I’ve said this often on my blog, and to people when discussing recipes: There are many variations to any recipe. I really believe that recipes, in all their variations, are as personal as fingerprints. And, in essence, a recipe really *is* a fingerprint to an individual. The same ingredients of a recipe can be arranged in such a way, that from one person to the next, the change can be drastic. Our inherent need for change, our intrinsic need for a singular or individualistic expression, can sometimes be articulated best through food.
However, because of the vast amount of recipes, and their variations, I sometimes hold back and don’t bother to post a recipe — why, when there are 308,000 search results, should there be 308,001? Well, my own take on a recipe is what makes this blog work, I suppose. So, I’ll start to post a bit more.. even though you might find 308,000 other recipes of the same title, none of them will be exactly what I post here.
To that end…
From about mid-May, to the end of September, potato salad was made often by my mother — served with almost any meal — from the lowly hot-dog, to a nice pork roast, as well as fried chicken, a good steak, or just beer brats.
Every summer get-together had some version or other of potato salad, and, even within my own family — my grandmothers, my aunts, my mother — all the versions of potato salad were slightly different — one put in onion, one didn’t. One put in sour cream, one didn’t.
My own version of this recipe is akin to both my Gram, and my mothers version — it contains a lot of egg – my favorite part of this salad. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always have, and as my family always does.
One quick note here — I do not have measurements for this recipe. It’s one of those recipes you never actually use a recipe for. I just do it by eye. I will try and give some bit of guidance, however. This recipe assumes you will use between 10-12 medium sized red potatoes.
1 egg to each potato – (e.g. if you are using 14 potatoes, use 14 eggs).
Mayo – about 1-1.5 cups up to 2 cups if necessary
Mustard – anywhere from about 1/2 to 2/3 cup
Celery — usually 2 stalks, diced
Onion – a medium onion, diced
Kosher pickles (the more sour, the better), one large, minced
1 medium red pepper, diced
Salt and Pepper, to taste
The key to this potato salad is to have lots of boiled egg — one egg for each potato you use. Boil the eggs.
Wash the potatoes well, and then boil until soft, but not mushy. They need body to stand up to the mayo – you don’t want mushy potatoes here. If you overcook them, make mashed potatoes and try again ;).
Allow the potatoes and eggs to be completely cooled. I usually cook both the eggs, and the potatoes the day before, and then refrigerate overnight.
Dice both the eggs and potatoes. The eggs should be a small-medium dice, whereas the potatoes should be bite sized.
Prep the celery, onion, pickles and red pepper as above – diced. Have the mayo and mustard ready to go in.
Add the vegetables, eggs and potatoes to a large mixing bowl, and gently mix together. Now, add at least one cup of the mayo, and 1/2 cup of mustard. The best way to mix this is without a spoon — use your hands. Cover the mixture with the mayo & mustard, adding more to taste as necessary. I always over-add both the mayo and mustard as the potatoes will absorb a bit before serving.
Once you’ve mixed it well, add salt and pepper to taste, and chill for a few hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to meld.