Monday, July 16, 2012

American Potato Salad, Revisited

Potato salad is a summer party tradition in our house. Of course, we don’t always wait for family parties to make it. Sometimes we just make it for ourselves, party or not. 

One of the fun things about potato salad, like other dishes, is that there are so many variations. Trying different recipes of the same dish can lead to some interesting discoveries. Some discoveries are that you never want to make that variation again. Others, like this one, make you change the the way you make. Some traditions are meant to be broken.

Peeling the potatoes is strictly optional. Don’t use sweet pickle relish as a short cut. The potato salad will be more mush and the pickle flavor too strong.

Equipment needed
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Measuring cups and spoons
Sauce pan
Mixing bowls
Rubber spatula

3 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into 3/4” chunks.
2 stalks celery, finely diced
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pickle
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons dried parsley

Add the potatoes to a large pot with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Toss the warm potatoes with the vinegar, salt and pepper. It’s easier for the warm potatoes to soak up the vinegar, increasing their brightness and flavor. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the mayonnaise, pickles, celery, onion and mustard together in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the chilled potatoes and eggs until evenly coated. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

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