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Subject: Question about Potato Salad
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: Kajikit 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 20:01:50 +1100
--------
I love homemade potato salad and I made some last night, but it made
me think of a question that maybe someone can help me with. My potato
salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes with mayonnaise and
herbs than the elegant salads you get at a restaurant or salad bar. In
other words, it goes all gluggy and gooey and sets into a solid lump
of flavoured potato when I put it into the fridge. I must be doing
something wrong or differently from the norm, but I don't have a clue
what.

I make it by peeling chopping and boiling the potatoes in a large
saucepan of water, then I drain them and chop up fresh herbs, pickled
onions or chives or spring onions, and gherkins, then mix them all
together in the saucepan with plenty of mayonnaise, tip it into a
salad bowl, and declare it done.

It tastes fine, and when I serve it to guests I usually get a
compliment on the flavour, but I'd like to know how to do better in
the presentation department.

So what am I doing wrong? Any ideas????

Karen AKA Kajikit

============================

From: Geneboy 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 21:05:29 +1100
--------
Kajikit wrote:

> I make it by peeling chopping and boiling the potatoes in a large
> saucepan of water,

Could you be overcooking your potatoes? Also, try using smaller ones, so
that you don't have to cut them up first (charlottes, or new).
Alternatively, try cutting them into larger pieces, so they don't
disintegrate as fast.

> then I drain them and chop up fresh herbs, pickled
> onions or chives or spring onions, and gherkins, then mix them all
> together in the saucepan with plenty of mayonnaise, tip it into a
> salad bowl, and declare it done.

Sounds as if you're banging them about too much. Even if they are not over
cooked, if you stir and transfer potatoes too much, they disintegrate, in my
experience. Try putting them into the serving bowl, adding the mayo and
herbs, and mixing very briefly.

You might also want to "rest" the spuds first: they will firm up slightly as
they cool. I find that if I tamper with piping hot potatoes, they fall apart
very quickly. When they are a little cooler (don't have to be stone cold,
though!) they are more robust.

> be happy, be healthy, be well!

You too! HTH

Chris

============================

From: Tommy C 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 11:38:42 GMT
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> I love homemade potato salad and I made some last night, but it made
> me think of a question that maybe someone can help me with. My potato
> salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes with mayonnaise and
> herbs than the elegant salads you get at a restaurant or salad bar. In
> other words, it goes all gluggy and gooey and sets into a solid lump
> of flavoured potato when I put it into the fridge. I must be doing
> something wrong or differently from the norm, but I don't have a clue
> what.
>
> I make it by peeling chopping and boiling the potatoes

Right here. Boil potatoes whole.

============================

From: blacksalt 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 20:19:58 -0800
--------
Tommy C wrote:
> Right here. Boil potatoes whole.

And that gives me mushy on outside if perfect on inside. I cut mine, unpeeled, into slices as
thick as I want the final product, cook them al dente, as they cook a bit more with the heat
they retain, skin them hot, cube them hot, and then have everything else for the salad all ready
and mixed, pour over taters and very, very gently toss.
blacksalt

============================

From: stenni[at]noSpam.vision1mm.com (Hag & Stenni)
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 13:21:02 GMT
--------
Kajikit wrote:
>I love homemade potato salad and I made some last night, but it made
>me think of a question that maybe someone can help me with. My potato
>salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes with mayonnaise and
>herbs than 

What kind of potatoes are you using? Sounds like your using baking or
mashing potatoes, try getting some nice red potatoes, they have a more
waxey texture and wont get as mealy or mushy....Hag k

My golden rules

1.  If it dosnt taste good or get you laid dont do it (apply your own criteria)
2.  If it smells bad dont eat it.
3.  When life hands you shit Grow roses!

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 12 Jan 2002 14:14:55 GMT
--------
Kajikit wrote:
>I make it by peeling chopping and boiling the potatoes in a large
>saucepan of water, then I drain them and 

You're cooking the potatoes back asswards... cook em whole, unpeeled, and do
not over cook!  For cold potato salad cool cooked potatoes immediately and
quickly with running water to stop cooking, then place in fridge, uncovered to
chill and dry, a couple three hours at least.  Then peel if desired and slice
(cold potatoes peel easily by scraping gently with the 'back' of a paring
knife).  After adding dressing do not over mix, best to blend with hands.  Some
folks seem to get best results using waxy potatoes, like red bliss, new
potatoes, fingerlings, etc., but I get good results with all types... do not
over cook!   Use plenty of water and cook at a low simmer, not a full boil.
Test for doneness with a bamboo skewer rather than with a multi-pronged fork. 
Do not over cook!

============================

From: Damsel in dis Dress 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 14:24:39 GMT
--------
Sheldon said:

>... and do not over cook!  

>... do not over cook!   

>Do not over cook!

So what are you saying, Sheldon?

Damsel, acting all innocent-like

============================

From: Nona Shinagawa Myers 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 07:28:26 -0800
--------
Sheldon wrote:
>You're cooking the potatoes back asswards... cook em whole, unpeeled, and do
>not over cook!  For cold potato salad cool cooked potatoes immediately and
>quickly with running water to stop cooking, then place in fridge, uncovered to
>chill and dry, a couple three hours at least.  Then peel if desired and slice
>(cold potatoes peel easily by scraping gently with the 'back' of a paring
>knife).  After adding dressing do not over mix, best to blend with hands.  Some
>folks seem to get best results using waxy potatoes, like red bliss, new
>potatoes, fingerlings, etc., but I get good results with all types... do not
>over cook!   Use plenty of water and cook at a low simmer, not a full boil.
>Test for doneness with a bamboo skewer rather than with a multi-pronged fork. 
>Do not over cook!

