Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lauralea's Potato Salad

Those of you who need-need-need structure will hate this recipe. Those with any amount of imagination might be able to deal with it. My potato salad is pretty much never exactly the same twice, because I generally use what's leftover and on hand. It's a good formula, though, and it's always tasty. Post your own inventive add-ins in the Comments section so others can reap the benefit of your expertise : )

If I'm planning potato salad for tomorrow, and I'm on the ball, I will purposefully cook extra potatoes for it today. If I happen to have a bunch of leftover boiled, baked or roasted potatoes, I might be inspired to turn them into potato salad.

Here are my potato salad tricks:

Figure on about half a medium potato per person. Plus one or two. I always err on the side of caution and abundance. For a potluck, I'll boil/cook probably 6 potatoes. Or whatever fits in the medium sized pot. Cut cooked potatoes up quite small. I don't generally make a chunky potato salad.

Boil an egg per person. Six to eight for a potluck salad. Chop them quite small. I cut each egg in thirds lengthwise, then in thirds again on the uncut side, (to make 9 lengthwise pieces) then cut across all 9 pieces making small diced bits of egg and yolk.

I use mayonnaise or Miracle Whip-type salad dressing, (whatever's on hand) added until the potatoes and eggs are coated but still quite dry. I squeeze in a generous dollop of prepared mustard, add a few soup spoons of green relish, and a splash of vinegar if I'm using mayonnaise. With the vinegar I add a couple of spoons full  of sugar from the sugar bowl. I like to add Ranch Dressing as the finishing touch,(Ranch with Bacon, Peppercorn Ranch and Creamy Cucumber are all good as well), to hold the salad together and make it creamy. Salt, onion powder (if I'm not adding onion-y things) and lemon-pepper are all added to taste.

Thinly sliced radishes, finely diced celery, chopped chives or green onions are all things I add to the potatoes and eggs if I have them in the fridge. If I'm not using peeled, cooked, leftover potatoes, I leave the skins on for a bit of extra fibre.

If it tastes a little "flat", I'll add a bit more vinegar and sugar to balance it as needed. Sometimes it just needs a little more salt.

I've been known to add 10%-18% cream to make the mayonnaise stretch further, and the Ranch Dressing was discovered when I'd run out of mayonnaise altogether before the salad was creamy enough. Low fat mayonnaise and dressings work fine, and I've used Splenda instead of sugar to counter the vinegar.

Hope these ideas work for you!

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