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.