Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ode To Potato Salad And My Favorite Recipe

Who loves potato salad?  I love potato salad.  Almost every kind I've ever had, but I like to make it this way.  With just a little mustard for some zip.  I like shallot (or onion) and celery in it for crunch.  I like it made with mayonnaise with olive oil for the binder (such delicious flavor) and I like white potatoes.  They are my favorite.  You can use red potatoes if you want, but I like white potatoes.

Do you love potato salad?   Ooh doggies, I love potato salad - especially with a good baked ham.  Yum.  Yum.  Yum.  This bowl was made for a recent Sunday family dinner when I had baked a ham and what goes with it?  Why, potato salad of course.

Potato salad is relatively easy to make, and I have always made it by the big bowl full because I want left overs to enjoy.  You know how the flavors all meld together and it tastes better the second day?  Yes, that is why I want to make sure there are some left overs.

On labor day, we made a very festive holiday picnic type lunch for all of our clients at the East Nashville CoOp Ministry to enjoy.  Let me tell you, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of cooking 20 pounds - yes your read that right - 20 pounds of potatoes and turning it into potato salad.  I just did the same thing I always do in much larger quantities and it turned out fabulously.  So fabulously, that there was not one eensy bitsy tiny bit left.  Not one sliver of onion, or celery or anything.  Guess that means they liked it.

Here is how I make my potato salad.  Wash however many potatoes you want to use.  I used 12 for this bowl full.  Put in a large pan and cover with water.  Boil until potatoes are soft.  I like to cover the pan with a lid so the steam is trapped and they cook faster.  When the potatoes are fork tender, remove the pot from the stove, drain the hot water and cover the potatoes with cold water.

As soon as you can handle them, remove the skins by simply peeling them off with your hands.  No knife needed.  Place potatoes on a cutting board, halve and then quarter each potato.  Cut into bite sized pieces, about 1 to 1.5 inches in size.
Clean 3 ribs of celery.  Cut each rib down the center and then dice in small pieces.  I used on large shallot and diced in small pieces.  Shallot are a bit milder than onions, but if you don't have a shallot on hand a medium onion works fine.
If you like bell pepper, dice 1/2 of a red or green one and toss it in.  Peppers don't agree with Dan, so I leave them out.

Place all the potatoes in the bowl and add salt.  I can't tell you how much salt, because it will depend on your taste buds.  I start with some and then add if it needs more.  You can always add, you cannot remove, so use salt sparingly.  Add fresh cracked black pepper.

Next, add about 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I like mayo with olive oil).  Squirt about a tablespoon of yellow mustard or dijon mustard on the top of the mayo.  Now, mix, mix, mix, mix, until everything is combined and coated with the mayo and mustard.  Taste and see if more salt is needed.  Add the salt and a little more fresh cracked black pepper, mix, mix, mix some more and ta da!  You are done and ready to dive in.

Just make sure and save a little for later, or the next day.  Potato salad is one of those things that gets better and better as it sits.  It is such a guilty pleasure, I just can't explain it.  Just be sure and refrigerate it overnight.

We are enjoying some of the last late days of summer and maybe this weekend would be a perfect time for a cookout and a nice big bowl of fabulous potato salad.  You know how to make it, now go!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

I think someone should have had the decency to tell me the luncheon was free. To make someone run out with potato salad in his hand, pretending he's throwing up, is not what I call hospitality.

(Sorry, this quote cracked me up and I just had to use it!)

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