Ninety degree weather welcomed us home from Nashville yesterday. Apparently Mother Nature is giving us one last summer hurrah and it’s a doozy. Perfect time to fire up the grill and send summer off with some classics-dogs, burgers, corn on the cob and POTATO SALAD. Ok, all I really want is the potato salad. The rest is just window dressing and for your benefit. I LOVE potato salad.
On our Houston trip our meal at Lucille’s Soul Food included potato salad. The potato salad was vinegar based and not made with mayonnaise. Yes, it was tasty, but for me, a good old fashion classic potato salad is made with GOBS and GOBS of mayonnaise. When I was a kid my mom would buy the little plastic tubs of potato salad at the grocery store. Sweet and tangy, flecks of red and green from the pimento and relish all held together with Miracle Whip aka as sweet mayo… Yep, fond memories for me. I also love the Japanese version of potato salad which omits pickles, has diced carrots, cucumbers, ham and corn instead and is held together by Kewpie Mayonnaise. So good. It’s the first thing I attack in a Bento Box.
For the longest time I was content with squelching my potato salad cravings by having it as a side with a deli sandwich. Never thought of actually making my own until one day my co-worker Devon brought her Mom’s Potato salad to a potluck. I had flashbacks of those long ago summertime picnics as I shamelessly stuffed my face. Devon, “I NEED your Mom’s potato salad recipe.” Lucky for me she said yes.
What’s in it? White rose potatoes, plenty of mayonnaise, hard boiled eggs, red onions, sweet gherkins, ballpark mustard (no fancy schmancy mustard needed), celery seed, Beau Monde seasoning and salt & pepper . Over the years I have tweaked the recipe, but, at its core, it is still a classic potato salad. I have substituted sour cream for a portion of the mayo, added diced celery for extra crunch or diced bell peppers for sweetness and color. If Wes makes it he will add a dollop of sweet relish for good measure.
The key is to boil your potatoes until they are really soft but not falling apart. When you mix it together you want some of the potatoes to stay in little chunks and some to breakdown.
If you like old fashion potato salad..look no further..this is potato salad heaven.
- 7 medium white potatoes, boiled until very soft, cooled and peeled, diced
- 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and mashed
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 3 sweet gherkins, diced
- 1 tsp celery seed
- a couple of dashes of Beau Monde seasoning
- ~1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 tsp ball park mustard
- juice from the gherkins to moisten
- salt and pepper to taste
- milk to moisten as needed
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 1/2 cup sour cream to replace equal amount of mayo
- 1/2 cup diced red or green bell pepper
- dollop of sweet relish to finish
- Devon's mom boils the potatoes whole therefore so do I. But you can cut them up and boil them which would significantly reduce cooking time.
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water (an inch above potatoes)
- Add 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it boils turn heat down to keep the water at a gently simmer.
- Whole potatoes will take approximately 40 minutes to cook. Test by piercing the potato with a knife or fork. It should be tender enough that the knife meets with little resistance.
- Drain and rinse under cool water. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- You pretty much know the drill..go ahead and make it your own! Add corn or peas or try it with fancy mustard, its up to you! I have even added diced chicken or ham to the salad.
- Place potatoes in a large bowl add mayonnaise and mustard first and then everything else!
- Mix well but gently so you don't break up the potatoes too much.
- Season, stir, taste and tweak as you want.
- Put your salad in the fridge to chill and to let the flavors come together.
- Garnish with parsley or chopped scallions before serving