German Hot Potato Salad with plenty of bacon…

German potato salad with a few additions
German potato salad with a few additions. My brother had 4th’s…

This recipe is a combination of one found in Luchow’s German Cookbook, aka Speck Salat, and suggestions from my dear mother from her own recipe. The version in Luchow’s is a bit on the extreme/ridiculous side of things as when scaling up for more than 2 servings (to say enough to feed my family, ie. 5 lbs.) it would require 30 pieces of bacon.

One thing to keep in mind is that this dish is most impressive when served fresh and hot with all the ingredients mixed together at the last minute. That having been said it stores and reheats well.

*read entire recipe including notes before beginning.


  • 5 lbs. red skinned potatoes (russets won’t retain their firmness)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1-1/2 lb. bacon ends and pieces
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups beef stock made from bouillon
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cup green onions, sliced along length into tiny rings
  • 1/2 parsley


  1. Boil potatoes keeping a close eye on them so that they don’t get too soft. The skins splitting is a sign that they need to be checked but I start checking after 20 minutes with a fork just to keep a handle on things. When the potatoes are done drain and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle the skins will slide off when squeezed with a small amount of clean up here and there with a paring knife.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking render off the bacon draining it periodically to save the bacon grease for future use. Once the bacon is nice and crisp and brown set it aside. Leave the bacon grease in the pan.
  3. Cook off the onions in the bacon grease until they are clear.
  4. Add the vinegar, beef bouillon
  5. Add back bacon grease to get a nice balance between the vinegar, sugar and bacon flavors
  6. Add salt, pepper to taste
  7. All ingredients in the dressing should be done to taste! You’ll want to experiment!
  8. Right before serving mix firs the dressing mixture and lastly the green onions and parsley to the salad and serve.

***NOTE: we ended up with a sizable amount of the dressing left. If we used it all the it would be too much liquid versus the amount of potatoes. We used it for a hot bacon dressing on spinach salad!

Luchow's German Cookbook - © 1952
Luchow’s German Cookbook – © 1952

Sweet & Sour Potato and Green Bean Salad

Sweet & Sour Green Beans and Potato salad
Sweet & Sour Green Beans and Potato salad

This recipe is still in the refinement phase which means that I may come back and adjust the amounts slightly in order to “perfect” it. Please check back as I like to try things out multiple times before calling them done.

  • 2 lb. red skinned potatoes, cut into quarters lengthwise  and the cut across to make wedges. Don’t over cook, keep them al dente!
  • 2 lb. green beans, ends trimmed, steamed
  • 3 good sized shallots, minced fine
  • 1 lb. bacon (I just tried this new California bacon with no nitrites and was very happy with the flavor and quality)
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I cook the bacon, potatoes and green beans ahead. I have them in a large shallow baking dish in the oven to keep them warm while I prepare the dressing. The shallots go in the pan with the olive oil. Once the shallots are cooked clear on a medium heat add the vinegar then sugar. Pull the pan out of the oven add the dressing and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. Cut the bacon into good sized chunks so it retains its flavor next to the dressing and only add it just before serving, same with the parsley.

Garlic Bread

Simple, fast, delicious. Goes great with soups, stews and Italian food.

  • Crusty sourdough bread
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. heaping) fresh chopped parsley

Either let the butter sit out to soften or cut it up with a knife and cream it with a fork. Add the other ingredients and mix. Spread on crusty sourdough and toast in the toaster oven. Looks and tastes amazing. For a treat add some fresh garlic as well.

Turkey Bone Broth Soup

turkey-both-broth-soup-2016_picmonkeyedThis batch of soup actually contains bones from chickens and turkeys that I collected over the recent months. I have about two freezer bags full of both bones and vegetable trimmings like celery and carrot ends, green onion ends and parsley stems. I try to squeeze the air out every time I reseal the bag to keep the ice buildup down as the air at the beach is moist.

I put them in a stock pot and cover them with water added very little salt and pepper and cook them for 24 hours. The next step is to pour off the broth through a colander and into a bowl so that all of the bone and vegetable mass is strained out. I do set aside the bone/vegetable leftovers taking out all of the large pieces and picking through the remaining meat to return to the stock.

I bring the stock back up to a boil and add the following chopped vegetables one and 1/2 onions, one bag of carrots, one entire head celery 1/3 of a bunch of parsley, choppped salt and pepper thyme and chicken bouillon to taste. On the side I cook four cups of brown jasmine rice separately and I only added 3 of the cups of cooked rice that at the very end before serving. Careful, the rice will soak up some liquid.

The turkey meat was very lean and there was not much fat so I added a small amount of olive oil. In addition I included 1/4 cup of malt vinegar to extend the flavor pallet. You always have to be careful with the amount of vinegar that you add to recipes, go slowly and taste frequently as you can’t take it back out once its added.

You had better be prepared to either store a large amount of soup , give it away to friends and family, or have a large party.

  • 1-1/2 large yellow onions chopped
  • 1 bag carrots, peeled and cut into coins
  • 1 head celery, sliced thin to cook quickly
  • 3 cups brown jasmine rice, fully cooked
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 5 tbsp. (heaping) of Knorr chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsely
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar (could be apple cider vinegar as well)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Vegetarian Southwestern Breakfast Pie

Vegetarian Southwestern Breakfast Pie with soyrizo
Vegetarian Southwestern Breakfast Pie with soyrizo

This is delicious and reheats in the microwave for a super-fast, very healthy breakfast, it’s vegetarian!

