Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Three Potato Salad

I can see you all shuddering. You know what? I was too. We've all heard of people who like potato salad, but most of us have never seen them. They're myths. They're remnants of Nazi propaganda. They are not real people. Yet, at every barbecue, at every party, at every "down-home" restaurant, sure enough it's on the menu. If you're like me, you still order it every once in a while to confirm that no, you still don't like it and proceed to push it around your plate for the rest of the meal.

It was on one such occasion that I found something... edible. Not great, but a good enough idea that I've been musing on potato salad ever since. It's taken me a good year and an overabundance of potatoes to get around to it. That's a lotta spud.

It was a three potato salad that was both savory and a little sweet, with a creamy dressing that wasn't smothering. This recipe isn't quite what I imagine the perfect potato salad to be, but for the first time I'm eating it willingly and I'm enjoying it. With the mayo base, it still has that distinctly "potato salad" taste, but it is complemented by the calm palate of the russet and red potatoes against the slight sweetness of sweet potatoes.

What's better is that I made it myself. The older I get, the less picky I get. Yet I still find myself taking an inordinate amount of time to eat foods that I otherwise like because I have to eat around things. Spending all night dissecting your plate is no fun. I added things to this salad that I would never contemplate eating otherwise. I hate to even say them. Can I just whisper in your ear?

Miracle Whip and celery.

There, I said it. Out loud and in print. It's official. I take personal offence to the idea of Miracle Whip, though if I'm being honest I will eat it on a grilled bologna sandwich. But that's it! I swear. And there was a time when the smell of raw celery would make me dry heave. It wasn't pretty. My food processor has allowed me to eat all kinds of things I never would before. Some celery and chives whipped up with mayo, a little Miracle Whip, and mustard was fine. Even... kinda tasty. The recipe only calls for mayo, but I was at the bottom of the jar where lurks the funktified chunks of what was once mayo. So I was brave and substituted to get the full cup. Enough of my bravery. The recipe.

Three Potato Salad
Adapted from this one

2 medium to large sized sweet, red, and white potatoes. Have roughly the same amount of each.
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup mustard
1 stalk celery
2 chives, green parts only
salt and pepper to taste
relish, hard boiled eggs, ect optional

Peel and chop potatoes into bite-sized chunks. They suggest boiling them in separate pots, but I think you could do them all in one with the same results. Make sure they're all done, if overdone then they'll just be creamier. No biggie.

Drain and let cool slightly. Mix mayo, mustard, chopped celery and chives in a bowl. Add in salt, pepper, and optional condiments to taste. Mix with potatoes. Done.

They say to chill, but I liked mine still warm.

Just a little note on sprouting potatoes. Yes, you can eat them, just make sure to cut away all green bits because they are poisonous. Reassuring, right? Also, am I the only one charmed by sprouting potatoes? Especially, little reds? There's something so homey about it. Little blots of color, delicately shaped roots on a background of trusty potato skin. I found two potatoes in my "cellar" a few months ago that had not only started to sprout, but were ready to put out leaves. A few days in a pot with some dirt gave me a very pretty vining display for my front porch. I hope to finish these off before that since it's nearly cold here. Maybe next spring.


Mary said...

umm. I like potato salad. But not the kind you buy at the grocery store. I make it with mayo and an added squirt of lemon juice that makes all the difference. And I only buy Miracle Whip for turkey sandwiches. :)
You're potato salad sounds really good.

Zylo said...

Shhh. What I meant was store-bought junk. Maybe I'll have to start adding the lemon juice though, because that does sound really good.