Potato Salad

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Like a good pound cake, a solid potato salad recipe needs to be in your repertoire as a cook.  It's a favorite at potlucks, picnics, and cookouts.  For me, it's like mac and cheese- a staple and favorite in the category of comfort foods. 

It does require some advanced planning as most potato salads are cooked and then chilled, and the recipe isn't a 10 minute wonder, but it is relatively quick and most certainly easy to pull together.

My standard recipe is usually the one from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, the one with the red checkered cover.  Its base is one of mayo and mustard, with a fairly pronounced mustard flavor.

This recipe, taken from the May issue of Southern Living, has some mustard but the flavor is a bit more subtle.  As my husband described it, the flavor seems a little lighter and more summer-y.  I actually liked the way the dressing in this salad was a little more downplayed so you really noticed the creaminess of the potatoes themselves and the flavors of the other ingredients.

I tweaked the recipe a bit, and you'll find that information in my notes after the recipe.  I have included a link to the recipe and accompanying article for your convenience.

Picnic Potato Salad
adapted from the May 2010 Southern Living

4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes

3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover 40 minutes or until tender; drain and cool 15 minutes. Peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch cubes.

2. Combine potatoes and eggs.

3. Stir together mayonnaise and next 7 ingredients; gently stir into potato mixture. Serve immediately, or cover and chill 12 hours.

Cook's Notes
  • Because they are more readily available in this small town, I used baby red skinned potatoes.  They're a great sub. 
    • Always use the less starchy versions for potato salad so they don't fall apart after being boiled.
  • I omitted celery.  I didn't have any and didn't want to buy any.  So there.
  • I didn't have spicy brown mustard and didn't want to buy some for just this recipe.  I combined regular yellow mustard and Grey Poupon's Whole Grain Mustard in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Instead of sour cream, I used Greek yogurt.  It's what I had on hand and is a great substitute. 
  • All these changes, and still everyone loved it.  If you like the bolder flavored potato salad, add more mustard or even cayenne pepper.  This is what the husband who loves spicy things does.

The boiling of the potatoes and the mixing of the dressing.  How much easier can it get?  Make this for your next cookout!

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