a medium skillet, brown ground beef and drain any excess fat. Add beans, cumin and chili powder; heat through. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.
In large bowl, combine pasta, meat mixture, tomatoes, corn, green pepper, cheese and onions.
In small bowl, combine yogurt and salsa. Add to pasta mixture and toss well. Serve warm or cold. Garnish with additional salsa, if desired.
Note: Whole-grain, multigrain or whole-wheat pasta varieties may be substituted.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 425 calories, 11.5 grams fat (5 grams saturated),
57 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 5 grams dietary fiber, 505 milligrams sodium.

Gazpacho

I’ve never had a stand of tomato plants like the one growing this summer in my backyard. Combined with burgeoning crops of cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, kale and dozens of species of flower, it makes stepping onto our deck seem more like a tropical adventure than anything I’ve experienced in my life.

We just started eating the tomatoes and should be sampling the first cucumbers and peppers in a week or so. That means I can start thinking about making a cold soup called gazpacho, which contains all three as well as onion, garlic, tomato juice and fresh chives. A bowl of the soup is a nice way to chill out on a hot summer day.

Here’s a new recipe for gazpacho that I’m going to try, which looks delicious, and should be perfect for the next hot spell.

Gazpacho
1½ pounds tomatoes (about 4), peeled, seeded and chopped (about 2 cups)
1½ cups chopped cucumber (from about 4 whole)
1 cup diced onion (from about ½ whole)
½ cup diced green bell pepper (from about ¼ whole)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup tomato juice, more to taste
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
Tabasco or other hot sauce
1½ teaspoons lemon juice (from about ½ lemon)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon diced fresh chives
In a blender, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato juice and vinegar. Puree the mixture, then pour into a medium bowl.
Season with 1½ teaspoons of salt, or to taste (amount of salt can vary depending on the brand of tomato juice, if purchased), ½ teaspoon each of black pepper and cayenne pepper, and ¼ teaspoon each of the Tabasco, lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings and flavoring as desired.
Cover and refrigerate the gazpacho until well-chilled. Stir in the chives, and thin if desired with additional tomato juice or water. Taste and adjust the seasonings once more. This makes a generous quart of gazpacho.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 125 calories, 2 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 9 grams fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 6 grams sugar, 701 milligrams sodium.

Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps

I like meatballs, especially when they’re cooked in a marinara sauce and served with spaghetti. Meatballs in a brown gravy that accompany mashed potatoes are also hard to beat. And they’re not too shabby in a sub sandwich, either.

But how about meatball lettuce wraps? I just came across a recipe for those that was adapted from one in Good Housekeeping magazine’s, May 2011 issue. (You can either bake the meatballs or grill them.)

Among the ingredients in the recipe are fresh cilantro, green onions,  mint, carrots, limes and fish sauce or nuoc cham , a salty condiment made from fermented anchovies. (Look for it in the Asian foods section of the market.)

Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps
3 limes (2 juiced and 1 cut into wedges)
3 cups shredded carrots
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, or mint leaves, thinly sliced, divided
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped, divided
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon lower-sodium fish sauce, divided
1¼ teaspoons sugar, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 19.2-ounce package lean (93 percent) or extra-lean (97 percent) ground turkey breast
12 Boston lettuce leaves
3 to 4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, optional
If using bamboo skewers, soak them in cold water. Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling on medium-high. Or preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the lime juice in a medium bowl (you should have about ¼ cup). Set the lime wedges aside.
Add the carrots, half the cilantro or mint, green onions, ¼ teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, ¼ teaspoon sugar and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir; let stand.
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, remaining 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon pepper, the rest of the cilantro or mint and garlic. Shape tablespoons of the mixture into meatballs. Arrange on skewers, ½-inch apart, and flatten slightly.
Grill meatballs 4 to 5 minutes or until grill marks appear and meat loses its pink color and is cooked through, turning occasionally.
Divide meatballs and carrot mixture among lettuce leaves. Drizzle with the chili sauce, if desired, and serve with lime wedges.
Yield: Serves: 4
Note: To quickly form the meatballs, use a mini-ice cream scoop.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving based on 93 percent lean turkey without the sauce: 230 calories, 27 percent of calories from fat, 7 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 15 grams carbohydrates, 27 grams protein, 415 milligrams sodium, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams fiber.

