Tag Archives: PEI Potato Salad

Summer Seashells Tablesetting

Summer Seashells Tablesetting
Summer Seashells Tablesetting

Weather permitting, alfresco dining makes for a pleasant dining experience. On Prince Edward Island (PEI), our season for outside dining is quite short but we make the most of it. Summer lends itself to so many tablesetting options. Living on PEI, surrounded by water, it’s easy to draw inspiration from the sea which is what I have done with today’s summer seashells tablesetting.

The color theme I have chosen is very soft and pastel – the pale blue shades to represent the sea and sky complimented by shades of beige and pale salmon pink to represent the color of the sand on the beaches and sand dunes around PEI.

Greenwich National Park
The pink sand dunes of Greenwich National Park, Prince Edward Island, Canada

We Islanders love our beaches! Many tourists visit our Island each summer to enjoy our miles and miles of pristine beaches – the pale salmon pink sand common to the north shore beaches in contrast to the deep rusty red shade of sand typically found on our south shore beaches. Our shores are bordered by the rich red-colored cliffs like those to the left in the photo below.

Darnley Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Darnley Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada

So, as you can see, it’s not hard for me to find inspiration for sea-themed tablesettings when I am so fortunate as to live in close proximity to such natural beauty.

Summer Seashell Tablesetting
Summer Seashell Tablesetting

I rarely use patterned table linens. I find they can be a bit tricky to work with because the pattern can be busy and somewhat limiting in terms of other decor items. My preference is to use the blank canvas of a solid-colored tablecloth and add color and design features through other elements like centerpieces, napkins, candles, and so forth. However, for a change (and a challenge), I have chosen a matching tablecloth and napkins that have a seashell theme.  They actually match quite well with my pale blue seashell dinnerware by Nantucket Home.

Summer Seashells Tablesetting
Summer Seashells Tablesetting

I would not use this patterned tablecloth for a formal setting but it is quite charming for a casual meal, particularly when we live near the water and when I am serving a seafood-themed dinner outside.

Nautical-themed Wine Bottle Holder
Nautical-themed Wine Bottle Holder

In terms of a centerpiece for a patterned tablecloth like this one, I recommend going with something very plain and simple, especially when this is a tablesetting for a casual dinner. What I have used here is a rustic wine holder which does double duty as a centerpiece and for actually holding the wine.  This is also a great idea if the table is not large – you still have something as a focal point in the table center but it does not overpower the setting. The nautical look of the wine holder compliments the sea theme and is a great conversation piece.

Summer Seashells Tablesetting
Summer Seashells Tablesetting

Folding patterned napkins when the tablecloth background is also patterned can be a challenge. Rather than using a formal napkin fold, I have simply knotted the napkins in the center and placed them over the soup/salad bowls. This keeps the look casual and also adds a bit of lift and color to the plain dishes.

Summer Seashells Tablesetting
Summer Seashells Tablesetting
Simple knotted napkin for a seashell-themed tablesetting
Simple knotted napkin for a seashell-themed tablesetting

I have kept the glassware quite simple using plain wine glasses complimented by my antique water glasses. The cutwork in these glasses sparkle in the sunlight.

Summer Seashells Tablesetting
Summer Seashells Tablesetting

Regardless whether you live near the sea or not, a seaside ambience can be created using seashell dinnerware and sea-themed table linens.

It’s pretty. It’s pastel. It’s summery and this tablesetting definitely has a distinctive romantic coastal feel.

Summer Seashells Tablesetting
Summer Seashells Tablesetting
This Summer Seashells Tablesetting draws its inspiration from the seashell dinnerware.
Summer Seashell Tablesetting
Summer Seashell Tablesetting

Now, it’s time to prepare the dinner! Curious as to what is on the menu for my PEI seafood dinner? I am serving PEI mussels steamed in Upstreet Craft Brewing’s “Rhuby Social” beer followed by my mussel chowder which I will serve with my homemade rolls. The main will be Island lobster in the shell accompanied by my yummy PEI potato salad. And, for dessert?  Homemade Blueberry Cheese Pie will be tonight’s finale! I think all of these foods will look great on this sea-inspired table!

To view photos of another of my sea-inspired tablescapes, click here.

Potato Salad

My Island Bistro Kitchen's PEI Potato Salad
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Potato Salad

One of the most popular salads in PEI in summer is the traditional potato salad.  There are several variations to this salad and, of course, the jury is still out on whether the potatoes should be diced or mashed! While the quantities of ingredients may vary somewhat and certain different seasonings may be added to potato salad, the same basic essential ingredients in most salads will be potato, egg, celery, onion, salad dressing, salt and pepper.  So long as you have these common ingredients, you can make a basic potato salad. Of course, I think PEI potatoes make the best potato salad (but, then again, I may be just a wee bit biased on that front)!

