Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No-Fail Potato Salad for Memorial Day Weekend

The everlasting potato salad: always up there with zucchini bread, lemon cake, grilled salmon and hamburgers as things that will never ever go away. Everyone has a generational recipe handed down in sworn secrecy; everyone has that special potato salad recipe that they bring to potlucks and smile gently knowing that it's THE best potato salad ever.

But the truth is, sometimes, there are those potato salads that just look (and taste) like horse puke. Yes, those kind smothered in so much mayonnaise, topped off with so much hard-boiled eggs, and mashed into such fine pulp it feels like you're swallowing a vat of lard-soaked bread. I don't particularly like potatoes , but when the CSA came around with a beautiful looking bunch, I knew I had to make the one simple dish that has never failed me.

I used an eggless mayo (only 35 calories per tablespoon!) from Trader Joe's that gives the potato salad a slight creaminess, but you can use low-fat mayo instead. Or even better, just use more mustard and top if off with olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. Try this for your Memorial Day weekend barbecue with said everlasting hamburgers, lemon cake and lots and lots of wheat beer. It's perfect especially for the American Craft Beer Week happening now. And just to make sure it's no-fail, here's everything you need to know:

Sweet relish, egg-free mayo, whole grain mustard, potatoes, white wine vinegar, onion, celery, parsley and spring onion

Chop celery and onions

Quarter cooked potatoes

Mix remaining ingredients

Keep away from neighbours

Konosur's No-Fail Potato Salad
Makes six 1-cup servings

2 lbs new red potatoes, scrubbed, skin on
2 stalks celery ribs
1/4 large red onion, diced yield 1/2 cup
2 tbsp sweet relish
3 tbsp egg-free mayonnaise (substitute with low fat mayonnaise if not available)
1.5 tbsp whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 stalk spring onions, chopped

In a large pot, cover the potatoes with enough cold water so that the potatoes are all submerged. Bring the water to a boil, cover and bring the heat down to medium-low so that the water is still rolling but not boiling over. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes and prick with a fork to make sure the middle is cooked through. Otherwise, cook for another 5 minutes and check again.

In the meantime, finely chop the celery and combine with the minced onions in a large bowl. When the potatoes are cook, discard the boiling water and run some cold water over them for about 1 minute. Allow to cool until you can touch them and then quarter them, leaving the skins on. Toss the quartered potatoes in the bowl with the celery and onions. Add in all the remaining ingredients and very gently toss to combine, making sure that you don't break up the potatoes.


Aleta said...

You know, I find that the lower cal you try to go on potato salad, the better it's likely to be. I think it's something to do with the light eating mentality, because I bet even if you subbed regular fat mayo in it would still be little enough that you wouldn't end up with that ubiquitous sludge you describe.

That said, because I've only ever tried to make lighter potato salads, I've had some pretty good luck across a few different recipes!

Amanda said...

I just read your comment and I realized I used ephemeral wrongly! Thanks for commenting and making me catch my doofus mistake.

Kirby! said...

I definitely prefer this kind of potato salad-- vinegary instead of super creamy. The kind of potato salad they have at the grocery store in the deli section scares me!!

Anonymous said...

Although we grew up on the heavy mayo tater salad, the lighter ones are a new fave now. You can actually taste all of the flavors. This is a good one.