Shrimp Dinner Salad

I’m rarely tempted to eat salad when we go out to eat during the summer. Twice in the past two days, I’ve been out to eat and have passed on salads because we have them at home at almost every dinner, and they always are much better, especially with all the fresh produce available from my garden.

Most of the time, our salads are a side, but there is the occasional meal when that’s all we’ll have, with perhaps the exception of some homemade bread.

We’ve had a great crop of lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and kale this year, but soon there will be other vegetables ready such as bell peppers, zucchini and eggplant that can turn an ordinary salad into the main course.

And if you were to add something like shrimp, as the following recipe adapted from one in Patricia Wells’ “Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season” (Morrow, $34.99) demonstrates, you really have a full-blown meal.

Shrimp Dinner Salad
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Several drops Tabasco sauce
Fine sea salt
1 or 2 red bell peppers, trimmed, seeded and cut into ¼- inch dice (about 1½ cups)
2 celery ribs, sliced (about 1½ cups)
1½ pounds (25 to 30) cooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup minced fresh chives or cilantro
½ cup tomato juice
Lettuce leaves
In a large bowl, whisk tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and salt; taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Stir in peppers and celery. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to develop.
Just before serving, add shrimp and toss to coat. Add chives and toss to blend. Line 4 plates with lettuce, and mound shrimp salad on top.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 200 calories, 14 percent of calories from fat, 3.1 grams fat (0.6 grams saturated, 0.4 grams monounsaturated), 258 milligrams cholesterol, 35.4 grams protein, 5.9 grams carbohydrates, 1.1 grams fiber, 378 milligrams sodium.

Ultimate Mud Pie

If you’ve ever eaten mud pie, you know that there’s no going back once you’ve tried it. The decadent dessert contains a gooey chocolate filling on top of a crumbly chocolate crust and is usually served with ice cream

While its exact origin isn’t know, mud pie probably was created in Mississippi and named for the longest river in the U.S., some say because it resembled the banks of the Big Muddy. And now, it is known worldwide, owing in large part to the sheer amount of chocolate in each serving.

I have some recollections of my first taste of mud pie. I think it was at the Blue Moose restaurant in East Grand Forks shortly Therese became my bride. We were at the Moose with several friends, and after a delicious meal, we all shared a pie of mud pie, partly because it was so big and partly because it was so rich.

I haven’t had mud pie in a while, but just recently came across a recipe for it that was penned by Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. It is one of a number of recipes in a new book by Julie Loria, wife of Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. (See related story at www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/210291/.)

“Diamond Dishes — From the Kitchens of Baseball’s Biggest Stars” (Lyons, $24.95) also features recipes from the 18 other Major League All-Stars, the likes of Alex Rodriguez (baked kale chips), Albert Pujols (Dominican beans and rice) and Josh Hamilton (pulled pork sandwich).

Here’s Utley’s recipe for mud pie, which I hope (hint) someone will make for me soon.

Chase Utley’s Ultimate Mud Pie
CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST:
1½ cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pie pan
1 tablespoon sugar
FILLING:
3 cups half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
5 ounces high-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
TOPPING:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chocolate wafer crumbs, for garnish
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie pan.
To make the crust, combine the crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a medium bowl until moistened. Press firmly and evenly into the pie pan. Bake until the crust is set and smells like warm cookies, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
To make the filling, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat 2½ cups of the half-and-half, the sugar, and the salt, stirring often to dissolve the sugar, until simmering. Pour into a heatproof bowl. Rinse out the saucepan.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the cornstarch over the remaining ½ cup half-and-half and whisk until dissolved. Whisk the yolks in a medium bowl, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Gradually whisk in the hot half-and-half mixture and return to the rinsed-out saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a flat wooden spatula (to keep the mixture from scorching), until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture bubble, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, butter, and vanilla, and whisk until the chocolate melts completely. Strain through a wire sieve into a clean bowl.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust and press plastic wrap directly on the filling to keep a skin from forming. Let cool completely. Refrigerate until the filling is chilled and set, at least 2 hours.
To make the topping, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in a chilled medium bowl with an electric mixer set on high speed until stiff. Uncover the pie. Spread and swirl the topping over the filling. (If you wish, transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, and pipe the cream onto the pie.) Sprinkle pie with cookie crumbs. Slice and serve chilled.
Yield: Serves 8.

