Thursday, July 19, 2012

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

This potato salad is the epitome of what a potato salad should be. It's that classic, all-American, slightly Miracle-Whip mayonnaise tasting potato salad. Yet, oh so much better! It's got a subtle tang, richness from smashed egg yolks, a slight bite and texture from chopped red onions and sweet pickles. And what's completely crazy about it all is that I don't like sweet pickles, and frankly, I don't like Miracle-Whip's flavor either {sorry Miracle-Whip lovers out there}. But for some reason this recipe has the right balance of everything and I loved it so much I could probably polish off the whole bowl.
Thing is - there actually isn't any Mircale-Whip in this potato salad, but I reference it because to me using that brand of mayonnaise yields a sweeter than I prefer dressing. I'm a Hellmann's {Best Foods} girl all the way. So when I took a look at the ingredient list for this salad and saw it included a bit of sugar in the dressing and sweet pickles to boot, I figured I probably wouldn't be crazy about it.
But the photo that accompanied the recipe in a recent issue of Bon Appetit sold me on making it anyway. If you click over and look at that photo I think you'll have to agree. Uh-huh. Told you. 
I love this recipe so much that I've made it three times this Summer already. It's received rave reviews and many requests for seconds each time. I especially love that it doesn't involve any hard to find, exotic ingredients, and it doesn't require hours of preparation. I'm also assuming it would taste great days after it's made, but I can't say for sure because we've never had enough leftover to test it.
The first time I tried the recipe I tweaked it a bit based on what I had available at the time, and I'll share those changes with you in case you find yourself in a similar situation...or simply want to try a variation.
I had a couple bags of those itty bitty, multicolor potatoes - red-skinned, yellow, and purple potatoes to be exact. The photo above doesn't show the purple ones because I added them in at the end for fear they would dye the whole salad purple! But they didn't. So I could have added them in with the rest. In the finished salad you can see a few flecks of the purple ones in was pretty cool having purple potato salad.
Because the potatoes were so little I didn't follow the recipe instructions, which called for peeling the potatoes before boiling them. That would have been a nightmare! Instead I boiled them with the skins on, then cooled them enough so I could handle them, and rubbed off the skins, which fell off easily after boiling. I would say you could use either method, but for someone like myself who happens to hate peeling potatoes, the rubbing method worked well for me.
What makes the dressing for this potato salad so darn good is the addition of sweet pickle juice. The recipe also instructs to garnish the finished salad with slices of sweet pickle. But since I don't particularly care for sweet pickles, I was light-handed with them the first time around. However, after deciding that they were quite alright in this recipe I added in some chopped pickles for the subsequent versions - which was quite delicious. Any way you decide to make this I'm certain you won't be disappointed, and either will your guests!
A few other Summer Sides I love - Dilled Potato & Pickled Cucumber Salad | Citrus Rice Salad | Macaroni Salad | Roasted Corn & Edamame Succotash 

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

{printable recipe}
Adapted from a recipe by Jenny Rosenstratch via Bon Appetit, May 2012
Makes 8-10 servings
This recipe can be made with any variety of potato - white, yellow, red, or even purple. If you're using medium to large potatoes you can peel them before boiling, but if you're using small, or baby potatoes I recommend boiling them with the skins on, and removing the skins afterwards by rubbing them off.

2 3/4 pounds potatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet pickle juice {from a jar}
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped sweet pickles {plus a few extra whole slices for garnishing}
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Add the potatoes to a large pot with enough salted water to cover them by a few inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer, and cook for 20 minutes {more or less, depending on what size potato you're using}, or until a knife can be inserted into the center easily. Drain, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and set aside.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sweet pickle juice, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper until well combined.

Using a large fork, or wooden spoon, partially mash the potatoes, leaving about half the potatoes in bite-sized pieces, and mashing the other half. Add the dressing and egg yolks. Stir to combine, mashing the egg yolks as you stir. Add the chopped pickles, red onion, and parsley. Stir gently to combine.

Transfer the potato salad to a serving bowl. Garnish with some extra pickles slices, and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve, or chill for up to 1 day.
Note: If making this ahead of time I recommend saving some of the dressing on the side to add to the potato salad right before serving, as it can dry out a bit after being refrigerated.


Laurie {Simply Scratch} said...

I love any recipe that has "old fashioned" in the title! :)

Kari Lindsay said...

I like everything about this potatoe salad. The partially mashed potatoes is intriguing. Totally going to try it.

Joanne said...

I'm typically not big on mayo-based potato salads but you've convinced me that this is totally worth giving a try!

Yumgoggle said...

I have a little of that "old fashioned" sense in me. Makes me think of the classics, of the surviving decades kinds of recipes. Of course, I'd love to try. Most of us, in one way or the other would want to reminisce that comfortable feeling of being at home with mom's or grandma's cooking. Now that is old fashioned. I am definitely going to try this ;) Thnks for sharing. I am hooked.

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