~ My Favorite Potato & Egg Salad ~
I have a confession to make: I am a potato salad snob! I want the classic Grandma's-type with no hype... nothing cool or trendy with a goofy name or fancy ingredients. My favorite potatoes for potato salad are: creamy Yukon Golds and small "new" reds. While I peel the Yukons and cut them into large, bite-sized chunks/pieces, I halve or quarter the small reds, leaving their soft peels in tact, which adds rustic color and extra nutrition to the potato salad (like I eat potato salad for its nutritional value). For the most part, I always boil my potatoes until fork tender, yet still firm and slightly undercooked in the center. This being said, I've also had pretty nifty results using roasted or grilled potatoes as well!
All of this being said, when developing my recipe for ~ My Favorite Potato & Egg Salad ~, which has remained unchanged for about 15 years, I did manage to stray a bit from my grandmother's original recipe: I like the extra tang of grainy Creole mustard (in place of Dijon/Poupon) and the extra heat of vinegary cayenne pepper sauce (in place of vinegar or cider vinegar). Yes, I am a potato salad snob, but please do not be intimidated by me. Start with the recipe I am giving you, adjust it "here and there" and create your own family's classic recipe!
6 pounds, peeled and rinsed gold potatoes, cut into large, bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon sea salt (for adding to the water the potatoes are cooked in)
12 jumbo eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
12-16 ounces diced yellow or sweet onion
12-16 ounces diced celery
4 cups mayonnaise, chilled
1 tablespoon celery seed
4 tablespoons Creole mustard
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce, more or less, to taste
4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon white pepper
~ Step 1. Prep the potatoes as directed placing them in stockpot, with enough cold water to cover, as you work. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the salt. Reduce heat to simmer, until the potatoes are fork tender, but still firm and slightly undercooked in the centers, about 6-8-10 minutes. Do not overcook!
Drain potatoes into a very large colander and rinse under cold running water, until cool to the touch. Allow the potatoes to drain and "dry", about 45-60 minutes.
Pat the eggs dry in paper towels, cut each egg into 4 wedges and cut each wedge into thirds. Set aside.
Note: I cook the eggs in the same stockpot the potatoes just came out of. How easy is that!
PS: Don't my perfectly cooked eggs look great!?!
Add all remaining ingredients, as listed.
Using a very large rubber spatula, thoroughly combine all ingredients, until a smooth, but chunky, uniform in color, "sauce" is formed.
See the next picture for a great look at how everything is going to easily come together:
Add the egg chunks and ever so very gently, fold the eggs into the potato mixture.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight. I personally prefer the potato salad after it has been refrigerated overnight!
My Favorite Potato & Egg Salad: Recipe yields 24 cups.
Special Equipment List: vegetable peeler; cutting board; chef's knife; 8-quart stockpot; very large colander; paper towels; large rubber spatula; plastic wrap
Cook's Note: This potato salad is truly at it's best when prepared a day in advance of serving. My recipe, as written, is easily cut in half to make less, but that is a mistake I have chosen to not make twice!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)