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May 2002 Issue
Mom's Potato Salad
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair! In line with this month's theme of picnics, I have decided to present the recipe for my mother's potato salad -- a favorite at family outings. When we picnic, we usually bring burgers, chicken or ribs for a BBQ, or just take along some home-fried chicken as a main course. Just about anything goes with this potato salad recipe.

Food safety is very important when picnicking during the warm season. Anything that contains raw eggs -- such as mayonnaise -- is subject to rapid bacterial growth that could result in food poisoning (salmonella). Chicken may also be subject to bacterial growth. Therefore, it is important that you keep all perishable food cold to retard bacterial growth. In addition, adding a small amount of vinegar (1-2 tablespoons) to egg salad, macaroni salad or potato salad will help retard bacterial growth. A small amount of sugar will offset the sour vinegar flavor.

The recipe presented this month is from my yet to be published cookbook, Phil's Family and Friends Cookbook. Feel free to email me at with your comments and requests. Be well, and good eating!

 

Mom's Potato Salad

Mom's potato salad is a favorite with our family during spring and summer outings. This recipe can be divided in half if it seems like too much. However, it you keep the salad cold, you can bring the leftovers home to eat another day. Enjoy!
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 8 large russet potatoes, diced into 3/8 to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 5 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 5 sweet pickles, finely diced (sweet pickle relish may be substituted)
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Mayonnaise, about 2 cups, perhaps more depending on texture
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped (yellow onion or Vidalea onion)
Drop the diced potatoes into a large pot of boiling water. Boil until tender, approximately 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. In a separate pot, boil 6 eggs until hard boiled, approximately 20 minutes. (HINT: Allow the eggs to warm to near room temperature before boiling to prevent cracking. You can do this by allowing the eggs to soak in the water you will use for boiling for about half an hour). While the potatoes and eggs are cooling, dice the celery and sweet pickles. Set aside.

Mom suggests mixing the sugar and vinegar first and then tasting it to make sure it has a good balance of "sweet and sour." Add a little more sugar if desired. Mix the sugar and vinegar with the mayonnaise.

Next, peel and chop the hard boiled eggs. Transfer the potatoes and eggs into a large bowl. Add the celery, pickles and onion. Mix thoroughly. Finally, mix in the mayonnaise mixture. As the salad "sets", the potatoes may absorb some of the mayonnaise and stiffen the mixture. If the mixture is too stiff or dry, add more mayonnaise until is seems to have a good creamy texture, but don't overdo it. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until you are ready for that picnic, and keep cool until you are ready to eat. Enjoy!

  • Yields: 12 to 16 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour
 



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