This is a very good advice.  I agree with his suggestions.  By using
this method you should see much improvement in texture.  

If you prefer that each cut pieces be totally separate and perfectly
shaped, I would use either red or Yukon-type potatoes.  

============================

From: Billy 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 08:55:15 -0500
--------
Kajikit wrote:
>So what am I doing wrong? Any ideas????

YOU ARE MAKING	PERFECT POTATO SALAD!   That is the only way I like it.  I can't
stand undercook little potato cubes like you are trying to achieve.   If
everyone loves your potato salad....why are you trying to fix something that
isn't broke.    

============================

From: Kajikit 
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 11:16:01 +1100
--------
Deep within the Vaults, the silver kitty brushes dust from a post
written by Billy and contemplates it at length before replying:

>YOU ARE MAKING	PERFECT POTATO SALAD!   That is the only way I like it.  I can't
>stand undercook little potato cubes like you are trying to achieve.   If
>everyone loves your potato salad....why are you trying to fix something that
>isn't broke.    

My mother actually said that I shouldn't change how I make my salad
because she really likes it - it goes really nicely in sandwiches or
on a piece of toast because it's like a potato spread with lots of
flavour... I like it too - I just wanted to find out how to make it
the OTHER way in case I need it. :)

I don't think I'd like crunchy potato salad either... I like my potato
well-done [which is apparantly largely why it disintegrates!]

============================

From: Mona 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 20:33:34 -0500
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> My mother actually said that I shouldn't change how I make my salad
> because she really likes it - it goes really nicely in sandwiches or
> on a piece of toast because it's like a potato spread with lots of
> flavour...

I missed the original post so this may be not what you need - I too had
problems making potato salad Never thought of using it as a sandwich spread
though!  Your mom is brilliant!

The b*tch being that there is no set time to cook the potatoes.  I though
had really good luck last summer using red potatoes.  They are a firmer
potato when cooked. Just a hint.

============================

From: MH 
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 20:21:40 GMT
--------
Mona wrote :
> The b*tch being that there is no set time to cook the potatoes.  I though
> had really good luck last summer using red potatoes.  They are a firmer
> potato when cooked. Just a hint.

I can't stand overcooked potatoes or undercooked potatoes in potato salad.
There is a perfect place in between when the potatoes are done enough not to
be crunchy, yet still hold their shape. Experiment a little and you will
soon begin to know when you stab a cube with a fork that it is the just
right consistency.

============================

From: Damsel in dis Dress 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 14:03:53 GMT
--------
Kajikit said:
>I love homemade potato salad and I made some last night, but it made
>me think of a question that maybe someone can help me with. My potato
>salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes with mayonnaise and
>herbs than the elegant salads you get at a restaurant or salad bar. In
>other words, it goes all gluggy and gooey and sets into a solid lump
>of flavoured potato when I put it into the fridge. I must be doing
>something wrong or differently from the norm, but I don't have a clue
>what.

Are you using red-skinned potatoes?  They tend to be more firm than the
brown ones, and are usually preferred for potato salad.  I use russets
myself, but then I like a softer 'tater salad.

Carol

============================

From: Janet Bostwick 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 07:22:15 -0700
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> I make it by peeling chopping and boiling the potatoes in a large
> saucepan of water, then I drain them 

Karen,
I agree, you should boil the potatoes whole to get best results.  However,
you might be using the 'wrong' potatoes.  Baking potatoes, Russets, or Idaho
potatoes will break up and get mushy when handled after cooking.  This is
what they are meant to do.  They can generally be identified by their
rougher, more crepe paper-like surface.  The kind of potatoes that do best
for potato salad, have a smooth, thin, almost transparent skin.  They may be
called red potatoes, white potatoes, White Rose, new potatoes, salad
potatoes, baby potatoes.  The insides of these potatoes will be more
translucent and firm when cooked.  There are other potatoes that fall
outside of these categories, but these descriptions are what you might find
in the average grocery store.

Something else to consider, is making up your dressing first and then as you
peel and slice/cube the warm potatoes, spread some of the dressing over each
layer.  This makes it much easier to do the final mix of the potatoes and
dressing.
 Good luck.
Janet

============================

From: "rosie[at]readandpost" 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 15:20:13 GMT
--------
i don't peel my potatoes anymore. i use red potatoes.
i boil them whole and then cut them to size, and then add the mayo etc.

============================

From: Priscilla Ballou 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 15:40:18 GMT
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> So what am I doing wrong? Any ideas????

1.  Don't overcook the potatoes.
2.  Use a waxy potato, not a starchy one like Russets.
3.  Cook them whole.
4.  Make sure the potatoes are COLD when you make the salad.  I always 
cook the potatoes the previous day and let them get good and cold in the 
fridge over night.

============================

From: Kate Connally 
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 13:10:45 -0500
--------
Priscilla Ballou wrote:
> 1.  Don't overcook the potatoes.
> 2.  Use a waxy potato, not a starchy one like Russets.
> 3.  Cook them whole.
> 4.  Make sure the potatoes are COLD when you make the salad.  I always
> cook the potatoes the previous day and let them get good and cold in the
> fridge over night.

