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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

HEY TATER SALAD!

Everyone has a favorite potato salad...I sure do... love me some tater salad!  I have taken bits from my Mom's, a little from my ex-mother-in-law's, and a little from my favorite barbecue places to develop my own taste for potato salad.  One of those barbecue joints included my first place of employment, my parent's meat market. They had a big barbecue pit and I got relegated to making coleslaw and potato salad under the strict supervision of "Mr. Duck, Sir", Donald Kuempel.  "Mr. Duck, Sir" taught me a great deal about having a work ethic and not getting to slide because I was the boss's daughter.  Frankly I think he took delight in torturing me with doing gross tasks.  I was a brat and he was stuck with me most every Saturday for several years.  The barbecue side of the deal was a-okay though.  I enjoyed the food preparation part.  Slicing liver...not so much. 

Anyway, based on all of the different potato salads I had sampled, I created...years ago... my favorite potato salad.  I've switched it up a few times, but basically...this is just the way I like it.  Make it ahead for the very best flavor.  I like to make it no later than the morning of the day I'm going to serve it.  The onions and pimentos and pickles just get all cozy together and it is just delicious.

So, here it is:

DEBBI'S POTATO SALAD

Ingredients:

6-7 medium russet potatoes - boiled
3-4 boiled eggs - chilled and diced
1 boiled egg for garnish
1 2-ounce jar diced pimento
1/2 large yellow onion - diced
3 scallions (green onion) - chopped (whites and green parts) - optional (omit if you don't like a lot of onion)
3 whole sweet pickles - diced (not gherkins - altho you can use gherkins - just need a lot more)
3 whole kosher dill pickles - diced (this should be about double the amount of sweet pickle)
1 tablespoon sweet pickle juice from jar
1 tablespoon dill pickle juice from jar
1 to 1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip Salad Dressing - not mayonnaise
1/4 cup Yellow Prepared Mustard
Salt to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon kosher salt)
Pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper)

Method:

Boil potatoes with skin on until fork inserted removes easily (about 30 minutes for fork to insert all the way to the center and come out without resistance).  Drain and allow to cool just until they can be handled.  Peel with a butter knife - the skin should come off easily.  This method creates a drier potato that doesn't turn "mooshy" as easily as boiling peeled cubes of potato.


While potatoes are cooling to a "peelable" temperature, prep all other items.  You want to be ready to mix the potato salad as soon as you dice the potatoes so they don't oxidize.

Get all the ingredients prepped while potatoes cooling
Place prepped pickles, onions, pimento, and juices in large mixing bowl and set aside.

My Mom used to tell me I didn't use enough "condiments" -
I think I've fixed that problem :-)
When potatoes are peeled, large dice them (a steak knife works very well for this) and drop the diced potato into the pickle mixture as soon as you complete each potato - a bench scraper comes in handy for transfer (some of the potato crumbles - get everything from the cutting board).  Stir to coat potatoes with each addition.  The pickle brine you have added will help keep the potato from oxidizing and the warm potato will absorb the flavors.

Potatoes and pickles and all the other goodies
mixed together before adding dressings
Add diced boiled egg, mustard, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of salad dressing.  Stir gently.  You don't want mashed potatoes (well, I don't - I like chunky potato salad).  Add more salad dressing if needed, until the potato salad is the texture/creaminess you enjoy.  Taste for seasoning.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Cover mixing bowl with plastic and refrigerate at least 3 or 4 hours.  Before serving, re-check for seasoning and place in serving bowl.  I use a boiled egg slicer to slice the remaining boiled egg and place the slices on top of the potato salad before serving.

My family loves my potato salad (except the teen)... and I have to thank my Mom for making sure I used Miracle Whip and Barbara Harris for sharing the secret of both sweet and dill pickles.  Both of those items are key in my opinion.  I served it with out Sesame Catfish dinner this past week-end and also love it with hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecued anything, and a big baked ham.  It's a great southern side dish to have in your repertoire.  Hope you enjoy it!

BTW...You can imagine, it was probably a big headache having a 16 year old boss's kid underfoot and Don was such a trooper.  He got stuck with several of the Culp daughters over the year.  I think we all have very fond memories of our time under his tutelage.  I called him Donald Duck...He said, "that's Mr. Duck...SIR...to you" and forever more he has been Mr. Duck, Sir in my memory.  If he gets the opportunity to read my blog, I want him to know how much of an impact he made on my life...in a very good way.

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

Shared With:

Carole's Chatter: Food on Friday

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2 comments:

  1. Hi there. The current Food on Friday is all about potatoes! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you for linking this in to Food on Friday. We are now getting quite a collection of potato dishes together. Do stop by some of the other links to check them out!
    I have just signed up to follow your blog. A follow back to Carole's Chatter would be wonderful – or have you already followed? Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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