Oven-Steamed Salmon with Dill Sauce

Anyone who knows me well can tell you that salmon is one of my favorite foods. Whenever I come across a new recipe for salmon, my interest is immediately piqued.

Earlier this week, I was reading a story about how California salmon have returned after enforced three-year hiatus. It seems that after peaking with a 2003 catch that totaled more than 7 million pounds, the bottom fell out of the state’s fishery. By 2007, fewer than 2 million pounds were caught, and the next year it was closed altogether. This spring the season was reopened, on a limited basis, so residents probably are now seeing California salmon in the grocery store again.

The story went on to talk about ways to cook salmon and shared the following recipe for the prized seafood that accompanied by a dill mayonnaise sauces.

Oven-Steamed Salmon with Dill Mayonnaise
1½- to 2-pound salmon fillet, in 1 piece
Salt
Oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup minced fresh dill
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the salmon, meat side up, on a cutting board and feel along the surface of the flesh with your fingertips just above and below the midline. If you feel pin bones, pluck them out with tweezers or needle-nose pliers. Season the salmon with ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste, and place on a jellyroll pan lined with lightly oiled aluminum foil.
When the oven is ready, place a baking pan on the floor of the oven and fill it with boiling water. Place the pan with the salmon on the rack. Cook until a paring knife or toothpick penetrates the flesh easily, 20 to 25 minutes. Note that the flesh will be somewhat denser than usual and that it won’t change color as much as with other cooking methods.
While the salmon is cooking, prepare the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, shallots, mustard and dill in a food processor or blender or use a mortar and pestle and puree until fairly smooth. There should still be some dots of herbs visible. Add lemon juice and puree again. Taste, correct seasoning and set aside.
When the salmon is done cooking, there will probably be some white collagen collected on the surface. Moisten a pastry brush with oil and lightly brush it away.
Serve the salmon on a large platter with a bit of the mayonnaise spooned to one side. Serve the remainder of the mayonnaise in a bowl to pass. Tell your guests to scoop up the salmon with a spoon, leaving the skin behind.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per servings: 407 calories, 21 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, no fiber, 35 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 71 milligrams cholesterol, no sugar, 406 milligrams sodium.

Dressing Your Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of those side dishes that is a must for summer picnics, backyard barbecues and other such events.
And I’m not the only one who thinks that. A number of food-related polls that I’ve looked at recently confirm that potato salad is the No. 1 pick of people (www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/209552/).

Of course, everyone has their favorite potato salad, and it usually is their mother’s. My mom’s was always tops in my book until I tasted Therese’s. My wife’s potato is probably the best I’ve ever eaten.

When discussing this with a friend, Marian Moen, she offered to share a potato salad dressing recipe that she makes that was handed down to her by her mother.

I’m sharing that recipe here, along with two kinds of potato salad recipes, with the hopes of giving it a try before the end of summer.

German Potato Salad
6 to 7 medium red potatoes
½ pound bacon
1 pasteurized egg, beaten
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon each: salt, sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ yellow onion, diced
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with cold water. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, place the bacon in a large skillet; cook, turning occasionally, over medium heat, until bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Turn off the heat; discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
Peel and slice potatoes; set aside. Beat together the egg, vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper in a medium bowl; stir into the reserved bacon fat in the skillet. Add the onion and potatoes; toss mixture together lightly. Add bacon and chopped parsley; toss.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 176 calories, 24 percent of calories from fat, 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 37 milligrams cholesterol, 27 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 524 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Dill Potato Salad
3 pounds favorite potatoes
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill
¾ cup sliced celery
½ cup green onion
4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1½ cups mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
Place the potatoes in cold water to cover in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and remove the skins of the potato. If you choose to remove the skins while they are still warm, wear oven mitts or hold the potato in a clean kitchen towel.
Cube or dice the potatoes as desired and place them in a large serving bowl. Add the dill, celery, green onion and eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss lightly to combine. Add the mayonnaise and mustard and mix. Add more if desired.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 351 calories, 61 percent of calories from fat, 24 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 30 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 214 milligrams sodium, 82 milligrams cholesterol, 25 milligrams calcium, 3 grams fiber.

Potato Salad Dressing
2 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
Celery seed (optional)
Mix together ingredients and add ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil and stir well, since it burns easily. Add some turmeric for color. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon butter.
When ready to use, mix with equal amount of salad dressing and thin with cream if it seems too thick.