Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
Our celebration of National Barbecue Month continues this week with another side dish to accompany last week’s delicious mango and avocado slaw at your barbecue or cookout. We’re going to show you how to prepare a barbecue ranch baked potato salad using only a microwave.
How does this work? It’s simple – instead of boiling water on the stove or heating up the oven, we’ll keep the kitchen cool by cutting down the cooking time to eight minutes per potato. Since this recipe takes three potatoes, that’s 24 minutes instead of one hour!
We recommend cooking each potato individually because they need time to cool down a bit and soak in the butter before you add them to the salad. This method gives you time to prep each potato as the next one cooks instead of having to wait for them all to cool before you do your prep work.
The dressing base for this potato salad utilizes a classic barbecue spice rub mix from the store, fresh dill herbs, parsley flakes, garlic powder, and sea salt. Make sure your spice mix doesn’t include an enzyme or tenderizing agent (think acids, vinegar, citrus, etc.), as some premixed rubs include this for items like brisket or ribs. The one in this recipe features sea salt, paprika, spices, garlic, ground turmeric, and natural smoke flavor. I also have a premixed rub designed for chicken that includes thyme instead of turmeric, and it works really well, too!
Enjoy this week’s super-easy potato salad recipe with last week’s slaw and next week’s brisket recipe at the end of the month for a perfect Memorial Day weekend party!
Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
- 3 Large Russet baking potatoes
- 1 c. Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2/3 c. Real bacon bits
- 2/3 c. Sliced green onions
- 2 tbsp. Butter
- ¾ c. Sour cream
- ¼ c. Mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. Fresh dill, chopped
- ½ tbsp. BBQ spice rub
- ¼ tsp. Parsley flakes
- ¼ tsp. Garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. Sea salt
1) Rinse and scrub the potatoes under hot water for one minute with a paper towel to clean any dirt off of them.
2) Poke 20 fork holes per potato. Wrap each potato in two very damp paper towels. Microwave each potato individually for eight minutes.
3) Remove the first potato and microwave the second potato. Remove the paper towels from the first potato, and cut the potato into quarters.
4) Rub a little bit of the butter on the hot potato quarters and let them cool for a few minutes. Do this with all three potatoes once they finish cooking in the microwave.
5) When each potato is cool enough to touch, cut it further into small- to medium-sized chunks. You can then either remove the skin or leave it on – it’s a personal choice.
6) Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, fresh dill, BBQ spice rub, parsley flakes, garlic powder, and sea salt in a small mixing bowl. Mix together until smooth to create the dressing.
7) Combine the potato chunks, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, real bacon bits, and sliced green onions to a big mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and mix until everything is thoroughly coated.
8) Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold.
This energy-saving baked potato salad is a great complement to so many main courses: burgers, hot dogs, steaks, smoked chicken, or whatever you choose to feature at your barbecue!
Next week, we will share a delicious recipe for slow cooker brisket that will pair perfectly with today’s side dish!
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan