Now that we’re well into summer in the Northern Hemisphere, I’ve been making a couple of potato-based dishes that are eaten cold. I’m sharing them here because someone might find them useful and/or provide some feedback.
Both are made with new potatoes, but I suppose any spuds will do. There’s an ideal consistency between hard and soft that’s hard to describe. Almost gelatinous…
Boil unpeeled new potatoes with salt until tender. Boil a couple of eggs, an unpeeled carrot and a few green beans until they’re done. Peel potato, carrot and eggs and cut them into small pieces. Cut the green beans into small pieces. Add anchovy-stuffed olives, chopped parsley and salt and that’s your base. Keep it in the fridge for about a week, adding your best mayo to each serving. You can swap the green beans for peas, and you can ramp up the results with tuna or similar, prawns, anchovies, crabmeat, surimi, etc. I like to top each serving with chopped chives.
Boil and peel the potatoes and cut them into slightly larger pieces. Add finely chopped green onion (bulb) and parsley, your best olive oil, vinegar and salt. Mix well, and that’s all there is to it. It’s surprisingly tasty, but you have to use enough vinegar to get some zing and enough oil and vinegar to make the mixture wet, without overdoing it. It’s best at room temperature and works very well as a side for most of your warm-weather fare, even the sophisticated stuff.
It’s true that ready-made potato salad is inexpensive, and I’ve heard it can be very good. It’s fairly quick and easy for me to make it myself (about 25 minutes). The only tricks are to use the right potatoes, cook them just beyond hard (“gummy” is best but doesn’t always happen; I don’t know why) and cut them small. And it’s important to remove the excess liquid from the other ingredients.
Most of the ingredients in the first recipe work well in the second. I made a batch this morning with olives and chives. But the bare-bones version is actually why I posted, as I’m kind of impressed by the results from such basic ingredients. I guess that has to do with what I said about it working well as a side dish. Warm-weather staple for me.
Your first recipe looks way too complicated to me, for what should be a simple dish. And you’re likely to run into folks who don’t like one ingredient or another (to me, stuffing the olives with anchovies would just ruin everything). I also wouldn’t peel the potatoes, because not only is that more work, but the peels are tasty.
For me, I’d make it simpler:
Boil some potatoes. Soak them in vinegar for a bit, then add whatever other ingredients you like, plus mayo. Leave it to the reader to decide what “other ingredients” to add.
The very BEST macaroni salad I have ever had took a simple dish and made the process unreasonably long. Unreasonable until you realize that everyone raves about it. (Not kidding…a real winner that one but while not hard at all it is fussy.)
Sometimes, taking time to make something good pays off (even if it seems like it wouldn’t). There are loads of places you could think to shorten the macaroni recipe I linked and I bet the result would be worse.
Of course, if you hate anchovies (or whatever…back to the OP), skip them. I will say, I usually try to make a recipe as written the first time and then fiddle from there but, of course, no reason you have to. I have the “I hate cilantro” gene so, if I see cilantro, I reflexively leave it out or just pass over the recipe completely if I think it is an important ingredient.
I have a dead-simple potato salad I make for 2-3 people. I cut up a couple Yukon Golds, salt lightly and steam them until they are just tender. Mix them up with fresh dill and parsley, 2 TB Durkee’s Famous sauce (sub equal parts Dijon mustard and mayo if you don’t have that), 1 tsp. vinegar and 3/4 tsp. lemon juice. Add cracked pepper if you like.
My gripe with potato salad is the huge pot of boiling water heating up the already hot house.
This sounds fine but I’d consider trying this with a lot dill. A now-closed place near me had a sort of similar cabbage slaw with green onion, vinegar, oil and, of course, dill, and your Dressed Potatoes recipe reminds me of it.
No idea why but my supermarket has not had these in many months.
I live in Chicago and I go to a gigantic supermarket of a major chain (Jewel). I asked and the staff all seemed mystified (as in…we do not understand that this is a thing). I was amazed. It’s not an uncommon potato (I’d say second most common after a Russet…just a guess though).
That doesn’t seem unreasonable at all and is pretty similar to how I make mine. I guess cutting down all the veggies can be a bit finicky, but that’s it (and that’s what I do for this salad, anyway. Finely diced ham works well, too.) I was expecting some crazy-ass recipe with homemade mayo and shit like that. (And, no need to do that. Duke’s is the best for macaroni salad!)
I steam my potatoes at night so the only boiling water is to cook the eggs. Then I chill them overnight and make the salad in the morning. My favorite and simplest version is chilled steamed potatoes in chunks, a bunch of hard boiled eggs rough chopped, a shitload of itty bitty garlic baby dills chunked up and a shitload of green onions, rough chopped. Dressed with sour cream, garlic salt, a lot of fresh cracked pepper and a big couple pinches of dried dill. Some grated parmesan or asiago if I’m feeling all fancy. If I take this to a barbecue I almost always bring back an empty bowl so I take some out into a container before I sacrifice the rest to the hungry mobs.
I’d say doing a proper chop on the veggies is tops. Not hard but takes a little care (you could get away with a much rougher chop).
Letting the veggies sit in the mayo sauce to sort of pickle for a while (rather than stir in and go).
Letting the macaroni totally cool (I have seen plenty only let it cool a bit).
Let it sit overnight (usually I see it made and then go).
Also, I have seen some skip finding things like poblano peppers and skip the jalapeno because they do not like hot peppers (jalapeno are key in this and if diced finely do not stand out…final dish is not hot at all). I have also seen people go with yellow mustard they have on hand and not use Dijon.
There are lots of little things one can do to make this recipe easier and faster. But if you make it as written the result is remarkably good.
Ah, yeah, for me macaroni salad is definitely a do-the-night-before thing. I don’t think I’ve ever made it same day – it’s something you can get out of the way and not have to worry about it the day of while you’re making other stuff (or bringing it to your potluck or whatever.)
Yeah, I live in Chicago and Yukon golds are reasonably common, but not every grocery store has them. They are usually not sold loose. You have to find them bagged, and sometimes, instead of Yukon Golds, they’ll just be some generic type of yellow potato (which works just as well.)
I first favorited this dish a couple of years ago when you posted it in another thread. I’ve always liked the idea of pasta salad as well as the individual ingredients, but I’ve never made nor had what I consider to be excellent pasta salad.
I finally made this last night for the first time, making no substitutions nor taking any shortcuts in the preparation. This shit is the bomb!
My stinky potato salad is a huge bomb with my family, so I haven’t made it in forever, but when I lived with non-weirdos who LIKE olives and blue cheese, it wasn’t a bomb, it was the bomb.
You cook yer Yukon golds. You make a nasty slurry out of garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crumbled blue cheese, chopped kalamata olives, salt, pepper, chopped parsley. You pour the nasty slurry over the potatoes and some diced raw onions. You eat it warm or cold. So good!