Older Church Ladies' Favorite Potato Salad
Submitted By Rand Creitz
I made potato salad for a covered dish supper at Forest Lake Baptist one Sunday PM and was cornered by three of the more elderly ladies. They paid me the highest compliment I've ever gotten; they said, "That tastes like my mother's salad!" and, "How did you make it?" I've been badgered to make that salad on every possible occasion since, and I don't mind.
It's more method than ingredients, so pay attention:
5# red potatoes, peeled and cubed
approx 1 qt. mayo; I use a good brand such as Kraft or Hellman's (makes a BIG difference)
1/2 lg. onion, grated or juiced
fresh chives, diced; about 1/4-1/2 cup, depending on how much you like chives
freshly made pimiento (recipe below), diced
1 doz. eggs, hardboiled
sweet relish or salad cubes, or you can dice your own sweet gerhkin
paprika or other ornamental but edible decoration, such as a thin julienne of cucumber
freshly ground white or black pepper
plenty of salt
celery seed, about 2 tsp.
Boil potatoes until done but still firm (I prefer a medium dice, say about 5/8 in.on a side, but suit yourself). Drain well and add grated onion, celery seed and diced chives immediately. This partially cooks them and takes off the hard edge of flavor that some find offensive. Add pimiento, sweet pickle and about 6-8 finely grated eggs. Let me say right here that folks that will swear they can't stand onion or egg in their potato salad have eaten and enjoyed this recipe.
Salt and pepper to taste and add several shakes of Tobasco Sauce and the mayo. Blend and taste, adjusting salt and pepper. Pay attention to the amount of mayo, the grated eggs take up a bunch of it.
When it tastes right, halve the remaining eggs and devil with your favorite recipe, garnishing the salad with them and the paprika or other decoration (fried chives? fried potato sticks?...roll your own).
Chill well and serve.
A note: you may use sour cream or mayo or a combination of both. Plain yoghurt can also be used.
Use any red sweet pepper; the word pimiento means "half-roasted", which describes the method of making it.
Coat one red pepper (or two, they freeze well julienned and put in a zipper bag) with your favorite oil. I place them directly on the burner of a gas stove and turn them until skin is completely blackened. That's a messy process, so you may want to pre-heat the broiler and use a sheet pan. When blackening is complete, immediately dowse them in ice and water, covering completely for at least 2 min. Remove blackened skin, clean and dice.
Rand E. (this ain't no low-fat recipe) Creitz
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones."