Cooking On A Budget: Classic Red Potato Salad

Monday, August 3, 2015

Classic Red Potato Salad

Most every home cook has a favorite potato salad that's been handed down from grandma or mom, but this is my personal favorite.

My mother always made her potato salad with plain white potatoes and it was delicious. However we have grown to like a potato salad made with red potatoes. I've learned a few "tricks" along the way and believe it or not, those tricks came from my daughter.

Hard to believe it's the beginning of August and many with kids will soon be thinking of getting back into the school routine or perhaps sending one off to college. Our seasons often seem to short; especially those seasons we love like summer and fall while the cold harsh winter season is the opposite - we never think it's going to end. Well in nod to summer because it's still here, we are grilling tonight. Barbecue sauced chicken and having this potato salad on the side with some grill-roasted summer squash. It's perfect eats for a hot summer night.

So let's talk about the "tricks" which really are helpful tips in making potato salad:
  1. Instead of boiling large chunks of potato only to have the messy job of cutting them after they cool and having the skins rip off and get stuck on your knifes blade, cut the potatoes before hand to the size you want to eat. Then keep a watchful eye on them so you don't over cook the potatoes.
  2. Make your mayonnaise dressing in a clear bowl or 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup so that you can taste test the dressing before you add it to the salad and also see if you have mixed it well enough.
  3. The combined spices will ultimately be evenly distributed throughout the salad if you do it this way.
  •  2 1/2 - 3 lbs. red potatoes
  • 3 stalks celery - diced (about 1 1/2 cups dry measure)
  • 1/2 large onion - diced (about 1 1/2 cups dry measure)
  • 1 green bell pepper - diced ( about 1 1/4 cups dry measure)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (use a liquid measure for this)
  • 3 hard cooked eggs
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley minced - or 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt - or 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  1. Get your potatoes washed, cut and boiled to the tenderness you desire. Drain well and cool down with a bit of cold water. Let them cool completely before dressing the salad.
  2. Cook your eggs to hard boiled, peel and cool down.
  3. Make your dressing on the side by combining the mayonnaise with all of the spices and fresh parsley. Mix really well.
  4. Dice up the onion, celery and bell pepper and chop or slice your eggs.
  5. In a large bowl combine the cooked potatoes, the onion, celery and bell pepper, the eggs and add all of the mayonnaise mixture.
  6. Blend with your hands by brining up the bottom and turning as though you were folding in whipped cream to a dessert until it's all mixed well.

There you have it - a classic potato salad ready for the picnic table.

This potato salad is really delicious. Perfectly cooked potatoes that still have just a slight edge (bite) to them along with nice onion flavor and crunch from the celery and from the bell pepper. The perfectly seasoned dressing includes lemony fresh parsley from the garden so it surrounds each and every bite. And the egg is just another element of flavor that combines so well with everything that makes up the salad. Each mouthful is a textural and pleasurable taste sensation.

There is probably 8-10 portions depending on how much people want. My cost was $7.39 to make the entire salad. 73 cents a serving is a real bargain side dish. And potato salad goes so well with other grilled meats and vegetables too. Plus if you have left overs it's great to take to work for lunches.
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