Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spectacular Potato Salad

I have recently claimed that some recipes are too good to be kept to oneself, and this potato salad is one such recipe. As many people know, the folks at America’s Test Kitchen truly know what they are up to in the kitchen. I love (love, love, love) my copy of Cook’s Country, which is chock full of the kind of recipes that grandmothers pass down, but better. They took the recipes that lots of grandmothers passed down, compared them, took the best parts of each, tested ingredients and cooking times, and recommend here the foolproof (in my experience) version with the best results. In the case of potato salad, it seems straightforward enough, right? Cook up some potatoes, cook up some eggs, mix them together with mayonnaise and some chives or something, and call it a day.

Sure, sometimes that works. And sometimes the potatoes are too soft, the eggs are too smashed up, the mayonnaise becomes soupy, or the whole thing tastes like…. potatoes and eggs, sitting in mayonnaise.

Enter Cook’s Country, and their genius potato salad recipe. I made it this weekend as a barbeque contribution, and the host jokingly asked guests not to take too much, as she wanted to be sure to have leftovers. It’s that good. Follow this recipe closely and I feel that you can not go wrong.

All-American Potato Salad
2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
3 Tbsp dill pickle juice
1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 celery rib, chopped fine
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tsp salt, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes thoroughly, then spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet. Mix 2 Tbsp of the pickle juice and the mustard together in a small bowl, drizzle the pickle juice mixture over the potatoes, and toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate until cooled, about 30 minutes.

Mix the remaining 1 Tbsp pickle juice, the chopped pickles, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, celery seed, mayonnaise, sour cream, red onion, and celery in a large bowl. Toss in the cooled potatoes, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes. Gently stir in the eggs, just before serving. The salad can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 2 days.

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