We’ve had nothing but rain for almost a month – that is until yesterday. Even though it’s hot and humid outside, I’ve decided to take advantage of the dryer weather and grill some chicken for dinner (actually, the master taste-tester will do the grilling!).
For me, the perfect match to grilled chicken is potato salad. I’ve used the same recipe for potato salad for more years that I care to think about. It’s always a huge hit.
I peel and cut the potatoes into about 1-inch cubes. In a large pan (I use a 4-quart pan), I cover the potatoes with salted water, bring it to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cook the potatoes until they are soft. This takes about 20 minutes. When they are done, I drain the potatoes in a strainer, and set it aside while I prepare the sauce.
The sauce includes mayonnaise, vinegar, sweet pickle juice, dry mustard, salt, sugar, pepper, hard boiled eggs, minced onion, chopped celery, shredded sweet pickle and shredded carrot. Wow, that’s a mouthful! All told, this makes around 4 cups of the sauce.
I use a wooden spoon to mix all ingredients together. As a final step, I plunge my potato masher into the mixture five or six times. In the early days, I worked incredibly hard to ensure that the potatoes retained their shape. However, one day, the master taste-tester pulled out the potato masher and to my horror, proceeded to “mash” my perfectly formed potatoes! The result, however, was really good. It caused the potatoes to somewhat “soak” up the sauce and produced a creamier potato salad. From that day on, I’ve used the potato masher in the last blending step.
4 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons vinegar (I generally use apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar would work as well)
3 Tablespoons sweet pickle or gherkin juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon sugar
4 hard boiled eggs, whites chopped and yolks crumbled
8 small sweet pickles or gherkins, shredded
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
½ to 1 medium red or sweet yellow onion, finely chopped (depending on taste – I use a whole onion)
5 stalks celery, finely chopped
Paprika and chopped chives for garnish, if desired
Cook potatoes in salted water until done (should be soft, but not mushy), 15 to 20 minutes. Pour into colander; rinse well with cold water and drain well. Place in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise and remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine. Pour mayonnaise mixture over potatoes; toss gently with a wooden spoon until potatoes are thoroughly coated. Plunge a potato masher five or six times into the mixture, to lightly break up potatoes. Cover, and chill thoroughly. If desired, garnish with paprika and chopped chives or chopped parsley. Yield: 10 to 12 servings. [/print_this]