Monday, June 13, 2016

Potato Salad - Tips

Since my last potato salad post, I have had about three more occasions to make potato salad.  If you've been a part of a church community, you know that there really are many, many, many potlucks to attend.  I've made potato salad a go-to recipe...for now, anyways.  They are easy to make and goes with most main dishes.  It's also a great way to secretly feed your kids celery. 

Anyhoo, I wanted to add this post to share some tips I've learned along my potato-salad-making journey.  I googled some tips on potato salad and the adjustments I made to my recipe made a tremendous difference and I actually feel okay to say that I think my potato salad is pretty good!  :D 

Tips from The Kitchn:
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Potato Salad

My Tips:
  1. Right Potatoes:  Like The Kitchn says, you should use the right kind of potatoes.  I will let the actual site do the explanation for this, but the best kind of potatoes are the waxy kind.  I have mostly used the Yukon potatoes or the red-skinned ones and they work great!
  2. Cooking Potatoes:  This is an important step that you should pay attention to since it will determine the consistency and texture of your potatoes. The trick is to start the potatoes immersed in cold water, bring to boil, then reduce heat to cook in simmer.  You should check the potatoes regularly and take it out when you can push your fork into it.  Mushy potatoes for salad kinda sucks. 
  3. Salted Water:  A GREAT tip.  Salt your water when cooking your potatoes.  This makes a huge difference in the flavor of your potato salad. 
  4. Cooling Potatoes:  My potato salad recipe calls for creamy mayo dressing, which means I've got to cool the potatoes before dressing them.  If you don't wait to cool the potatoes, you will risk the mayo-based dressing separating and just becoming yucky. 
  5. Chopped Dills:  I eliminated this in my last potato salad post and since then, I've changed my mind and this has been a must addition to my potato salad recipe.  For a 4lb potato salad recipe, I'll add about 3-4 chopped dills.  This is a personal taste thing.  I love a bit of pickle-y sourness in my potato salad and if you do too, do this! 
  6. More Boiled Eggs:  Again in my last recipe I added 4 boiled eggs for 4lb potatoes.  I've increased that to 7-8 eggs and I love it!  Also, instead of chopping them up into teeny pieces, I do a very rough and loose chomping with a fork so it leaves large chunks of whites and yolk. 
  7. Green Onions:  Instead of red onions (which is still an awesome choice) I use green onions and I don't think I'll go back.  I just like the flavor better and I don't have to deal with soaking the onions to eliminate the spicy-ness. 
  8. Chilling:  This may sound like a redundant step but, like the other tips, it makes a big difference.  I try to chill the dressing at least for about 30 minutes and also chill the salad for at least 30 minutes to an hour before serving.  It just melds all the flavors together and gives extra quality to the salad.  Don't you want people to go "OMG!  This is awesome!"
*Let me know if you've tried the changes and how your salad turns out.  ;)

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