Whether I use russets or reds I always make the salad
while they're still hot.  That way they absorb the flavors
from the dressing.  Much better, imo.

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 14 Jan 2002 21:28:40 GMT
--------
Kate Connally writes:
>Whether I use russets or reds I always make the salad
>while they're still hot.  That way they absorb the flavors
>from the dressing.  Much better, imo.

Ach, that would be for a German Style... not better, different... but not meant
for a mayo dressing, or any other dressing containing egg, otherwise there's a
health risk.

GERMAN POTATO SALAD  

8 slices bacon
3 tablespoons flour
4 teaspoons chopped onion
2/3 cup vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon powdered dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon crumbled whole rosemary leaves
2 quarts cooked diced potatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain and crumble. Add flour and onion
to the bacon fat left in the pan. Stir in vinegar, water, sugar, salt and
spices. Cook only until mixture is of medium thickness. Add to potatoes,
parsley and crumbled bacon. Mix carefully to prevent mashing the potatoes. 

House & Garden 
February 1957 
---

ROASTED POTATO, GARLIC, AND RED PEPPER SALAD  

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 pounds small boiling potatoes (white, red, or fingerling)
2 red bell peppers
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves

Suggested additions: olives, pine nuts, goat cheese, grilled chicken, tuna, or
prosciutto 

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Wrap garlic cloves together in foil. Halve potatoes and cut bell peppers into
1/2-inch pieces. In a large bowl toss potatoes, bell peppers, and 3 tablespoons
oil with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange potatoes and bell peppers in one
layer in 2 large shallow baking pans and roast in middle and lower thirds of
oven (simultaneously, roast wrapped garlic on either rack), stirring
occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through roasting time,
until potatoes are tender and golden brown, about 35 minutes.

In a bowl immediately toss potatoes and peppers with 2 tablespoons vinegar and
cool. Remove garlic from foil and squeeze pulp into a small bowl. With a fork
mash garlic with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and tablespoon vinegar and toss
together with potatoes and peppers and salt and pepper to taste. Just before
serving, add basil. Serve potato salad at room temperature. 
   
Gourmet 
July 1997 

Reviews:
 
A Cook from DuBois, PA on 08/28/01    
My friends love this salad, I get rave reviews every time I made it. 

A Cook from No. Providence, RI on 08/13/01    
I had this salad at a party and it was wonderful. It was a big hit. With no
mayo it was just the ticket for a summer get together! It got better with time,
too!!

A Cook from Fullerton, CA on 07/25/01    
This dish was a big hit at two picnics. Since it isn't mayo based, I didn't
worry about spoiling in warm weather. I cooked the potatoes and red pepper in
aluminum foil on a gas grill (the garlic can be roasted the same way). My
kitchen didn't heat up from the oven and clean up was a cinch.

A Cook from Chicago on 07/11/01    
My new favorite potato recipe!! We've dubbed them "insanely good pototoes" at
our home. Definitely add pine nuts and goat cheese as others have recommended.
YUM! (and very easy)

A Cook from Victoria B.C. on 07/10/01    
I toasted the pine nuts before using, better flavour.I used a bit of my
homemade Basil olive oil with the regular olive oil in place of fresh Basil
leaves. Feta cheese is great. Really yummy!

Susan ( smercy@sv.bozell.com ) from San Ramon, California on 07/06/01    
Definitely a keeper. My husband said they were the best potatoes he'd ever
tasted. I used white fingerlings and drizzled a bit of olive oil on the garlic
cloves before roasting (because I accidentally pulled the skin off some). I
topped it with a fairly soft Chevre cheese that coated the potatoes slightly as
it was mixed in. A nice addition, but I think it was just as good without. And
I refrigerated the leftovers and they tasted great the next day. I think the
key is to just roast them to a golden brown and tender, not crispy. And the red
peppers weren't charred, just soft. Next time I might roast some onions in
there with everthing. Superb!

KDL ( kdl@ibm.net ) from Portland, OR on 07/03/01    
This was a wonderful and very different recipe...I loved it and so did everyone
else! I topped it with goat cheese and pine nuts, and it was terrific! I am
making it again tomorrow for my 4th of July BBQ.

A Cook from San Jose, CA on 07/01/01    
Feta and pine nuts helped make this a hit at a BBQ. Very easy to make ahead of
time!

A Cook from So Cal on 05/24/01    
These potatoes were the hit of my party. One person also said that they were
the best potatoes he'd ever had. Added feta cheese.

A Cook from San Diego, CA on 09/20/00    
This is a keeper. I doubled the recipe for a large crowd and used two full
heads of garlic. I roasted the potatos and peppers in the morning and let them
cool on the stove. Once cooled, I mixed the "dressing" and tossed. I kept it in
the refrigerator until two hours before serving. Just before serving I added
the basil, pine nuts and feta cheese. Delicious! I've had many requests for the
recipe.

A Cook from Pinehurst, North Carolina on 07/30/00    
This is a hit every time I make this dish. My husband and I do a rib night once
a year for a rather large crowd 35 to 40 people. I was searching for a great
side dish and came across this wonderful alternative to a mayo based potato
salad on epicurious.com. I use a little more garlic than the recipe calls for
and sprinkling with the feta is a must. The great thing about this recipe is
I've also made it for just the two of us - reducing the porportions.

