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Salads

Demoniacal potato salad

Demoniacal potato salad
Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

Hugo Liu says he hates recipes; the whole concept seems hopelessly antiquated to a guy who starts cooking by sniffing spices and thinking. Yet he has invented a revolutionary way of developing them. He has no formal background in food ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, 30 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
  • 12 medium new potatoes, preferably a mix of Red Bliss and Yukon Gold
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 24 medium shiitakes, stemmed and caps wiped clean
  • 3 tablespoons best-quality olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Large pinch sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced anchovies
  • 1/3 cup finely diced cucumber (peeled and seeded)
  • 2 green onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 handfuls watercress, tough stems removed, leaves washed and dried (about 2 cups)

Step 1Place the potatoes in a pot and add 1 teaspoon salt and cold water to cover. Cover, bring to a boil and cook until easily pierced.

Step 2While the potatoes cook, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the shiitakes with 1 tablespoon of the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread on a baking sheet and roast 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and cool, then cut each one in half.

Step 3To make the dressing, combine the vinegar, lemon juice and mustard in a bowl and blend well. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, then the mayonnaise, until smooth. Add the sugar and anchovies and blend well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4When the potatoes are cooked, drain well and dry. Cut each into quarters and place in a large shallow bowl. Add the shiitakes, cucumber and onions and toss to mix, then add the dressing and mix well. Let stand 15 minutes. Just before serving, add the watercress and toss to mix well.

Note: Adapted from Hugo Liu's "Gulp Fiction" project.

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