- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For the first time in several years, my husband and I will be in the United States on July Fourth. We’ve spent the last few summers in Paris, where he has done research, and have found ourselves celebrating Independence Day with other ex-pats.

This year, though, we scheduled our travels so that we would be on this side of the Atlantic. I can’t wait and have already called friends to arrange a get-together.

I’m going all out, too, with a red, white and blue menu of barbecued ribs, corn and potato salad — that trio of all-American favorites. I’ll bake baby back ribs, finish them on the grill, then slather them with a spicy sauce.

The corn will become a pudding seasoned with grated Jack cheese. A platter of sliced tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and another of warm buttered green beans tossed with herbs will provide bursts of color. And, for the potato salad, I have a new recipe, one with a delicious twist on tradition.

Small red-skin potatoes, boiled in their skins and quartered, and chopped hard-boiled eggs form the base. They are accented by bits of chorizo, a smoked Spanish sausage available in many supermarkets. It is the chorizo with its subtle smokiness that makes this potato salad so distinctive. These three ingredients are tossed together in a mustard and shallot vinaigrette, then sprinkled with snipped chives.

This salad, which tastes even better when assembled several hours in advance, serves 8 but can be increased easily if necessary. It makes a fine accompaniment to ribs but would be just as tempting as a side to burgers, barbecued chicken or grilled steaks.

Wherever you’re celebrating our national holiday, this is a side dish certain to add some spark to your table.

Potato salad with chorizo and chives

This salad can be prepared 6 hours ahead, as the salad improves in flavor; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.


3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup chopped shallots


3 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch dice (see note)


2 pounds small (preferably 1½- to 2-inch diameter) red-skin potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

4 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped

6 tablespoons chopped chives plus a few whole chives for garnish, optional

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For dressing, in a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Whisk in 6 tablespoons oil, then stir in shallots. Set aside while you prepare the chorizo and the potatoes.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo and saute until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Leave the chorizo in the skillet but remove pan from heat.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and simmer until tender but not mushy, about 12 minutes. Drain well and while still warm but cool enough to handle, quarter them. If the potatoes are larger than 1½ to 2 inches in diameter, cut them into 3/4-inch cubes.

Put potatoes in a nonreactive serving bowl, pour dressing over them and toss to coat well. Add the chorizo and any oil in the skillet, eggs, chives, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Mix well. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Let salad stand at cool room temperature at least 1 hour for flavors to meld. Serve potato salad at room temperature. Garnish the center with a few chive sprigs, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Note: Chorizo is a highly seasoned pork sausage available in Spanish and Mexican varieties. For this salad, use the Spanish type, which is made with smoked pork and is already cooked, and not the Mexican one, which is prepared with fresh pork. Wellshire chorizo, available at Whole Foods Market stores, works well.

Betty Rosbottom is a cooking school director and author of “The Big Book of Backyard Cooking” (Chronicle Books).


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