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~ The Gold Standard: Creamy Potato and Egg Salad ~

6a0120a8551282970b01bb07cebeb8970dI have a confession to make.  I am a potato salad snob.  I want the old-fashioned, down-home, classic, creamy and chunky "grandma's-type" with no hype -- nothing trendy or flashy with a grandiose name or gourmet ingredients.  My favorite potatoes for potato salad are: creamy Yukon golds or small "new" reds.  I always peel the golds and cut them into bite-sized chunks. I never peel the reds, leaving their soft skins intact, and, cut them into bite-sized halves or quarters.  I always boil my potatoes until fork tender on the outside, yet still firm and slightly undercooked in their centers.  I always add chopped celery and onion, I only use Hellman's mayonnaise, Grey Poupon Dijon mustard and Heinz sweet pickle relish, and, there's one more thing potato salad has got to contain:  perfectly hard-cooked eggs with creamy-dreamy yellow centers.

Time out from the Holidays for a bowl-game tailgate =

IMG_0321If December (more specifically the weekend between Christmas and New Year's) seems like an odd time to be writing a potato salad post, it is -- I can't quite believe I'm doing it. That said, Penn State played in the PinStripe Bowl last night.  When the sun came out here in Happy Valley and the temperature rose to 60 degrees too, I seized the day and served ~ My Pan-Seared Flat-Iron Steak Slider Sandwiches ~ with potato salad for our tailgate party. Just click on the Related Article link below for the recipe.

Time out for a great steak sandwich & perfect potato salad!

6  pounds peeled and rinsed gold potatos, cut into bite-sized chunks

1  tablespoon sea salt, for seasoning the water potatoes are cooked in

8-12  jumbo eggs, hard-cooked and peeled

12-16  ounces medium-diced (1/2") celery

12-16  ounces medium-diced (1/2") yellow or sweet onion

4  cups Hellman's mayonaisse, chilled

4  tablespoons Heinz sweet pickle relish

4  tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon mustard

1  tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2  teaspoons celery seed

1  tablespoon sugar

1  tablespoon sea salt

1  tablespoon white pepper

6a0120a8551282970b01a5116efb69970c~ Step 1.  Prep the potatoes as directed, placing them in a stockpot with enough cold water to cover as you work.  Over high heat, bring potatoes to a boil.  Add the salt. Reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook until potatoes are fork tender, but still firm and slightly undercooked in the their centers, 6-8 minutes.  This timing will vary depending upon how large or small you chunked your potatoes.  Do not Potato Salad (Cooked Potatoes) #1overcook.  

~ Step 2.  Drain potatoes into a very large colander and rinse under cold running water, until cool to the touch.  

Note:  Take your time rinsing the potatoes, you really want to lower their temperature to halt residual heat from overcooking them.

Allow potatoes to drain and "dry" (meaning free from moisture, not dried out), about 45-60 minutes. 

Potato Salad (Cooked & Chopped Eggs) #1 Boiling Eggs #3                                      ~ Step 3. Hard-cook and peel the eggs, according to the directions in my recipe for ~ A Little Thing Called: Boiling Eggs ~, which you can find by clicking into Category 15.  Pat the eggs dry in paper towels, cut each egg into 4 wedges, then cut each wedge into thirds.  Set aside.  Note:  I cook the eggs while the potatoes are "drying", and, I use the same stockpot I used to cook the potatoes.  These, my friends, are perfectly cooked eggs -- admit it.

IMG_0326~ Step 4.  Dice the celery and onion as directed.  I like their flavor and crunch, so, I use the full 16 ounces, and, I dice mine a little on the large side.  That choice is yours.

In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk together the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, Dijon mustard, 6a0120a8551282970b014e884f3418970dvinegar, celery seed, sugar and sea salt, until a semi-smooth (the sweet pickle relish has bits and pieces in it), emulsified sauce forms.  Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the celery, onions, potatoes, and lastly, gently fold in the delicate eggs, doing your best to keep them in large pieces.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very-well chilled,  several hours or overnight.

This isn't my only potato salad recipe, but, it's my "gold standard" recipe:

6a0120a8551282970b0154322ef1bc970cThe Gold Standard:  Creamy Potato and Egg Salad:  Recipe yields 20-24 cups (depending upon how many eggs you cook and how much celery and onion you add), which is, as pictured above, 12, 3/4-1-cup servings.

Special Equipment List:  vegetable peeler; cutting board; chef's knife, 8-quart stockpot; very large colander; paper towels, whisk; large rubber spatula; plastic wrap

IMG_6302Cook's Note:  If you are like me, you are an egg lover, and, that means that a "gold standard" recipe for egg salad is just as important as a "gold standard" recipe for potato salad. You can find my recipe for ~ Simplicity:  Creamy, Crunchy, "Classic" Egg Salad ~ by clicking into Categories 2, 14, 20 or 26! 

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014) 


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