|Classic Classic: Served on Lettuce Leaf|
Recipe by Mom
In most parts of the US, it’s rare to have a summer party without potato salad. Finding two or three varieties at a potluck isn’t unusual. Everyone seems to have a favorite recipe, and mine comes from my mom. She started training me in potato salad prep at age 10, not a bad tradition.
|Mom's Take on Potato Prep|
My mom used either red onion or scallions in the salad. I tried a bit of shallot in my latest version. Just like in coleslaw, onions in potato salad will get very strong if there are leftovers. So if you anticipate leftovers, you can add onions just to the portion that you’ll eat right away.
|Veggie Additions to the Potatoes|
Mom used a very specific method to prepare the potatoes, because she disliked salads with big chunks of undercooked potatoes. IMHO, squishy potatoes can be even worse, and Mom’s method of cooking potatoes whole reduces the risk of overcooking. When cooked, the whole unpeeled potatoes are plunged into cold water, which makes the skin easy to remove. Mom instructed me to cut the potatoes into small (½ inch) slices or chunks. Some of the potato crumbles in this process, and when mixed with the mayonnaise makes the salad creamy.
|Mix in as Many Veggies as You Like|
serves about 6
2 lb. potatoes (I used Yukon Golds)
4 – 5 hard-cooked eggs, cut into ~1-inch pieces
½ - 1 cup carrot curls
½ cup thinly sliced celery
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 tbsp. chopped onion, or larger pieces to taste
¾ - 1 cup mayo
Salt and Pepper
Chives for garnish
Prepare the hard cooked eggs, plunge into cold water, peel, and refrigerate till cool.
Scrub the potatoes and cut in half if large. Place in a pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil and salt the water generously. Reduce heat and cook potatoes at a gentle boil until just fork-tender but not squishy, about 9 – 15 minutes, depending on size and type if potato. Don’t overcook! Remember that hot potatoes will continue to cook a little more after they’re drained.
Drain potatoes and plunge into cold water. Spread potatoes out on baking sheet to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove skin (if desired) and cut into small (~ ½ inch) chunks or slices. Put pieces into a bowl, cover, and transfer to refrigerator. To chill faster, stir occasionally.
Chop up and measure (or estimate) carrots, celery, bell pepper, and red onion or scallions. Chop up the chives if you’re using them for garnish.
When eggs are completely cool, cut into largish chunks (~ ¾ - 1 inch).
When potatoes are chilled, stir in carrots, celery, pepper, and onion. Add a bit more of whichever veggies you like if it looks like too many potatoes or you’d like more color. Lightly stir in chopped eggs.
Add mayonnaise to taste. If mayo is very thick and you want to use less, stir in up to 1 tbsp. water per ¼ cup mayo. Add about ¾ cup mayo to salad and stir around. Add ¼ cup more if it doesn’t seem creamy enough.
Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped chives.