Monday, May 12, 2008

.perfect potato salad.

Hellloooooo blog readers! Wow, what a crazy, GREAT, weekend! I hope you ladies had a great Mother's day. As you can see in the previous entry, I was spoiled. My husband doesn't cook so for him to take charge in the kitchen was a treat. (Heidi, thanks for the idea of having him make me dinner and post it here.)

He forgot to mention the gift he got me. Oooohhh man. It's a GORGEOUS red wavy baker from Sur la Table. Wait.. let me find a picture.

(he got me the large one on the bottom!)

Saturday we had my big Amazing Race party. It turned out awesome. All of the business who helped were fabulous and so helpful and accomodating. I wish I would have gotten more pictures. The racers were *SO FAST* that I didn't get a chance to catch them at all of the challenge locations.

After the race, we met back at the church for a BBQ. Nothing fancy.. just grilled burgers, dogs, potato salad, fruit, cake, more cake... mmmm.. it was so much fun. Thanks to all my friends who participated!!! Love you guys!

So. One of the dishes I made for the BBQ was potato salad. I don't make it often because Jim doesn't like pickles and therefore won't help me eat it. :( So when I get an opportunity to have it, it makes me happy!!

This recipe has been in my family for a long time. My mom makes hers with sweet pickles, but I like dill so much more. Use whatever kind you like best.

Begin by peeling white or yukon gold potatoes. Cut in half. You don't want to cut these down too small because then they run the risk of overcooking.. and we're not going for mashed potatoes today. We want them just barely fork tender so they retain their chunky texture.

Put the potatoes in a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until they're done. Drain in a colander.

Put some eggs in a pot with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat a little and cook for about 7 minutes. When 7 minutes is up, leave the lid on, and turn the heat off. Let them cool for about 5 minutes. Remove lid and then put the eggs under the tap and run cold water over them. Peel and set aside.

Dice one medium onion. Put in a large mixing bowl.

Cut up dill pickles. I like chunky potato salad so I leave my pickles at bite-size pieces. If you want it more finely chopped, go for it.

I don't really use any measurements because where one might like more onion, another might not. Use as much or as little as you want. You really can't go wrong with this... yet.

Cut up some celery.

Put in the bowl.

Dice some of those hard boiled eggs. Put them in the bowl too. Make sure you leave ONE egg untouched. We're going to use it for the garnish.

Once those potatoes are cooked and drained, start cutting them up into bite-sized chunks. Put in the bowl.

Now we get to the part where you need to pay attention to how much you add.

Add about 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise. We're going to add it gradually because if you dump in too much, it'll be soupy. You can always add more. You can't really take it out once you've mixed it in.

I personally cannot stand mustard, but this salad really needs a little bit of it. I use only about 1 1/2 Tbsp of it.

Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in 2-3 Tbsp cider vinegar. White vinegar won't give you enough flavor so make sure you use cider.

The key to a good potato salad is the balance of sweet and sour. The vinegar adds the sour. Now we want to counter that with some sugar. 1/4 cup of it.

Mix everything together. Taste. If it's still a little sour, add some more sugar. If it's too sweet, add a little more vinegar. Add more salt and pepper if you need it. If the salad is too dry, put in a little more mayonnaise.

Transfer the salad to a serving bowl. Slice that hard boiled egg I told you to hold back. Fan it out in the middle of the bowl and put a sprig of fresh dill or parsley. Sprinkle lightly with paprika for some color. Cover and chill.

If you're serving this at a potluck or bbq and the bowl will be sitting out for a long time, put the serving bowl in a baking pan or a larger bowl filled with ice. This will keep it from spoiling and giving you all food poisoning. :)

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Catherine said...

Mmmmm I love potato salad! I use sweet pickle relish and dill pickles in mine. It helps with that sweet/sour balance you talked about. I'm glad you had a nice mother's day!

SplendidlyImperfect said...

I'm with you - it's ALL about the dill pickles!

Anonymous said...

i loved potato salad, it rocked ! thanks for the recipe...cheers! :)

KimA said...

I get rave reviews whenever I make this potato salad. Just awesome!