Po-tay-toe, Po-tah-toePosted: July 5, 2011
I think potato salad has a bum rap.
I bet most people see potato salad as just another summer side dish, along with the pasta and macaroni salads. And cole slaw for that matter. But why?
We eat french fries all year long. Same thing for mashed potatoes. And baked potatoes. Potatoes are readily available at every grocery store 12 months a year. So why do people think a chilled potato salad is just for the warm months?
Well, I don’t.
Maybe that’s because I grew up eating my mom’s potato salad all year long: with our Christmas ham, with our Easter ham, with hot dogs and burgers on the 4th, with grilled chicken on any random Tuesday. Literally all year long.
My mom’s potato salad — although I just found it’s really my grandmother’s recipe and that makes it 10x more special — uses red potatoes. Not the little red ones, but the larger, medium-sized ones. I had some Yukon golds in the fridge but in order to stay faithful to the recipe I grew up with, I ran out for some red ones. And as I learned at Easter this year, grated onion is the secret ingredient that gives this salad some extra flavor.
Mom’s Classic Potato Salad
– 8 red potatoes, peeled
– 4 hard boiled eggs, shelled (here’s how I hard boil)
– Onion, enough to grate
– Pepper (optional)
– Cracked red pepper (optional)
Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until soft. Not as soft as if you were making mashed potatoes but until you can easily stick a fork in them. For me, this took about 40 minutes. (Side note: there’s nothing like boiling a pot of potatoes in 86º heat. Go summer!)
Drain the potatoes and let them cool until you can easily handle them. Then cut them into cubes and place in a large bowl. Next, cube the hard boiled eggs and add them to the bowl.
Stir in the mayonnaise. I used 4 heaping spoonfuls. I know there a lot of people out there who are grossed out by mayo so add as little/much as you want.
Then grate some onion over the potatoes and mix. Season to taste with a little pepper and a sprinkle of cracked red pepper. My mom has never included these, but I wanted to give it a slight kick. My grandmother used to put some diced celery in hers, which I think would add a nice salty crunch. I might try that next time.
Let the salad chill in the fridge for a few hours, then serve and eat.
It goes great with hot dogs. And corn on the cob. And grilled veggies. And summer beer.
Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!