Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Southern Style Potato Salad

A basic and traditional southern potato salad - simply potatoes, onion, celery, eggs, just a bit of mustard, some pickle and mayonnaise, shown here plated with my BBQ menu, including grilled ribs, baked beans, macaroni salad, marinated tomatoes and Silver Queen corn on the cob.
A basic and traditional southern potato salad - simply potatoes, onion, celery, eggs, just a bit of mustard, some pickle and mayonnaise, shown here plated with my BBQ menu, including grilled ribs, baked beans, macaroni salad, marinated tomatoes and Silver Queen corn on the cob.

Southern Style Potato Salad

Potato salad reminds me so much of my Mama. This recipe is basically the same as hers - simple, basic, southern potato salad. Nothin' fancy or highfalutin' - just potatoes, eggs, onion, celery, a little bit of mustard, some pickle relish, salt & pepper. Oh, and mayo, of course!

Now I know some folks in the south like to use Miracle Whip salad dressing in their potato salad - but that is one condiment that never graced the doors of our house when I was growin' up. I don't know why for sure, except that Mama said that Miracle Whip wasn't mayonnaise and that was that, but I do know that I bought it once when I was older just to see what all the hype was about, and it was far too sweet for me. Can you imagine? Me? Saying that? But it's true. Not a thing wrong with Miracle Whip - personally I just don't want my mayo sweet, well... unless I'm intentionally making it sweet as a salad dressing that is!

Mayonnaise matters, and it should be real and savory.

No, Mama was a Kraft Real Mayonnaise woman and though I also love Kraft, Blue Plate and Duke's, I'm more of a Hellman's mayo gal these days. I'm pretty sure that Mama would approve. I used Duke's for years, but then went back to Hellman's one day after I really enjoyed some leftover potato salad from my daughter in law and found out it was Hellman's that made the texture so good. It's reminiscent of a sour cream mayo dressings and well, super creamy! I was re-sold on Hellman's again.

On occasion I go back to Duke's and sometimes I use the lighter versions these days, but never fat free. I mean, mayonnaise is a fat. Why on earth would you use a fat free version? What is fat free mayo anyways? I don't get it. Kind of like that fat free half and half. Half and half is half milk, half cream. How could that be fat free and still be half and half?

When Mama would make her potato salad, I could smell it across the house.

She'd mix it all together, give it a taste, smooth out the top all nice and flat, cover the bowl with some plastic wrap so tight that you could bounce a coin off the top of it, and stick it in the fridge to cool in time for dinner.

None of this is why potato salad reminds me of my Mama though. It's because every time she made it, and I mean every single time, I would sneak in the kitchen as soon as she finished makin' it, snatch it quick outta that fridge, grab a big ole serving spoon out of the drawer, sneak out a huge scoop of it all hot and creamy still, grab another clean utensil of some sort, and smooth over that top again, so as to cover up the evidence.


Than I'd run off to the other room with that big spoon and slowly savor that potato salad, because you see, while I liked it chilled just fine, I liked it best when it was warm and freshly made. Every once in awhile Mama would catch me like she had eyes in the back of her head or somethin' and she'd holler out my first and middle name like southern Mama's do when you're in trouble, and come and search me out. But, then she'd just smile at me that way that Mamas do, because she knew that was just one of my many little quirks.

{And ssssh... don't tell Mama, but I like to sprinkle just a little bit of paprika on top, just cuz it puts some nice color in with all that white.}


Mind your manners.

{Southern Style Hissy Fit Warning:} If you have to include the phrase "No offense intended, just my comment" in something you are going to post on social media, to someone's blog, or send to them in an email, then you probably ought to just backtrack and rethink sharing.
That happened when Dixie wrote to me "from one Mississippi gal to another, I never put sweet pickle in my potato salad. Our family always used dill pickle and turned up our noses at Yankee sweet pickle potato salad. No offense intended, just my comment."
There is a lot wrong with that comment, but because they seem to imply that the way my Southern Mama made her potato salad - using sweet pickle relish - was wrong, simply because it was different from the way their Mama made it, so yeah darlin'... your comment is offensive!

Bottom line?

You can use sweet pickle relish or dill pickle relish in any potato or pasta salad.

