Baked Idaho Potato Salad

Bacon is not optional!

This potato salad won first prize in the Idaho Potato Side Dish challenge, one of the events at the 2011 South Beach Wine & Food Festival earlier this year in Miami. The recipe from Carlos Barillas, chef of the Burger & Beer Joint, Miami Beach. My favorite part of the recipe is when it says “5 strips bacon (optional). Optional? Really?

Baked Idaho Potato Salad

Serves 8

4 large potatoes, washed
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
5 scallions, sliced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake potatoes for about 1 hour or until fork-tender. Cool potatoes at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Coat a 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes and place in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently until mixed well; place in casserole dish.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until warm in center.

Suggestions: Top each portion with a little more sour cream and scallion slices before serving.

Note: To lighten up the recipe, you can substitute the sour cream and cheese for lower-fat varieties and use turkey bacon in place of traditional bacon.

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