Last week, Chadwick Boseman hosted Saturday Night Live. While on it, he did a skit as his character, T'Challa, from the movie Black Panther. If you have not seen Black Panther yet, do yourself a favor and go see it while it's still in the theatre. It's worth seeing it on the big screen. In the skit, as you can watch for yourself in the above video link, he references potato salad in conjunction with the stereotype that white people generally under-season their food. "Aw hell naw, Karen!" has become the new viral catchphrase on social media platforms.
While I generally try to steer clear of stereotypes as much as possible, I have to admit to being a Karen at times. I have definitely been guilty of under-seasoning my food. And I went to culinary school! So, in order to not be a Karen, I decided to create my own potato salad recipe that would hopefully not be "bland-ass". And definitely wouldn't have any raisins...! And apologies in advance because this isn't a measuring type of recipe. You just go by what you have and what seems right. So I present to you, my recipe for:
Aw Hell Yah Potato Salad
Russet potatoes, scrubbed, poked with a fork like you would do for baked potatoes (I used 3 good-sized potatoes for this)
Eggs (I used three. Two for in the salad and one for the garnish)
Bacon (I used the very thick-cut regular bacon from the butcher's counter at my grocery store. Three slices. Two for in the salad and one for the garnish)
Dill pickles, chopped
Dill pickle juice (I used 3-4 Tbsp.)
Black olives, sliced
Green onions, sliced (I used the white and light green parts for in the salad, and the dark green for the garnish)
Mayonnaise (about 3/4 cup)
Sour Cream (about 1/3 cup)
Yellow Mustard (about 1-2 Tablespoons)
Hot Sauce of choice (to taste. I was going to use Tabasco but my bottle was really old so I used a bottle of habanero pepper sauce I had on hand instead. I used about a half teaspoon but it could have used a little more.)
Dried dill (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
Cayenne pepper (to taste)
Paprika for garnish (this is not optional)
At the same time, cook the bacon. I usually do the thick-cut bacon like this in the oven. From the above picture, you can see that I put it on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. I cooked it at 325 degrees for about a half hour, turning it over halfway through and draining off the oil before putting it back in the oven.
When the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it drain on paper towels. Place in the fridge to cool down.
When the potatoes are cooked through, turn off the stove and remove the potatoes to a large plate. Let them sit a few minutes to cool off a bit before placing in the fridge to cool even more. Don't cool them completely, just get them to the point where you can handle them with your hands without burning them. At that time, use a knife to peel the skin off and cut the potatoes into chunks. Place in a bowl that will be large enough to fit all the ingredients and be able to be stirred without dripping, as well. While the potatoes are still warm, pour the pickle juice over them and mix well, trying not to break up the potatoes too much. (I got the pickle juice idea from a coworker who likes to add pickle juice to her devilled eggs. I thought this might be a good way to season the potatoes themselves and really let flavor absorb into them.) Place the potatoes in the fridge and allow them to cool completely.
I was really happy with this potato salad! I'm going to give some to my parents tomorrow and I'll probably share some with coworkers on Monday. Beside that, I'm going to eat it all myself!
I would like to think that T'Challa himself would enjoy this potato salad, but unless he comes to visit, or I get a chance to go to Wakanda, I'll just have to speculate! But you can try this out and let me know what you think. And if you come up with even better ideas, let me know!