Potato Salad
Potato Salad

I like to use a combination of homemade and bought salad dressing as I find the flavors play well off each other – I use about 50/50 of each.  However, I have made the salad with just one type of salad dressing and it turned out fine. I also like to add a bit of sour cream, sweet pickle relish, and prepared mustard.  The latter two ingredients give a bit of ‘punch’ to the salad. The key, of course, is not to over-do the addition of any seasonings because the potatoes need to ‘star’ and we don’t want to do anything to detract from their flavor. In summer when I have fresh herbs in the garden, I like to add just a tiny bit of chopped fresh dill and some parsley.

The traditional style of potato salad is to cube/dice the potato and egg as shown in the photo below.

However, my preference is to mash the potato and egg, particularly if I am looking for good plating presentation.  This is because the mashed potato salad fits well into the bowl of an ice cream scoop and, therefore, looks lovely on a plate.  However, if you are looking for a more rustic style potato salad, then the cubed/diced potato style is the way to go. This is purely a personal preference because, let’s face it, if you use the same ingredients, it will all taste the same! All that will be different will be the texture and appearance.

Potato Salad
Potato Salad

As to how much salad dressing to use, this will depend on several factors so the amount I have given in my recipe below is a guide.  For example, the quality of the potatoes (how dry or moist they are), the thickness of the salad dressing, and/or the consistency of the sour cream can all influence how much salad dressing is needed.  As well, you may find that cubing/dicing the potatoes may take a different amount of salad dressing than do mashed potatoes.  Lastly, it is personal preference as to how moist the salad should be.  It should not be ‘soupy’ but there should be enough salad dressing to hold/bind the salad together.  I tend to like my potato salad quite moist. I recommend starting with a good one-half of the salad dressing called for in the recipe and then adding more to reach the consistency you desire.

Plan to make the potato salad several hours ahead of when it is needed. Refrigerate it for at least three hours or more to allow the flavours to blend.

Potato salad is very versatile.  It often is served as a traditional side dish for picnics and barbeques.  It goes great with cold cuts, lobster, grilled pork chops, barbequed chicken, sandwiches of all kinds, and the list goes on. In my household, potato salad always has to accompany a feed of PEI lobster!

Potato Salad Is A Great Picnic Side Dish
Potato Salad Is A Great Picnic Side Dish

The recipe below is my own personal potato salad recipe. I hope you enjoy it.

Potato Salad
Potato Salad
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Potato Salad

Ingredients:

1½ lbs PEI potatoes
2 hard boiled eggs
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
2½ tbsp onion, finely chopped
⅔ cup salad dressing (apx.)
2 tbsp sour cream
3 tsp. sweet relish
2 tsp. prepared mustard
¼ tsp sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ tsp fresh dill, chopped (optional)
1½ tsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Method:

Cook potatoes, skins on, in pot of boiling water just until potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Let potatoes cool enough to handle. Peel. Cube or mash potatoes, as desired, into medium-sized bowl.

Mash or dice eggs. Add to potato.

Add the celery, onion, mustard, sweet relish, sour cream, salad dressing, and sugar.

Note – Add about ½ the salad dressing to start, then continue to add enough salad dressing to reach desired consistency. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Add fresh dill and parsley, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve salad on a bed of lettuce. Refrigerate unused salad immediately.

Yield: 5-6 servings (2 scoops salad per serving)

—————————————————————————-

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.  If you enjoyed this posting and recipe, please share it on your social media websites.

Connect with “the Bistro” through the following social media:

Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook

Follow “the Bistro’s” tweets on Twitter

Follow “the Bistro” on Pinterest

Follow “the Bistro” on Instagram

——————————————————————————

Potato Salad

Yield: 5-6 servings (2 scoops per serving)

A moist and tasty potato salad that is the perfect accompaniment to any lobster feed, barbeque, or picnic

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs PEI potatoes
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • ¼ cup celery, finely chopped
  • 2½ tbsp onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup salad dressing (apx.)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 3 tsp. sweet relish
  • 2 tsp. prepared mustard
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ tsp fresh dill, chopped (optional)
  • 1½ tsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook potatoes, skins on, in pot of boiling water just until potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Let potatoes cool enough to handle. Peel. Cube or mash potatoes, as desired, into medium-sized bowl.
  2. Mash or dice eggs. Add to potato. Add the celery, onion, mustard, sweet relish, sour cream, salad dressing, and sugar. Note – Add about ½ the salad dressing to start, then continue to add enough salad dressing to reach desired consistency. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add fresh dill and parsley, if desired.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve salad on a bed of lettuce. Refrigerate unused salad immediately.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://myislandbistrokitchen.com/2015/08/03/potato-salad/

 

Potato Salad
Potato Salad

Food Day Canada 2015: A Tribute to PEI’s Great Foods

The Bistro's Food Day Canada 2015 Menu
The Bistro’s Food Day Canada 2015 Menu

With its beginnings in 2003, Food Day Canada has grown and evolved.  Today, it is a country-wide initiative designed to showcase how a delectable entire meal can be made using Canadian-produced food.  It’s a tangible and visible way to celebrate the wonderful variety of foods produced in Canada and recognize our farmers, fishers, other food producers, chefs and, indeed, those of us who are home cooks bringing locally-produced food to our tables on a regular basis.  I like to use fresh locally-produced food products which have not traveled days to reach us and, at the same time, it gives me the opportunity to put dollars into the hands of local food producers to keep the local food movement alive and sustainable.

