~ Melanie's Louisiana Gold-Style 'Tater 'n Egg Salad~
It is no secret -- I am a potato salad snob. Perhaps my Eastern European heritage has something to do with it. I come from long line of professional potato eaters, so, when it comes to making potato salad in general, I've been taught by experts. That said, I usually crave the classic Grandma's-type with no hype. Nothing cool or trendy with a grandiose name or gourmet 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). I always boil my potatoes until fork tender, yet still firm and slightly undercooked in the center. That said, I've also had pretty nifty results using roasted or grilled potatoes in a couple of my recipes as well!
That said, when developing my recipe for ~ GrandMel's Creamy Potato and 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!
1 tablespoon sea salt (for adding to the water the potatoes are cooked in)
8-12 jumbo eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
12-16 ounces diced yellow or sweet onion
12-16 ounces diced celery
4 cups Hellman's mayonnaise, chilled
1 tablespoon celery seed
4 tablespoons Luzianne Creole mustard
2 tablespoons Louisiana Gold cayenne pepper sauce, more or less, to taste
4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 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!
Melanie's Lousisiana Gold-Style 'Tater 'n Egg Salad: Recipe yields 20-24 cups, depending upon how many eggs you cook and how much celery and onion you add.
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 -- in reality, 20-24 cups is only 12, 3/4-1 cup servings!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)