Friday, July 04, 2008

Our at home picnic for the Fourth...

Happy Fourth of July!

We had a pretty laid back day today and decided to keep dinner the same, having our own little picnic on the side deck this evening. Since we are fairly high up on a hill, we are lucky enough to have a beautiful view that allows us to see quite a few fireworks displays right from the comfort of home, so we are looking forward to spending the rest of the night watching the colors burst in the sky.

While I've finally come around to like potato salads that are made with mayonnaise, I do prefer ones that are a little lighter. So, I was excited to try out this Country Potato Salad when I came across it recently.

Instead of a thick, heavy dressing, this salad is coated in a delightfully tangy mixture of buttermilk, lemon juice and just a touch of canola oil. This dressing brings a nice creamy component, without adding too much moisture. Since we had to buy new potatoes for that Persian rice dish last night, we went ahead and just grabbed a couple extra pounds to make this salad. But, if you have access to those colorful Purple Peruvian or can grab some heirloom potatoes from the farmer's market, I would suggest using some of those to help the salad visually pop. So the potatoes don't get too soggy, boil them whole and then let them cool slightly, once drained, to chop them up into bite-sized chunks.

For some crunch to contrast the tender potatoes, a cup of chopped celery is tossed into the salad. I've never put ham in potato salad before, but Jeff and I both thought this smoky addition was a wonderful surprise. Don't be afraid to play around with the fresh herbs - you can switch out the chives for green onions or add some dill to replace the mint for different flavor. Finished with a couple chopped hard-boiled eggs folded in at the end, I think this rivals our other favorite potato salad as one of our top favorites!

Keeping with buttermilk theme, we also decided to serve these Buttermilk and Herb Marinated Chicken Breasts too. There isn't too much to talk about here - buttermilk, chopped pungent rosemary and a little salt and pepper are left to work their magic on a few pieces of boneless and skinless chicken breasts. If you think ahead, just plunk everything in a zip-loc bag the night before and stash them in the refrigerator overnight. If you forget, a couple hours would be fine for the refrigerator and if you are in a rush, you can also let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

The buttermilk kept the chicken from drying out and gave them an incredible tender quality. I loved the herbal note from the fragrant rosemary and it finally gave our new baby rosemary plants a reason to grow! To let the chicken reabsorb those succulent juices, let the breasts rest, tented with foil, for about 5 minutes before you serve them. We actually made about 1 1/2 times the recipe, so we could freeze some of the extra cooked breasts to slice up and place on our Saturday salads or to be shredded up for a recipe.


  1. I'm pretty sure that potato salad is my desert island food. I love it so much! This one's interesting - mint?

  2. Quinn - Interesting yes... the fresh flavor the mint brought was intriguing and quite delicious!

  3. I made this buttermilk chicken last weekend and it was so SO incredible! The rosemary was fragrant and the chicken was melt-in-your-mouth tender! We enjoyed it so much, we're doing it again tonight. YUM!

  4. Tasha - Thanks for giving the recipe a try! I'm glad you liked it enough to repeat it!