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Classic Potato Salad

March 30, 2010

Sometimes I feel like my cooking skills are lacking because there are certain things that I feel like I should just be able to make with no recipe, and I can’t.  For instance, potato salad or coleslaw.  Those seem like things that you should just be able to dump ingredients together and produce something edible (if not tasty).  I tried making coleslaw on the fly once, and it was disgusting.  I’ll blame it on the Russian mayonnaise I was using.

So when Nate suggested we  make potato salad, I had to find a recipe.  This recipe turned out really well, and I think it’s a useful one to have around now that it’s getting warmer, barbeque season is starting, and those Labor Day parties are around the corner.  The potato salad is creamy, flavorful and kind of like the stuff you’d buy at the grocery store, except not really because it tastes a lot better.  Think of it as spring time comfort food.

Classic Potato Salad

(from Cook’s Illustrated)

If you only have celery salt, rather than celery seed, add in the same amount of celery salt as you would celery seed and omit the table salt.  It’s good to let this sit for at least 2 hours before you serve it, and it tastes even better on the next day.

2 pounds russet potatoes (3 to 4 medium), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  table salt
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 medium rib celery , chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons minced red onion
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon powdered mustard
3/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large hard-cooked eggs , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)

Place potatoes in large saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon salt, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring once or twice, until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.

Drain potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Add vinegar and, using rubber spatula, toss gently to combine. Let stand until potatoes are just warm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together celery, onion, pickle relish, mayonnaise, mustard powder, celery seed, parsley, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using rubber spatula, gently fold dressing and eggs, if using, into potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours; serve.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2010 6:25 pm

    I just posted my potato salad recipe which is very similar to this without the relish. The reason I’m commenting is that I found these fabulous little Red Skinned yellow fleshes Yukon Gold potatos that made just about the best potato salad I’ve even eaten. Found them at Costco. If you’re interested, http://www.highlandsranchfoodie.wordpress.com

  2. March 31, 2010 3:06 am

    You’re right–potato salad is totally spring time comfort food! This version looks really classic and yum.

  3. March 31, 2010 1:26 pm

    I love potato salad, in all its variations. This one is really colorful and looks tasty!
    One of my favorite potato salad recipes incorporates sliced cucumber, red peppers, and fresh dill. It has a bit of a fresher taste (from all the veggies) and the crunch is nice in combination with the creamy potatoes.

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