Preparing a meal using Canadian food items is no great challenge for me since I use local food products every day of the year.  In summer, our garden is the source of much of the food we eat.  Off season, I patronize my local farmers market in Charlottetown.  We have a number of farmers who grow produce year-round in their greenhouses so it’s great to have that ready source of local, fresh produce.  If you follow my blog regularly, you will have read stories I have written on several PEI food producers.

Living in PEI, I have lots of choices of foods that are representative of the Island.  For my 2015 Food Day Canada menu, I have chosen items from both land and sea and, as a tribute to our Island potato industry, am featuring potato salad, an all-time favorite summertime dish on PEI.  Potato salad is often found at backyard barbeques, picnics, and other summer get-togethers across the Island. You can get my recipe here.

My Island Bistro Kitchen's PEI Potato Salad
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Potato Salad

So, today, I am happy to share with you the menu I have prepared and photographs of the PEI foods that are on my table for Food Day Canada 2015 along with the sources of the products. This is my version of a typical down home PEI lobster supper.

Food Day Canada Menu 2015
Starter
PEI Mussels steamed in apple juice, garlic, and a medley of fresh herbs
and dipped in melted butter
Fresh Homemade Rolls

Main
PEI Lobster in the Shell
PEI Potato Salad
Green Garden Salad with Cranberry-Pear Vinaigrette

Dessert
Glazed Strawberry Pie with Whipped Cream

Wine Pairing
Little Sands White Wine, Rossignol Estate Winery, Little Sands, PEI

Pre-dinner Beverage:
Product and Source: Rhubarb Slush made with rhubarb from our garden

Rhubarb Slush is my latest drink creation and it is my signature drink for summer 2015.  It’s very tasty and refreshing on a hot summer day.  We have a large rhubarb patch and it’s another way to use the rhubarb.

Rhubarb Slush
Rhubarb Slush

Starter
Products & Sources:
Mussels – Prince Edward Aqua Farms Inc., Springbrook, PEI
Butter – Amalgamated Dairies Limited (ADL), Summerside, PEI

Mussels are one of the main products harvested from PEI waters.  While they are used in different ways such as in chowders and even salads, they are most often steamed and eaten right out of the shell, dipped in good PEI hot melted butter.

PEI Mussels
PEI Mussels

Today, I simply steamed the mussels in a small amount of apple juice, some garlic, and a small handful of mixed herbs from my herb garden.  The key to good steamed mussels is to use as little liquid as possible to steam them as too much liquid dilutes their flavor.

PEI Mussels
PEI Mussels

I made a fresh batch of rolls this morning and, with a good slather or ADL butter, they make a lovely accompaniment to the mussels.

Main
Products & Sources:
Lobster – Fished off of Tignish, PEI, and sourced through MR Seafood in Charlottetown, PEI

Butter – Amalgamated Dairies Limited (ADL), Summerside, PEI
Potatoes – Jewell Produce, York, PEI
Lettuce – From my own garden
Tomatoes – Vankampen Greenhouse, Charlottetown, PEI
English Cucumber – Schurman Family Farm, Spring Valley, PEI (these are the absolute best flavored cucumbers I have ever tasted!)

We are truly blessed on PEI to have fine quality lobster.  The lobsters on my table today were fished off the shores of Tignish in the western part of the province.  One of my favorite places to buy fresh seafood is at MR Seafood on Thompson Drive in Charlottetown and that’s where these were purchased. Lobster may be eaten hot or cold. My preference is to eat the lobster meat cold but dipped in melted butter.

PEI Lobster
PEI Lobster

The potatoes that I used to make the potato salad came from Jewell’s Produce in York, PEI, just outside Charlottetown.

My Island Bistro Kitchen's Potato Salad
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Potato Salad

Our lettuce has been very slow to grow this year but I was able to get enough from the garden to make a green salad for our dinner.


Dessert
Product and Source: Strawberries from the Schofield Farm in Lady Fane, PEI

Strawberries are nearing the end of their season here on PEI but, as a finale to the strawberry season, I am including my glazed strawberry pie for dessert.

Glazed Strawberry Pie
Glazed Strawberry Pie

Wine Pairing
My wine of choice for today is Little Sands White Wine that comes from Rossignol Estate Winery in Little Sands in the Eastern part of PEI. Rossignol is PEI’s oldest winery.  Click here to read the story I previously wrote about my visit to this winery.

So, this is how I am celebrating Food Day Canada 2015.  What Canadian-produced foods are on your table today?

——————————————————————————–

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.  If you enjoyed this posting , please share it on your social media websites.

Connect with “the Bistro” through the following social media:

Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook

Follow “the Bistro’s” tweets on Twitter

Follow “the Bistro” on Pinterest

Follow “the Bistro” on Instagram

———————————————————————————