A Cook from Boston, MA on 07/27/00    
I have made this for several cook outs, and it is always a hit. The vinegar
gives a nice kick. I usually use more garlic though.

A Cook from London, England on 07/26/00    
Delicious! I tried this recipe for a small gathering and the guests were
begging for the recipe! The pine nuts and goat cheese were a must. Next time,
I'll add more garlic and substitute the goat cheese with green olives for a
little variety. Otherwise, I wouldn't change a thing!

A Cook from New Haven, CT on 06/06/00    
Delicious! I took this to a church picnic and had little left over. I added the
pine nuts and threw in a bit more oil/vinegar. This is quick to make and tasted
great at room temp as well as warm.

Teresa Reinking ( teresa.reinking@husch.com ) from Kansas City, Missouri on
08/16/99    
This is a great alternative to regular potato salad. I first made this salad
when the recipe came out in 1997 and it has been a requested favorite at every
barbeque since.

A Cook from Los Angeles, CA on 01/29/99    
My husband doesn't like traditional, mayo. based potato salads, but he loved
this one! It's a refreshing change from the regular heavy potato and pasta
salad that always go with picnics. I give it "3-forks".

============================

From: Kate Connally 
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 11:09:13 -0500
--------
Sheldon wrote:
> Ach, that would be for a German Style... not better, different... but not meant
> for a mayo dressing, or any other dressing containing egg, otherwise there's a
> health risk.

That's not true.  No health risk at all.

============================

From: barbtail[at]aol.comnospam (Barb Anne)
Date: 12 Jan 2002 16:39:06 GMT
--------
>My potato
>salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes

Use red potatoes or waxy white potatoes and slightly undercook them. 

Cut larger cubes.  

(tossing my 2 cents into the pot)

============================

From: barbtail[at]aol.comnospam (Barb Anne)
Date: 12 Jan 2002 16:42:03 GMT
--------
>I make it by peeling chopping and boiling the potatoes 

Boil them first, peel and chop them after they have cooled.

You need to have potatoes of uniform size for this to work well.

>better in
>the presentation department.

I top mine with snipped chives/scallions and a sprinkling of paprika.

============================

From: Melba's Jammin' 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 13:28:44 -0600
--------
Kajikit wrote:
>   My potato
> salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes with mayonnaise and
> 
> I make it by peeling chopping and boiling the potatoes in a large
> saucepan of water, 

You peel, chop, and boil the potatoes in that order?  I boil, peel, and 
dice, in that order.  Using red-skin potatoes -- they hold their shape 
better than white spuds.

============================

From: blakem[at]ix.netcom.com (blake murphy)
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 15:03:30 GMT
--------
Melba's Jammin' wrote:
>You peel, chop, and boil the potatoes in that order?  I boil, peel, and 
>dice, in that order.  Using red-skin potatoes -- they hold their shape 
>better than white spuds.

and dress them when they're still warm.  the recipe i use says mix the
cubes with (in order) salt, (olive) oil, freshly ground pepper,
celery, rice vinegar, (coarse dijon) mustard, mayo.  chill.

============================

From: Meg Fortino 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 19:44:46 GMT
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> I love homemade potato salad and I made some last night, but it made
> me think of a question that maybe someone can help me with. My potato
> salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes with mayonnaise and
> herbs than the elegant salads you get at a restaurant or salad bar. In
> other words, it goes all gluggy and gooey and sets into a solid lump
> of flavoured potato when I put it into the fridge.

I used to have this problem; then I began using the quintessential southern
recipe for potato salad.  I don't have that trouble any more.  Here's what
Margaret Lupo (of Atlanta's Mary Mac's Tearoom) says to do:

Peel and dice 1 medium onion.  Put in a large mixing bowl.
Peel and dice 2 stalks of celery.  Put in the mixing bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (I use
1 teaspoon celery *seed* and the salt -- otherwise, it's too salty).  Toss
everything together.  Let sit while you prepare the potatoes.

Hardcook 3 eggs.  Peel and cube and add to the onion/celery mixture.

Peel and cube (1") russet potatoes.
Cook in boiling salted water until just tender (about 15 minutes, in my
experience).
Drain the potato cubes and add them, while warm, to the celery and onion
mixture.
Let cool in the celery/onion/egg mixture.

Immediately before serving, add 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard and 1 c
mayonnaise.  Toss carefully.

I invariably change the ingredients in this recipe (for example, caraway
seeds or dill seeds instead of celery seed; more celery; using half plain
yogurt and half mayonnaise to cut back on the fat; adding chopped green
olives; adding dill pickles), but I never change the technique.  Perfect
potato salad every time!

============================

From: Justin Credible 
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 02:27:18 GMT
--------
Meg Fortino says...
> Immediately before serving, add 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard and 1 c
> mayonnaise.  Toss carefully.

I think this is the secret I've been looking for..many thanks

============================

From: Sugar Kane 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 15:58:48 -0500
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> I make it by peeling chopping and boiling the potatoes in a large
> saucepan of water, then I drain them and chop up fresh herbs, pickled
> onions or chives or spring onions, and gherkins, then mix them all
> together in the saucepan with plenty of mayonnaise, tip it into a
> salad bowl, and declare it done.

You mentioned mixing them in the saucepan--which I assume is still warm.
All you ingredients need to be COLD.  The potatoes suck up mayo like sponges
if they're warm.  You could also be overcooking them and smooshing them too
much when mixing.  Use your hand instead of a spoon.

============================

From: Damsel in dis Dress 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 23:56:20 GMT
--------
Sugar Kane said:
> You could also be overcooking them and smooshing
>them too much when mixing.  Use your hand instead of a spoon.

Crash's mom mixed her potato salad with her hands.  She announced, at a
large family gathering, that her secret ingredient was the dirt under her
fingernails.  Crash said you could hear forks dropping all over the room!
LOL!  I wish I could've met that lady!

============================

From: Kajikit 
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 11:21:12 +1100
--------
Deep within the Vaults, the silver kitty brushes dust from a post
written by Damsel in dis Dress and contemplates it at length before
replying:

>Crash's mom mixed her potato salad with her hands.  She announced, at a
>large family gathering, that her secret ingredient was the dirt under her
>fingernails.  Crash said you could hear forks dropping all over the room!
>LOL!  I wish I could've met that lady!

[giggles]

Sounds like a way to get more for herself!

Thanks for the advice everyone. I won't reply to all 14 of you
seperately because you've all basically told me variations on the same
thing! Next time I want to make salad I'll try cooking the potatoes
whole and then cooling them down before I make it. My mother taught me
to make the salad while all the ingredients are HOT so that's the way
I've always done it... but then she hates potato skin and she hates
lumps of undercooked potato so she really prefers it mushy :)

Now I've just got one more question. In an attempt to make my salad
more runny I sometimes mix milk into the mayonnaise before I add it...
is this a bad thing to do? Do people just use plain mayonnaise for the
dressing or do you put something special into it?

============================

From: Damsel in dis Dress 
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 00:26:48 GMT
--------
Kajikit said:
>Now I've just got one more question. In an attempt to make my salad
>more runny I sometimes mix milk into the mayonnaise before I add it...
>is this a bad thing to do? Do people just use plain mayonnaise for the
>dressing or do you put something special into it?

I use dill pickle juice to thin my mayo.  I like my potato salad soft, too.
I don't even add onions or celery.  Someone once called it my, "Kinder,
Gentler Potato Salad."  Here's my recipe (using russet potatoes!):

                      * Exported from MasterCook *

                           Dilled Potato Salad

Recipe By     :Damsel in dis Dress
Serving Size  : 0     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : potatoes                        salads/dressings
                side dishes                     spring/summer


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  8             medium  russet potatoes -- diced
  4              large  eggs -- hard cooked
  1                cup  mayonnaise
  1         tablespoon  prepared mustard
  3         tablespoons  dill pickle juice -- *
     1/2           cup  dill pickles -- minced
     1/2      teaspoon  dill weed
     1/2      teaspoon  onion powder
  1                     salt and pepper -- to taste

* If red potatoes are used, reduce pickle juice to 2 tbsp.

1. Hard cook the eggs; chill, remove shells, and cut in half. Remove yolks
and dice the whites. Set aside
2. Cook potatoes in water until desired tenderness. Drain; rinse under
cold, running water to stop the cooking process.
3. While potatoes are cooking, combine mashed egg yolks with remaining
ingredients.
4. Combine chilled potatoes and the sauce mixture. Add egg whites.
5. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, to allow flavors to blend.
6. Check for moisture. If too dry, add more pickle juice or milk until
desired consistency is achieved.
7. Sprinkle paprika on top just prior to serving, if desired.

VARIATIONS:
- Use dill pickle relish instead of chopped pickles.
- Use fresh minced onions in place of onion powder.
- Add finely chopped celery for crunchiness.
- Add a dash of tabasco sauce for a little extra zing.

Cuisine:
  "American"

                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

============================

From: Kajikit 
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 18:43:25 +1100
--------
Deep within the Vaults, the silver kitty brushes dust from a post
written by Damsel in dis Dress and contemplates it at length before
replying:

>I use dill pickle juice to thin my mayo.  I like my potato salad soft, too.
>I don't even add onions or celery.  Someone once called it my, "Kinder,
>Gentler Potato Salad."  Here's my recipe (using russet potatoes!):

Thanks Damsel! This sounds yummy... I'm not sure whether you can buy
dill pickles in the supermarket in Australia - are they roughly the
same as gherkins or are they more like the pickled cucumber slices
that McDonalds [evil place that is] uses on their burgers? 

Karen

============================

From: Damsel in dis Dress 
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 08:08:09 GMT
--------
Kajikit said:
>Thanks Damsel! This sounds yummy... I'm not sure whether you can buy
>dill pickles in the supermarket in Australia - are they roughly the
>same as gherkins or are they more like the pickled cucumber slices
>that McDonalds [evil place that is] uses on their burgers? 

Yup.  Dill pickles are what McDonald's puts on their hamburgers.  Can you
get those in Australia, or do you have to buy a bunch of burgers and
collect the pickles?  

============================

From: Rhonda Anderson 
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 14:15:14 GMT
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> Thanks Damsel! This sounds yummy... I'm not sure whether you can buy
> dill pickles in the supermarket in Australia - are they roughly the
> same as gherkins or are they more like the pickled cucumber slices
> that McDonalds [evil place that is] uses on their burgers? 

Karen,

I buy dill pickles at Woolworths at Penrith, so you probably could find 
them in a Woolies or Coles near you, or other major supermarket. I can't 
remember the name of the brand I've bought but they're made in Canada. 
They're much bigger than a gherkin, and very crunchy. Yum.

-- 
Rhonda Anderson
Penrith, NSW, Australia

============================

From: Jean B. 
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 11:31:01 -0500
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> Thanks for the advice everyone. I won't reply to all 14 of you
> seperately because you've all basically told me variations on the same
> thing! Next time I want to make salad I'll try cooking the potatoes
> whole and then cooling them down before I make it.

You might try adding a bit of oil and vinegar based salad dressing
(homemade!) to the potatoes--we used ca 1/4 c for 2-3 potatoes (and I
have never had a problem with russets).  Peel and cut them up while
they are still hot, then gently mix with the salad dressing and some
salt and pepper and cool.  That gives the potato salad a wonderful
flavor.  It does seem, though, that potato salads are very personal
things as far as added ingredients go....

> Now I've just got one more question. In an attempt to make my salad
> more runny I sometimes mix milk into the mayonnaise before I add it...
> is this a bad thing to do? Do people just use plain mayonnaise for the
> dressing or do you put something special into it?

I like to thin the mayonnaise with lemon juice.

============================

From: barbtail[at]aol.comnospam (Barb Anne)
Date: 13 Jan 2002 17:02:31 GMT
--------
>make the salad while all the ingredients are HOT

I would think this would tend to 'cook' the mayo and break it down. 

On the other hand, I use mayo instead of butter on the outside of my grilled
cheese sandwiches and love it.

============================

From: Mona 
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 12:21:16 -0500
--------
>   My mother taught me
> to make the salad while all the ingredients are HOT so that's the way
> I've always done it... but then she hates potato skin and she hates
> lumps of undercooked potato so she really prefers it mushy :)

lol - many others have already recommended that his MUSH problem may be
related to his mixing it up warm.. Was not clear I thin whether he was
actually doing it warm but warm tato's can make mush!

============================

From: Janet Bostwick 
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 11:10:10 -0700
--------
Mona wrote:
> lol - many others have already recommended that his MUSH problem may be
> related to his mixing it up warm.. Was not clear I thin whether he was
> actually doing it warm but warm tato's can make mush!

Every time I ask for a potato salad recipe that I admire, the cook
invariably says that it is important to dress the potatoes warm so that the
flavors are absorbed into the potato.  I have always done this and don't get
mushy potato salad.   It may be that the key is to get the potatoes before
they become done to the point where they begin to split apart or crack.  To
check for doneness I use an ice pick, bamboo skewer or two-pronged granny
fork.  A regular dinner fork is too blunt and the resistance from the fork
will make it seem as though the potato is not done.  Using this method, I
get potatoes that are done and don't have those nasty hard spots.

============================

From: Kate Connally 
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 13:19:20 -0500
--------
Kajikit wrote:
>  My mother taught me
> to make the salad while all the ingredients are HOT so that's the way
> I've always done it...

Always do what your mother tells you!

> Now I've just got one more question. In an attempt to make my salad
> more runny I sometimes mix milk into the mayonnaise before I add it...
> is this a bad thing to do? Do people just use plain mayonnaise for the
> dressing or do you put something special into it?

Well, actually, I use Marzetti's Potato Salad Dressing,
I used to use Miracle Whip, which it much better
that any commercial brand of mayo.  One thing our family
used to do but that I don't always do any more, but I still
like it, is first add some Kraft Miracle French Dressing
(but we can't get it anymore) directly to the hot
sliced or diced potatoes and stir it in to coat them and
let them sit a while then stir in the MW or mayo.  I've
recently tried this with an Italian vinaigrette-style
dresssing (when I ran out of Marzetti's) and it gave it
a really nice flavor.

============================

From: angelicapaganelli[at]hotmail.com (Cindy hamilton)
Date: 15 Jan 2002 05:06:20 -0800
--------
Kajikit wrote:
>  In an attempt to make my salad
> more runny I sometimes mix milk into the mayonnaise before I add it...
> is this a bad thing to do? Do people just use plain mayonnaise for the
> dressing or do you put something special into it?

I thin the mayonnaise with a little vinegar, correct it with a 
little sugar, and add a bit of yellow mustard.

We like it tangy in our house.

============================

From: blakem[at]ix.netcom.com (blake murphy)
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 15:07:20 GMT
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> My mother taught me
>to make the salad while all the ingredients are HOT so that's the way
>I've always done it... 

momma's right, but cook first, then dice.

============================

From: Kate Connally 
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 13:13:27 -0500
--------
Sugar Kane wrote:
> You mentioned mixing them in the saucepan--which I assume is still warm.
> All you ingredients need to be COLD.  The potatoes suck up mayo like sponges
> if they're warm.

Well, that's what you (at least, I!) want them to do, silly!
They should be warm, not cold!

============================

From: timvanhoof[at]gmx.net (Tim Vanhoof)
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 23:45:07 +0200
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> I love homemade potato salad and I made some last night, but it made
> me think of a question that maybe someone can help me with. My potato
> salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes with mayonnaise and

Sounds like you might be using floury potatoes. Try waxy ones.

============================

From: ngposter2002[at]hotmail.com (Newlywed)
Date: 12 Jan 2002 20:19:04 -0800
--------
Now I've got a craving for potato salad too!  A long time ago, when my
mom was homebound with an injury for a time, her friends brought lots
of food over to help out.  One dish was an amazing potato salad.  I
got the recipe, but after many years and several moves, I've misplaced
it.  Dear mom is gone, and I don't remember which of her friends had
given the recipe to us.

It had very firm chunks of potatoes (red and white I believe), lots of
crunchy celery, some relish (I don't remember if it was sweet or dill
pickle relish), maybe some hard-boiled eggs.  They thing that made us
love it so much was that it was very light on the mayo and had a lot
of mustard.

Anyone have a recipe that resembles this?

============================

From: stan[at]temple.edu
Date: 13 Jan 2002 00:23:11 GMT
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> So what am I doing wrong? Any ideas????

What kind of potatoes do  you use for  your potato salad? You
need to use the proper type of potatoes. Use the small potatoes
with the white or red shiny skins, not Idahos or Russets. Your
probably is most likely the result of using potatoes that get
soggy too fast when they're boiled.

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 13 Jan 2002 02:43:18 GMT
--------
stan@temple writes:

>Use the small potatoes

Are you hung up on size... size matters not a whit, not with taters.

>with the white or red shiny skins, not Idahos or Russets. 

How many times I gotta tell yoose, Idahos ARE Russets!

And Russets produce perfectly fine potato salads, especially cold potato
salads... I'd not recommend waxy spuds for any but hot potato salads.

Don't over cook the potatoes!

============================

From: Damsel in dis Dress 
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 03:07:09 GMT
--------
Sheldon said:
>Don't over cook the potatoes!

The key is to cook them to desired tenderness, then put them under cold
running water until they're thoroughly chilled.  Doing it this way, you
don't even have to worry about whether they're already cubed or not.  I
pre-cube mine, so I can tell exactly how "done" they are.

============================

From: ndooley[at]blue.weeg.uiowa.edu (Nancy Dooley)
Date: 16 Jan 2002 08:56:38 -0800
--------
Damsel in dis Dress wrote:
> The key is to cook them to desired tenderness, then put them under cold
> running water until they're thoroughly chilled.

I disagree slightly - I cook mine until they're ALMOST done - but
leave them hot because the initial flavorings - salt, pepper, sprinkle
of vinegar and sprinkle of sugar, relish, and dill seed/weed -
permeate the potatoes much more thoroughly when the potatoes are hot. 
After sprinkling these ingredients on, and mixing them in slightly, I
let the potatoes cool, and then add the rest of the stuff.  Try it -
you'll never go back.

============================

From: barbtail[at]aol.comnospam (Barb Anne)
Date: 13 Jan 2002 03:13:37 GMT
--------
In my experience, even non waxy potatoes will contract and get firm when
completely chilled. But I still prefer the more waxy potatoes for salad. I kind
of like a mix of potato texture so I will intentionally smash some of my
potatoes. I add mayo, and a TB or so of yellow mustard and sweet pickle relish.
Sometimes I add sourcream and omit the mustard.  I like onion and celery in it,
too, but they have to be minced (hate them big chunks of onion). I also like
eggs in my salad. 

============================

From: Priscilla Ballou 
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 03:25:03 GMT
--------
Ya know, this whole discussion is making me crave potato salad!  I'm 
getting all kinds of good ideas for different ways to flavor it.  ;-)

Priscilla, who has a new tub of light sour cream, frex

============================

From: Doughsmasher 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 16:55:37 -0800
--------
You might try putting your flavour on cold potatoes.  I usually boil mine
whole, unpeeled, so they don't get soggy.

============================

From: Koko 
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 20:36:48 -0800
--------
Kajikit,
Ever since I found this recipe on this newsgroup, it's the only potato
salad recipe I use. 
Gets lots of compliments and requests for the recipe. 
Hope you try it sometime. 
I sometimes vary the ingredients, but always use the vinegar on the
hot potaotes method first. 

This is not a light potato salad, but if you go to the trouble to make
it a day ahead, you'll be rewarded with a really excellent potato
salad.

Bud's Wisconsin Potato Salad
Uploaded by Bud Kuenzli 72411,3567

16 Med. - Small Potatoes
3/4 cup Mayonaise
(at least to start with...you will probably want more)
1 1/2 tsp Yellow Mustard
(the kind from the squeeze bottle; not dry mustard)
-- to 1 Tbs (as you prefer)
12 Eggs, hard boiled
1 cup apple cider vinegar, divided (this is minimum)
1-1/2 Tbs pickle relish
3/4 Tbs dry parsley flakes or twice that if fresh is available
1 big pinch Celery Salt
1/2 medium white onion, diced fairly small
  (you can use twice or three times this if you prefer)
4 celery stalks, split down middle of wider end, then chopped 
       about 1/4" or slightly smaller pieces (to your own 
     taste/texture. Again you can use more or less if you desire)

Gather ingredients. Boil potatoes whole. If your potato size varies
much, put in the larger ones first. A medium sized potato will take
ABOUT 25 minutes total. A smaller one maybe 18 minutes. One of the
keys here is to boil the potatoes till cooked but still a little firm.
If they are cooked till soft, then the subsequent stirring will render
the salad mushy. You don't want them crunchy, but just cooked and
still firm. That's the first secret! Peel the potatoes when they are
still warm. The warmer the better. 
Peeling them AFTER they are cooked seems to make a difference in
taste. They MUST not cool entirely or the vinegar will not be absorbed
properly. I peel them almost straight out of the pot when still darn
hot.  That's the second secret! Cut them into irregular chunks, little
wedges about an inch or slightly less on a side with the greatest
thickness about a half inch. Just cut a little off one end, then cut
another small chunk off, then keep cutting pieces off in random sizes
of varying shapes, mostly you end up with very irregular pyramidal
shapes....You want pieces big enough to not turn into mush but small
enough for ...your liking! The 'edges_ will eventually break off and
mush up onto the salad while the larger parts of the bodies will
remain whole. You are cutting, peeling and dropping them into a large
bowl. There really should be two people doing this or one should work
as quickly as possible. After you have cut up a potato or two,
sprinkle them fairly generously vinegar and stir around a bit in the
bowl..just a bit so you get the vinegar that fell to the bottom of the
bowl on the potatoes. As you finish a potato or two, sprinkle each
(they should be warm to hot when you sprinkle, if possible...THAT's
the BIG secret to this recipe) fairly generously. I put my finger over
the end of the bottle of cider vinegar and drizzly drip it onto the
potatoes making sure each is sprinkled well. If you run out of the
half cup, just use more. Each potato gets a fairly generous sprinkling
of vinegar. THAT point is more important than the measurement of the
1/2 cup of vinegar above. Note: I don't measure out a half cup and
then pour it on them. That would be awkward. I did measure this once
so I could have a recipe for a
friend and I learned I sprinkled ABOUT a half a cup. Salt them at this
point; I don't know how much....Just salt them like you like. 

The vinegar needs a comment. The importance of a generous sprinkling
of vinegar while the potatoes are warm/hot can't be over emphasized.
They will soak up the vinegar. I am always amazed at how much vinegar
it takes and how when they are done, the vinegar is tasted, but the
dish is not 'vinegary_ like a hot german potato salad which I
hate....trust in a good sprinkling of vinegar at this point and if in
doubt, sprinkle a little
more! 

============================

From: Kajikit 
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 18:52:37 +1100
--------
Koko wrote:
>Ever since I found this recipe on this newsgroup, it's the only potato
>salad recipe I use. 

Thanks for the tips Koko... I'll have to try this salad only maybe
without the celery because I HATE the stuff! I assume that you add all
the other ingredients after you've finished sprinkling the vinegar on
the potatos? You don't say what to do with it all!

Karen

============================

From: Jean B. 
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 09:09:46 -0500
--------
Kajikit wrote:
> Thanks for the tips Koko... I'll have to try this salad only maybe
> without the celery because I HATE the stuff!

I have to say that I don't hold celery in high regard, but I do put it
in my potato salad and my tuna salad.  They need that crunch, IMO.

============================

From: gregorymorrow[at]msn.com (Gregory Morrow)
Date: 15 Jan 2002 10:45:42 -0800
--------
Jean B. wrote:
> I have to say that I don't hold celery in high regard, but I do put it
> in my potato salad and my tuna salad.  They need that crunch, IMO.

Just don't forget to *peel* yer celery....

============================

From: Koko 
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 22:25:04 -0800
--------
Kajikit wrote:
>Thanks for the tips Koko... I'll have to try this salad only maybe
>without the celery because I HATE the stuff! I assume that you add all
>the other ingredients after you've finished sprinkling the vinegar on
>the potatos? You don't say what to do with it all!

Karen, 

Yes, I add the other ingredients after I've finished the vinegar step.

I spread out all of the ingredients on top of the potatoes, then I
fold them into the potatoes all at once, that helps keep the stirring
and potato breakage at a minimum.

If you want to add some crunch to the potato salad, instead of the
celery,  try some bamboo shoots, they are nice. 

I don't care for pickle relish so I add finely chopped dill pickles
instead.

One nice thing about potato salad is that it is a very flexible dish
and can be made so many different ways and still be great. 

Have fun creating your own salad. 

============================

From: Kate Connally 
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 13:07:42 -0500
--------
Kajikit wrote:
>    My potato
> salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes with mayonnaise and
> herbs than 

Are you using russets?  If so, maybe you would
like a waxier variety better.  I happen to like my
potato salad mushy.  I prefer the taste and texture
of russets so that's what I use.  They do tend to
mush a bit, but there are still nice firm chunks of
potato strewn throughout the mush.  I also boil
my potatoes whole with the skin on and then
peel (or not) and then quarter long ways and then
slice about 1/4 inch thick.

However I have made other types of potato salad
using other varieties of potato.  Small red potatoes
are good for a salad made with a vinaigrette dressing
or an olive oil and vinegar dressing.  That type shouldn't
get mushy at all.

============================

From: nobody[at]nevermind.com (Fishface)
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 12:24:13 GMT
--------
Kajikit wrote:
>    My potato
> salad ALWAYS turns out more like mashed potatoes with mayonnaise and
> herbs than 

You're cooking the potatos too long. I had the same problem and
eventually solved it by calibrated cooking. That is, my method is to
(usually) peel and cut up the potatoes, boil them, let cool, and make
the salad. Finally found that, for my size chunks, about 10 minutes
boiling was correct. Undercooked is easier to fork-test than
overcooked, but once you figure it out, it makes potato salad much
less daunting.


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