  • 4 medium potatoes, boiled and sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • one package soyrizo
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano (finely ground)
  • 12  eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 heaping tbsp. chunky salsa (as spicy as you like)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. package of Mexican cheese blend

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Sautee onion in olive oil until clear then add soyrizo, cumin and oregano and brown, set aside. In a bowl crack 12 eggs and whisk in baking powder, flour, milk and salsa.

Place potatoes evenly spread out in your shallow baking dish. Add chorizo and onion mix evenly across this. Put in 4 oz. of the cheese then add the egg mixture and top with the final 4 oz. of cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.




Potatoes Au Gratin

I believe I got this recipe from my sister Janeen.

  • 2 lb. potatoes peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 tblsp. butter
  • 2 tblsp. flour
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Rosemary
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 cup Gruyere divided into 2 portions
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 cup beef stock

Pre-heat oven to 350. In sauce pan on stove melt butter, add flour, garlic, shallots, rosemary, pepper, stock, salt, cream but do NOT boil. Add the first half of the cheese. Layer potatoes in a greased baking dish. Pour mixture over the potatoes, sprinkle second portion of Gruyere on top. Bake for an hour and 30 minutes or until golden brown in places and the potatoes are done when tested with a fork.

Transylvanian Goulash

Transylvanian Goulash
Transylvanian Goulash

This recipe was shared with me by my Mom, Ann Barczay Sloan.


  • Bacon grease
  • 1 lg. yellow onion diced into 3/8″ cubes
  • 1 lg. green bell pepper, de-seeded, cleaned and diced
  • 1-1/2 lb. Pork shoulder cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Paprika (My Mom recommends Szeged brand, sweet, not hot.)
  • 2 cans sauerkraut, drained
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 350. Brown the pork in bacon grease, salt and pepper the meat then add in onions and bell peppers until onions are translucent. Add garlic and stir that until it is cooked. Add paprika to cover/color meat, its an eyeball thing. Truth be told its hard to add too much paprika. Add caraway seeds and bay leaves then add the sauerkraut. Bring to a low boil, cover it and cook for 5 minutes. Move to oven for 40 minutes. 10 minutes before the time is up stir in the sour cream. Serve with boiled potatoes.

Hungarian Stuffed Peppers

The filling portion has actually been pulled OUT of the pepper here.
The filling portion has actually been pulled OUT of the pepper here.

My Mom, Ann Barczay Sloan, shared this recipe with me.


  • 6 bell peppers (green, red, a mix, all OK)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 5 tblsp. cooked rice
  • 3 tblsp. tomato sauce added to meat
  • 1 can tomato sauce (minus the 3 tblsp. used above)
  • 2 tsp. sugar (for sauce)
  • 1 tsp. paprika (for sauce)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the ground beef, pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, cooked rice and 3 tblsp. of tomato sauce in a mixing bowl. Cut the tops off of the pepper and clean out seeds and extra veins of white material to maximize the available room for stuffing.

Stuff all of your peppers and place in a baking dish.

In a sauce pan on the stove pour remaining tomato sauce, sugar and paprika and heat until very hot/steaming and then ladle or pour over the peppers carefully so that they are uniformly covered/coated.

About 15 minutes into the 30 minutes cooking time you can open the oven and baste the peppers using the sauce (see photo below) that’s forming around them. Actually you could baste as many times as you’d like and they’ll probably be even more delicious. These are done when the peppers are soft but still hold together.

NOTES: this can be served with boiled potatoes, the sauce goes great with them.


Currant Cookies

Can’t claim this as original, it comes from the Sunmaid site, but I love them just the same!

These buttery-sweet sugar cookies are an old-fashioned treat. Toast the pecans for an extra nutty flavor; add lemon zest for a citrus note.


  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Sun-Maid Zante Currants
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • Zest of one lemon (optional)


PREHEAT oven to 350º F.

BEAT butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well.

STIR together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Gradually beat into butter mixture until well blended.

ADD currants, pecans and zest if using. Mix well.

DROP by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on a lightly buttered or parchment lined baking sheet.

BAKE 12-14 minutes until golden brown on edges. Remove with a spatula to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 3 dozen.

El Toro Bravo-style Roast Chicken

this is the chicken with the spice mix brushed on, on our vertical roaster the better to simulate the rotisserie at Toro Bravo

This is my experimental attempt to duplicate the recipe of my favorite Mexican-style roast chicken restaurant El Toro Bravo on 19th Street in Costa Mesa.

Latest ingredient list as of 2.3.13:

  • juice of one medium lemon, seeds removed
  • 2 tsp. ground garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 2 tsp. pasilla chile powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 3 tsp. Chef Merito Sazonador para Carne
  • 1 tsp. salt

I brushed this on one large chicken and put it in at 350 degrees.

This is the spice paste/sauce that results from mixing all the ingredients.

Completed Chicken

My second attempt. Looking and tasting good. I feel like I need at minimum 3 attempts to get a recipe down.