It's really just a personal preference. I find that a lot of folks in the south lean toward sweet relish. It's just a good contrast with the potatoes. For some reason, those who grew up with dill pickle relish in their potato salad, seem to think sweet is out of place. Wrong. Whatever you grew up with, is what you're accustomed to, and most likely, what you also prefer as an adult. Doesn't make you a better potato salad maker, no matter where you live, and if you have a feeling that you need to denigrate somebody else's way, you probably should self-censor. {tucking away soapbox}

Here's how to make potato salad the way I do, and the way my Mama made it.

Rinse and scrub potatoes and place whole in a large pot of salted water; bring to a boil. {okay... Mama peeled and cut her potatoes like most all of us have done. I have found that cooking them whole, keeps them dryer and less likely to absorb water as they boil.) Boil until tender but still firm, about 15-20 minutes. Test by piercing with a sharp knife.


Remove the potatoes from the hot water and set aside until cool enough to handle, but still warm. Peel


Cut into chunks (or cubes if you prefer) and place into a large serving bowl. Add the onion, celery, salt, pepper and eggs; toss.


In a separate small bowl, add 1 cup of the mayonnaise, mustard and pickle relish.


And mix until blended.


Spoon over the potatoes while they are still warm.


Toss again until all the potatoes are coated, adding additional mayonnaise as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Transfer to storage or serving container and sprinkle top lightly with paprika, if desired.


Be sure to check out my Cajun Potato Salad. It's a different but delicious potato salad I think you'll love. I also have a Cold Baked Potato Salad that I'm sure you're gonna love too. Made from baked potatoes that are sliced into rounds and tossed with a ranch dressing ... oh my goodness it is yummy too!



If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!





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Recipe: Southern Style Potato Salad

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 30 min
Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes (about 7 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup minced onion, minced
  • 1 large stalk (rib) celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups real mayonnaise (Hellman's or Duke's recommended)
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sweet or dill pickle or pickle relish
  • Paprika to garnish, if desired, optional
Instructions

Rinse and scrub potatoes and place whole in a large pot of salted water; bring to a boil. Boil until tender but still firm, about 15-20 minutes. Test by piercing with a sharp knife.

Remove the potatoes from the hot water and set aside until cool enough to handle, but still warm. Peel and cut into chunks (or cubes if you prefer) and place into a large serving bowl.

Add the onion, celery, salt, pepper and eggs; toss. In a separate small bowl, mix together 1 cup of the mayonnaise, mustard and sweet pickle, and spoon over the potatoes while they are still warm; toss again until all the potatoes are coated, adding more mayonnaise as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Sprinkle top lightly with paprika, if desired.

Cook’s Notes: For a little extra flavor boost, mix in 2 teaspoons cider vinegar and 1/4 cup chicken stock or broth, with the mayo blend. I use russets the most but it's okay to substitute your favorite potato. Mama always used Kraft, but I like Hellman's, Duke's and Blue Plate in that order, though any good real mayonnaise will work, even olive oil and lower fat products. Don't use a salad dressing like Miracle Whip unless you prefer a sweeter potato salad. Boil an extra egg and reserve to slice on top of finished potato salad for garnish, then sprinkle with paprika. I also like to dot the top with some Cajun seasoning.

Instant Pot/Electronic Pressure Cooker Potato Salad: Peel and cut potatoes into large chunks. Add 1-1/2 cups water to pressure cooker, add potatoes (use a steamer basket if you have one) and nestle eggs into the potatoes. Set for 4 minutes on high. Quick release pressure, use tongs to remove eggs and plunge into ice water, drain potatoes. Proceed with recipe as above.

Bacon Potato Salad: Slice and cook 3 slices of bacon until crisp. Add bacon with the drippings to the cooked and drained potatoes and proceed with the recipe.

Mustard Potato Salad: Increase mustard to 1/4 cup.

Potato Salad for a Crowd: For approximately 30 servings you'll need about 10 pounds of potatoes, about a dozen boiled eggs, one quart of mayonnaise, 1 to 1-1/2 cups of chopped onion, about 3 ribs of celery, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped pickles, use mustard and seasonings to taste.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

More potato salads can be found here.
Cajun Potato Salad
Cold Baked Potato Salad
Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Posted by on May 19, 2009
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