Archive for September, 2009

This post has been on hold since July when things got hectic because that guy Dan proposed to me and then we launched straight into wedding planning. Fortunately, September is a good month for barbecues, and this potato salad is fantastic for barbecues! (Picture will be added later – I forgot my camera at someone’s house last weekend, and that’s where the pictures are.)


My grandma made the best potato salad, but I can never leave well enough alone so I added a few things. I believe I have maintained the integrity of the dish, however, with the perfectly balanced flavors and textures of big chunks of red potato and hard boiled eggs, and a nice creamy sauce. We had this with Dan’s smoked ribs and our home made barbecue sauce and, let me tell you, THAT was a match made in heaven!

Grandma’s Potato Salad, with a Twist

1. Boil the potatoes, and then dress them while they’re hot. Here’s what you’ll need:

2.5 lbs red potatoes (as fresh as possible so the skin is still tender), scrubbed, bad spots cut off, and cut in 1-inch cubes (do not peel)

Large 8 – 10 quart stock pot

Enough water to cover the potatoes, plus about 2 inches more

1/8 cup salt (for boiling the potatoes)

1/4 cup cider vinegar (to dress the potatoes after they’ve boiled, but while they’re still hot)

1/8 cup olive oil (to dress the potatoes after they’ve boiled, but while they’re still hot)

  • Pour a few cups of water into the stock pot to throw the potatoes into as you chop them. My mom told me this prevents them from getting gray. I never questioned it; I just do it and the potatoes never get gray, so do with this information what you will, as I cannot explain the chemistry behind it and have never not done it.
  • When you have cut all of the potatoes and they are in the stock pot, make sure you have covered them with water, plus about 2 more inches above that level.
  • Use a larger stock pot than you need in order to prevent a big foamy mess on your stove. You should have at least 4 inches of clearance between the top of the water, and the lid.
  • Add salt.
  • Cover pot, and place over high heat.
  • Keep a close eye on the pot, as potatoes always look sweet and innocent, and then they suddenly boil over.
  • If you’re bored, hard boil your eggs and start chopping scallions as you wait.
  • As soon as the potatoes feel a bit tender (but just before you think they’re perfectly done), pour them into a large colander. They will continue to cook after you drain them, which is why you want to drain them before they taste perfectly done.
  • Transfer potatoes back into the pot, and pour the cider vinegar and olive oil over them.
  • Place in fridge to chill and marinate overnight.

2. Hard boil the eggs. Here’s what you’ll need for that:

10 chicken eggs (preferably brown, cage free, hormone free, antibiotic free, made by happy chickens)

2 -3 qt sauce pan

Enough cold water to cover the eggs

  • Carefully place eggs in pot, and cover with tap water.
  • Place pot on stove, and heat over medium to medium-high heat to rolling boil.
  • Boil for 10 minutes, then remove from heat, pour off water, and run cold water over the eggs.
  • Crack and peel eggs while warm (it seems to be easier when they’re warm, and then they’re easier to store in the fridge overnight when they’re out of their shells).
  • Store in fridge overnight.

3. Make the Dressing

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise (I like the Trader Joe’s organic kind)

1 – 2 Tbsp crumbled Roquefort (optional)

Fresh dill to taste, coarsely chopped (optional)

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • Place mayo, sour cream, and Roquefort in a small bowl and mix until smooth.
  • Add dill and pepper in bowl and mix.

4. Assemble the Best Potato Salad Ever:

Chilled potatoes (from step 1)

Chilled eggs (from step 2)

1 bunch of scallions, chopped

Dressing (from step 3)

  • Place chilled potatoes and eggs in a large bowl.
  • Chop scallions and add to potato/egg bowl.
  • Pour dressing over potatoes, eggs, and scallions.
  • Stir with a large spoon to distribute dressing.
  • Snack on some while you’re nice and hungry.

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