Lorraine, this one’s for you

potato salad
Today’s Red Potato Salad

Today, we invited a couple of families over for a back-to-school barbecue.  Unfortunately, the weather isn’t really cooperating with us, but that’s okay, we’ll make the best of it.

My friend, Lorraine, specifically asked me if I would make [my] potato salad for a side as it was so fantastic the first time she tried it.  I giggled thinking it had been the first time I had made it too and promised I’d do my best to duplicate it!   My main concern in duplicating is that I don’t think I’ve ever been able to recreate one of my concoctions and I rarely measure anything.  She had broadly hinted she’d love the recipe though, so I determined I’d keep track this time in the event it actually turned out again.

To my surprise and delight, it did, in fact, turn out!  (Perhaps better than the first time)  My measuring scheme is a bit creative, so some of the measures are guesstimates:

To start:

  • 1 Bag “baby” red potatoes
  • White vinegar (about 1/4 of a large jug)
  • Salt

Wash and cut the baby potatoes into bite sized chunks.  They don’t have to be uniform, in fact, it tastes better if they aren’t because of the increased variation of surfaces for the sauce to settle into.  Boil the cut potatoes in heavily salted water (I use a couple of tablespoons, seriously!)  Boil them until they are just tender.  Try not to overcook them because they fall apart in the mixing process if they’re too soft.

When they are tender, quickly dump them into a strainer to get all the hot water away from them and shock them with ice cold running water.   Rinse the pot with cold water to remove any residue too.  Let the water run over them and turn them in the strainer for about a minute.  This rids the surface of starch that can make the salad pasty.

Now you will pour the well drained potatoes back into the pot and sprinkle about 2 TBSP salt over the potatoes.  Pour enough white vinegar onto that to cover the potatoes and let it sit for a minimum of 10 minutes.  You will drain and rinse this after and do another, diluted vinegar bath on the potatoes before adding the sauce.  Use about 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup cold water and enough ice cubes to fill the pot for the final bath.  Let this sit until it’s ready to dress.

While you’re waiting for the potatoes to finish, you can start the sauce, or dressing.  I simply put all the ingredients in my bowl and mixed it until it was all smooth.  In order, I used:

  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP white sugar
  • large pinch mustard powder
  • small tsp of each of the Epicure 3 Onion, and the Bacon&Cheddar spices
  • heaping tsp of the Epicure Lemon&Dill spice
  • 1/3 cup mayo or substitute
  • splash of balsamic dressing (this can make it runny so be conservative!)

Mix the heck out of it and give it the finger dip taste.  This was great for us, but adjust as suits your taste.  This ratio of liquid to mayo makes it just creamy enough to stick to the potatoes and that’s just how we like it around here!

When the dressing is all ready, throw in the well-drained potatoes.  Mix it kinda gently to avoid mashing up the potatoes.  When it’s well mixed, thrown in a couple of wooden spoons of parmesan cheese (or as much as you like!) and mix that in too.

potato close up
Creamy not runny

Finally, dice a small onion (I use only half as my kids are not fans!) and finely chop a stalk of celery, add them to the salad and mix it all up.

Voila!  You’re done.  It’s tasty right away, but even more so when made in advance and allowed to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Try it and let me know what you think or what you’d change.  Keep experimenting!

Danielle

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