3 peppers add pop to your July 4th potato salad

July 1, 2013 

Potato salad with barbecue sauce, sour cream, cheese and three kinds of peppers. Oh, boy, you can really put some fireworks in your Fourth of July menu with this recipe.

It caught my eye because of all the peppers in it. While the spiciness -- or just plain different-ness -- might not be for all your guests, I bet somebody else will arrive with a tub of classic potato salad made with mustard and mayo. And that will take care of any eye-ball rolling at the get-together.

I say this a bit tongue-in-cheek because I have family members in Chicago who do not believe in diverting from a recipe for a celebration, no matter how much better it might make the dish. We go round and round about sides like corn pudding (at Thanksgiving), which my sister doctors to make a bit spicy -- something my mother would never do.

And while tacos are not a food I would regularly serve to guests, when they are eaten in my family, fish would never be part of the innards! But, I really like fish tacos, especially if the filling includes a sweet and spicy salsa. If you're with me on that, try the Pineapple-Peach Salsa recipe here. Serve it with grilled chicken and I bet it would be a winner, too.

Food writer Alison Ladman says the three peppers in this recipe each add their own distinct flavor. And don't worry, the bite of black and cayenne peppers are tamed by the sweet roasted red peppers and the sour cream dressing, she said. Want to add fourth and fifth varieties? Mix in some diced mild Peppadew peppers (tangy, but not much heat) and banana peppers (sweet and crunchy). For a crunchy contrast, you even could add a sixth with a diced fresh green bell pepper.


2 pounds red potatoes, cubed

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry and chopped

4 scallions, chopped

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Salt, to taste

Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then spread them on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. Sprinkle the cooling potatoes with the vinegar, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the sour cream, barbecue sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir in the roasted red peppers, scallions and Cheddar.

When the potatoes are cool, gently stir them into the sour cream mixture until well coated. Season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Servings: 8, each with 210 calories, 8 grams fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 29 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 7 grams protein, 470 mg sodium.

Fish Tacos with Pineapple-Peach Salsa

1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped small

1 cup peaches (about 2), chopped small

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 medium jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of one lime

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 pound tilapia or halibut filets

Cooking spray or olive oil

8 small corn tortillas, warmed

1. Combine pineapple, peaches, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice in a medium bowl.

Stir gently to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Season fish with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray the pan with

cooking spray or lightly coat with olive oil and add the fish (you may have to cook it in two

batches depending on the size of your pan). Cook for about 4 minutes per side, until it flakes

easily and is cooked through. Remove to a plate and break into smaller pieces using a fork.

3. To assemble tacos, place some of the fish down the center of each warmed tortilla and top with

the fruit salsa. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings

Kristine's Kitchen, a food blog at kristineskitchen.com

Here's how to reach me: Phone, 239-2664; e-mail, sboyle@bnd.com; or write, Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

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