When the lazy days of summer set in, I start thinking of backyard barbecues, family gatherings and picnics. I just love “make ahead” dishes for these get-togethers so I am not rushed or stressed the day of the party, and I can enjoy myself and my guests.
This year I have vowed not to serve the same expected recipes at my holiday and family gatherings and am putting my own spin on my go-to classics. I call it my recipe overhaul.
In my new version of potato salad, I replaced the mayo with delicious Challenge Cream Cheese which gives it an amazing creamy texture and far more flavor. Fresh dill and lemon lend a fresh summery essence. And the bacon… well I don’t think I need to explain that ingredient! I’ve selected a mix of red, white and “blue” baby potatoes to add a patriotic and festive touch. These tender skinned, creamy-centered potatoes are a real treat. I can’t wait for you to try this combo. Here’s to fun summer gatherings full of fun, flavor and less work!
- 1 pound sliced bacon
- 4 pounds (~9) washed baby potatoes (3 each blue, red, and golden)
- 12 cloves peeled garlic, divided
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 4 Tablespoons (½ stick) Challenge Butter
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 8 ounces (1 package) Challenge Cream Cheese (regular or Neufchâtel)
- 1½ cups sour cream
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons fresh dill
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 6 green onions, diced
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a baking rack on top and lay out strips of bacon.
Bake bacon for 20 minutes or until crispy. Cool on rack, remove, let grease solidify on foil and discard for easy clean up.
Crumble bacon into small pieces.
Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover.
Add 10 cloves of garlic and kosher salt. This will help season potatoes while they cook.
Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes depending on their size. Drain potatoes, discard garlic and let cool. Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces.
Melt butter in a large fry pan. Add onions and cook until onions are caramelized and very soft (about 15-20 minutes.)I Remember to stir onions often. If needed, add water to aid in cooking.
Place cream cheese into a large mixing bowl and cook in microwave for one minute on high to soften.
Remove and whisk in sour cream, caramelized onions, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper.
Crush the remaining two cloves of garlic and stir into mixture.
Add cooled diced potatoes, crumbled bacon, green onions and bell pepper.
Gently stir to combine all ingredients.
Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Yield: 4-6 servings