Happy Monday, everyone – and happy July 1st!
I hope you had a lovely weekend filled with fun in the sun. I laced up my walking shoes for the first time in over a week to zip around some trails, then Ben and I spent a few hours walking around the Des Moines Art Festival on Saturday. The weather was crazy! These dark storm clouds kept passing over the festival every 30 minutes or so, but never let loose – as long as we were there, anyway. I can’t imagine a worse scenario for a traveling artist. RAIN!
I also whipped up a batch of my Mom’s Classic Potato Salad for you. I promised I’d post this recipe before the 4th, and here she is!
If you attend a BBQ at my parent’s house in the summer, you are 99% guaranteed to be served Judy’s Baked Beans, Grandpa’s Pasta Salad, and Yo’ Mama’s Dirt Cake, or any combo of the three, but always, always, always Mom’s Classic Potato Salad. It’s a summertime institution.
My Mom (she cracks me up. Yes, Mom, I know who you are!) has made this recipe so many times that it’s ingrained in her memory, but last week I had her write it down ingredient by yummy ingredient, step by simple step. I’ve never actually made this classic potato salad myself – afterall, Mom always seems to make it best – and was so surprised by the recipe. Not nearly as much mayo as I thought, and a secret marinating step that gives the salad flavor from the inside out. You’ll see!
She’s fine-tuned the recipe over the years to fit our family’s tastes – eliminating add-ins like chopped onions and celery, which we didn’t love – so feel free to jazz this recipe up with any mixins you like. The base recipe, which I’m sharing here, is a classic, creamy, dare I say, clean, tasting Potato Salad. The only one I’ll eat. It is SO good!!!
Start with zee potatoes. 2-1/2lbs potatoes, which is about 4 medium-sized potatoes. Make sure they’re all roughly the same size so they cook evenly. I used Russets.
Scrub the potatoes then place in a HUGE pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20-30 minutes or until a knife can be inserted into the center of each potato.
Remove the potatoes with tongs then let cool slightly. When they’re cool enough to handle, but still warm, use a paring knife to help peel (it should be very easy) then chop into big chunks and place into a large bowl.
Meanwhile, mix up the dressing for the potato salad. Part of this dressing will be swirled over the warm potatoes, and part will be stirred in at the very end before serving.
In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup canola oil, 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar (same as apple cider vinegar) and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Then add 1/2 teaspoon sugar, a scant 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a heavy dash of paprika.
Give ‘er a little stir with a fork to combine.
Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the warm potatoes then stir and stash in the fridge for at least an hour or up to overnight. This is the “marinating” step that gives the potato so much flavor!
After making the dressing, while the potatoes are still cooking, hard-boil 4 large eggs. Just pop them into a saucepan then cover the tops by 1″ with cold water. Bring to a boil, place a lid on top, then let them sit off the heat for exactly 12 minutes.
Plunge the eggs into ice water, or run under cold water for a few minutes, then lightly smash each egg against a cutting board, roll so the shell cracks all the way around the center, and then peel. I find that still-warm eggs peel the easiest. Chop the eggs up then place ‘em into the refrigerator.
Before serving, add the remaining dressing, 1/2 cup light mayonnaise, the chopped hard boiled eggs, and a dash of salt to the marinated potatoes then stir to combine, adding up to 1/4 cup more light mayo to achieve a creamier consistency.
That’s it! Classic, right?! Refrigerate until ready to devour, then dig in!
Classic Potato Salad
2-1/2lbs medium-sized potatoes (about 4-5 potatoes – make sure all are same size)
4 large eggs
1/2 – 3/4 cup light mayonnaise
For the dressing:
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
scant 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of paprika
- Place potatoes in a very large pot of cold water then bring to a boil. Boil for 20-30 minutes or until a knife can be inserted all the way into the centers.
- Meanwhile, place eggs in a saucepan then cover with cold water 1″ above the tops. Bring to a boil, place a lid on top, and then remove from heat and let sit for 12 minutes. Drain then plunge into ice water or run under cold water for a few minutes. Peel eggs then chop and place into the refrigerator.
- Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl then set aside.
- When potatoes are tender, remove to a colander with tongs. When cool enough to handle, but still warm, use a paring knife to help peel potatoes then chop into large pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle 3/4 of the dressing over the warm potatoes then toss to combine. Cover then place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
- Before serving add remaining dressing to potatoes then add 1/2 cup mayonnaise, chopped hard boiled eggs, and salt. Mix to combine, adding more mayonnaise to reach desired consistency. Refrigerate until service.
Creamy and SO dreamy, I hope you love this salad as much as my family and I do!
In other news…
A few months ago, while on the Dole Salad Getaway to Monterrey, CA, I finally got to meet a blogging buddy that I’d been corresponding with online for quite sometime – Sandy The Reluctant Entertainer!
It was on a long bus ride to the Dole growing fields when Sandy and I gabbed and giggled – then realized we both had big birthday milestones coming up…ON THE SAME DAY! Guess who’s turning 50 and 30 on July 5th? Sandy and me!
To celebrate, we thought we’d collaborate and come up with a fabulous 4th of July menu to share with our readers. Sandy writes about all things easy entertaining with quick and colorful decor, and delicious and beautiful menus, so I knew this would be good. Here’s what we came up with!
4th of July Menu with the Reluctant Entertainer
IGE Cocktail: Strawberry Mojito
Reluctant Entertainer Appetizer: Watermelon, Blue Cheese & Proscuitto Wrap Drizzled with Honey
Reluctant Entertainer Salad: Blackeye Peas Fresh Corn Salad
IGE Side: Mom’s Classic Potato Salad
IGE Main: The Iowa Burger
Reluctant Entertainer Dessert: Grilled Cake Donuts with Berries
From us to you, we hope you enjoy and have a fabulous, festive week!