Thursday, January 6, 2011

Football Frenzy - Potato Salad


First off, a big congratulations to JULIE HYZY for her acclaimed new release, BUFFALO WEST WING. Chef Ollie is at it again! My copy is waiting by my bedside.

We've had lots of new books coming out these past few months:



Check out the side bars on the blog. Congratulations to all for bringing good reading to our fans!

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Okay, New Year's Day has come and gone, but college football lives on. The championship game is being played at the Fiesta Bowl.

I don't know about you, but I really enjoy a good game, where the players are trying their darnedest to win. And watching a good football game can make me hungry.

But not just for chips and slaw and deli sandwiches. I want a potato salad that sticks to my ribs.

Bit of trivia: Charlotte, the protagonist in A Cheese Shop Mystery
series, went to Ohio State University. (I, myself, went to a west coast college: Stanford. Go Cardinal!) OSU played in the Sugar Bowl this past week and won by a slim margin. Stanford played in the Orange Bowl and won by a big margin.

BUT back to the recipe.

For this potato salad, because I'm always open to trying new things - tastes, textures, etc., I used my basic recipe and added Mozzarella because it's just a fun cheese. It doesn't add a lot of color, but the texture is so much fun.

Trivia for 10: Buffalo mozzarella is made from the milk of water buffalos and not from cows.

Trivia for 20: There is a question as to how water buffalos got to Italy. A story I read on the Internet suggested that Anthony and Cleopatra had something to do with it. Wikipedia (which we all know is 100% reliable, right? LOL) suggested the Goths. But then, under the same history, the author suggests that the Arabs introduced them into Sicily and the Normans brought them north from Sicily during the medieval ages. A final theory suggests that Arabs brought the buffalo from Mesopotamia and European pilgrims and crusaders brought them north.

Note: References to recipes made with buffalo mozzarella surfaced around the 12th century.

Who knows what the truth is? It tastes great.



4 red potatoes

1 hard-boiled egg

½ cup cider vinegar

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon relish

2 tablespoons oil

2 oz. fresh mozzarella

1 teaspoon paprika


Bring 6 cups of water to boil in a pot. Slice red potatoes in half, add to water, and boil for approximately 20 minutes, until a fork pierced in potatoes slides out easily. Remove pot from heat and drain.

Pour potatoes into a bowl and pour vinegar over the potatoes. Let the potatoes drink in the vinegar as much as possible. {Some people prefer less vinegar, I love the taste.} After 10 minutes, pour off the vinegar.

For hardboiled egg, set egg into 2 cups of cold water. Bring water to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes and reduce heat to medium high for 10 minutes. Turn off water. Let egg sit for 5 more minutes. Pour off hot water and immerse egg in cold water until needed. [*I usually make a batch of 5 eggs or more. They seem to cook better.]

Peel and dice egg and add to potatoes. Add the salt, garlic, parsley, relish and oil. Stir until coated.

Cube the mozzarella. Add to the cooled potatoes. Serve cooled or cold. Sprinkle with paprika.

And when celebrating (like the "college of your choice" football game win), good drinks go along with the fun. My mother used to make a mean margarita, so I've given the recipe to one of my characters in A Cheese Shop Mystery -- Charlotte's grandmother. Grandmere knows how to mix up the drinks. It's a fun little quirk. Inspired by my mother's margarita, I made a new recipe that would taste great at brunch--or early football games. This turned out fun. It's tasty and colorful. Enjoy.



[per drink]

1 ounce Scotch

1 ounce Triple sec

2 ounces orange juice 100% juice

3-4 cubes ice

1 sprig fresh thyme for decoration


Mix scotch, Triple sec and orange juice. Add ice. Stir. Add thyme.


Easy and delish!

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If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well. And sign up for the mailing list to get in on the next contest...coming soon.

Say cheese!


  1. What an interesting story about water buffalo! I'd never heard that. And good tip about having more eggs in the pan for hard boiling. Now that you mention it, I've *noticed* that, but never really connected the dots. Thanks for these delicious-sounding recipes, Avery!

  2. The drink is closer to a scotch Screwdriver, but hey, if Granny's slammin scotch, she can call it what she wants. Actually, in a different life I was a bartender and never heard of this recipe. Is this original or did you adapt it from some other source? I'm a simple guy with mixed drinks (and lots of other things as well). The triple sec may be an overkill in the recipe

    I'm gonna vote for the Anthony An Cleopatra era Buffalo migration. They loved to bring exotic animals back for their parades and circuses. It probably took a few hundred years to find a person brave enough to try to milk a buffalo.

    Oh, the bowl games were great fun, too many of them these days, and college football needs a playoffs and championship series, but now time for the NFL...

    Go Chiefs and Saints


  3. I loved the story of the Water Buffalo never heard that either. This recipe sounds really good so it will be tried here at our house.

    Saints all the way baby :)

  4. Dave - I made the drink up. It really is yummy. The triple sec isn't overkill at all (hmmm but maybe there's something in there for a mystery...)

    Go 49' some future time-warp. :)

    Killer Characters

  5. Elizabeth - interesting re: the eggs, isn't it? And re: Wikipedia. And Google. I learn so much just by browsing. I'm not sure it'll all stick in the brain for years and years, but trivia is fun to know. You never know when it'll help with a crossword puzzle!


  6. Babs - I hope you enjoy the salad. So glad you enjoyed the Water Buffalo. I remember seeing a cooking magazine article..about buffalo not being seen on the hillsides of Italy and therefore not being the cheese of choice for a tomato and mozzarella salad, but maybe they were there at one time. Sort of like unicorns?? LOL


  7. I love this new version of potato salad, will definitely have to make this.

  8. When I was a kid I hated potato salad. Cold potatoes -ugh. Fortunately for me (though not my waistline), I've come to love it and enjoy all sorts of versions. This one sounds like a recipe I must try.

    I don't get to watch a lot of football, but when I do, I enjoy it. I learned the rules back when I was pregnant with my first and didn't feel like moving off the couch on Sundays LOL. But I'm more of an NFL girl... Go Bears!

  9. Dru - enjoy.

    Julie - the idea of cold potatoes can leave some, well, "cold," and I have to say that I would never eat a cold potato without some kind of dressing. What amazed me with this recipe was how the vinegar soaked into the potatoes. Yum.


  10. I love that you pour the vinegar on the hot potatoes. I make up a simple vinaigrette when I make potato salad, and the potatoes just drink it up, adding so much more flavor, regardless of where you're going with the recipe.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  11. Terry, I agree. Regardless of the recipe. :) Isn't cooking fun?


  12. I'm not much of a Scotch drinker, but I know people who would love your mozzarella potato salad. I'm sure I'll be trying it!

    ~ Krista

  13. Fun post! Love the water buffalo tale, lol. Chiming in a little late but just wanted to say I enjoyed all. Have a great week, Avery, and thx for the very kind mention of my new Coffeehouse release. I'm looking forward to your second Cheese Shop mystery coming in 2011!

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter