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Subject: Potato salad trick (Was: Dislikes from childhood revisited)
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Nathalie Chiva <Nathalie.Chiva.invalid[at]netcourrier.com.invalid>
Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 13:53:52 +0200
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There is one very simple trick for potato salad, in order to avoid
drowning the potatoes in sauce to get them moist and nice: Cook the
unpeeled potatoes, and then, as soon as you can without scorching your
fingers, peel them and put them in a bowl half-full with broth (my
mother used to do it with white wine, but to me it tastes too sharp, I
like broth better). Toss, let cool. Then drain the potatoes and go on
making the salad your usual way. You'll need much less dressing that
way, it makes for a much lighter salad, with very moist and creamy
potatoes.

Nathalie in Switzerland

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From: Bob <virtualgoth[at]die_spammer.biz>
Date: 7 Jul 2005 07:22:03 -0500
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I use vinegar or wine; it varies according to my mood. Last time I made
potato salad, I used champagne vinegar, and got rave reviews. I'd used the
same vinegar to make the mayonnaise for the dressing.

I can't claim any kind of credit for the idea; I got it off this newsgroup 
sometime around 2001.

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From: Wayne Boatwright <waynesgang[at]waynes.gang>
Date: 7 Jul 2005 16:51:37 +0200
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Bob wrote:
> I use vinegar or wine; it varies according to my mood. Last time I made
> potato salad, I used champagne vinegar, and got rave reviews. I'd used
> the same vinegar to make the mayonnaise for the dressing.

I happen to do this with half cider vinegar and half chicken broth, but
the point of it is the process itself.  Macerating the potatoes in a
"clear" liquid as they cool does insure moist potatoes and a nice texture,
while requiring less final dressing. 

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From: notbob <notbob[at]nothome.com>
Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 15:09:37 -0500
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:
> the point of it is the process itself.  Macerating the potatoes in a
> "clear" liquid as they cool does insure moist potatoes and a nice texture,
> while requiring less final dressing. 

Hmmmm....  I've never heard of this approach to preparing potato
salad.  Are you using only waxy potatoes (red, white) as opposed to
mealy potatoes (baking, mashing)?  Using mealy potatoes like Idaho's
and cooking them thoroughly gives a nice creamy texture with a minimum
of dressing.  Using both types of potato together makes for a great
salad.

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From: Wayne Boatwright <waynesgang[at]waynes.gang>
Date: 8 Jul 2005 00:24:39 +0200
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notbob wrote:
> Hmmmm....  I've never heard of this approach to preparing potato
> salad.  Are you using only waxy potatoes (red, white) as opposed to
> mealy potatoes (baking, mashing)?  Using mealy potatoes like Idaho's
> and cooking them thoroughly gives a nice creamy texture with a minimum
> of dressing.  Using both types of potato together makes for a great
> salad.

I use both but prefer waxy potatoes, usually small red potatoes.  I'm not
fond of the way mealy potatoes break down in a salad and turn to mush.  I
cook the red potatoes just long enough so that the edges of the cubes
soften enough to round off a little.  I never thought of using them
together.  I should try it. 

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From: sf <sf[at]gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 21:35:26 -0700
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notbob wrote:
>  Hmmmm....  I've never heard of this approach to preparing potato
>  salad.  Are you using only waxy potatoes (red, white) as opposed to
>  mealy potatoes (baking, mashing)?  Using mealy potatoes like Idaho's
>  and cooking them thoroughly gives a nice creamy texture with a minimum
>  of dressing. 

It's new to me too.

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From: Wayne Boatwright <waynesgang[at]waynes.gang>
Date: 8 Jul 2005 06:53:52 +0200
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sf wrote:
> It's new to me too.

Among other sources, my 1964 edition of Joy of Cooking espouses using  soup 
stock, french dressing, vinegar, etc., on the warm potatoes prior to 
completing the salad.  

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From: sf <sf[at]gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 09:14:55 -0700
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:
>  Among other sources, my 1964 edition of Joy of Cooking espouses using  soup 
>  stock, french dressing, vinegar, etc., on the warm potatoes prior to 
>  completing the salad.  

That's just a recipe in a book.  As one who's made midwest american
mayonnaise dressed potato salad since childhood, it's not a recipe I'd
ever be looking up.  OTOH, I'd look for a recipe to make Hot/Warm
German Potato Salad.

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From: Wayne Boatwright <waynesgang[at]waynes.gang>
Date: 8 Jul 2005 18:33:55 +0200
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sf wrote:
> That's just a recipe in a book.  As one who's made midwest american
> mayonnaise dressed potato salad since childhood, it's not a recipe I'd
> ever be looking up.  OTOH, I'd look for a recipe to make Hot/Warm
> German Potato Salad.

Yeah, I know what it is.  But one learns from reading/investigating, etc.  
I used to just make potato salad the way my mom did and started my own 
variations.  Happened onto that tip, tried it and liked the result.  I 
don't need a recipe for German Potato Salad.  A highschool friend's mother 
taught me that one.  She was born and raised in Germany.

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From: Jean B. <jbxyz[at]rcn.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 12:37:09 -0400
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Nathalie Chiva wrote:
> making the salad your usual way. You'll need much less dressing that
> way, it makes for a much lighter salad, with very moist and creamy
> potatoes.

I use a homemade "French" dressing.  I usually don't have that made now, 
so that ends up translating into some oil, vinegar, and seasonings.

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From: kalanamak <kalanamak[at]qwest.net>
Date: Sat, 09 Jul 2005 14:06:55 -0700
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Sounds lovely. In order to get the chunks to cook uniformly, and hot 
have the outside mushy and the inside crisp, I cube them prior to 
cooking, into uniform size, of course, and lower them into boiling water 
like pasta. Perfect every time. I also "air" them quickly to let the 
water evaporate off and then dowse them with some lemon juice.
blacksalt


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