Monday, June 3, 2013

Carole's Potato Salad

My mom's famous potato salad.
Julia's party menu was very simple: sub sandwiches (she loves subs), chips, fruit, veggies.
Carole's Potato Salad was the only made-from-scratch food at the party, except for the desserts.

Here's what the bowl looked like after the party.
(This is a big Grip-Stand bowl, just like on Downton Abbey!)
We filled it twice, and our 100-plus eaters emptied it twice.


Something is missing...

Yep. That's more like it.
Thanks, Mom!

Carole's Potato Salad

5 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half (either russet or red are good)

1/4 cup olive oil
scant 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
squirt of mustard (maybe 1 to 2 tsp, definitely less than a tablespoon)
dash of pepper

10 eggs, boiled (bring pot of eggs to boil, turn off heat, keep covered for 15 min., then drain and rinse with cold water)

1/2 c. finely diced onion, soaked in a bowl of water with a dash of sugar and a bit of vinegar
1 jar pimiento-stuffed green olives (10  oz, but you might not use them all)
2 c. diced celery
optional:  5 chopped green onions, paprika (if you don't use green onions, you may want more regular onion)

Boil potatoes in their skins (this will take about 20 min., depending on the size of potatoes). Check them with a fork to test. My mom is picky, so she lifts them out as they are done, and this way she doesn't get any mushy ones.
Drain the cooked potatoes in the pot, return pot to stove top, and dry out potatoes on very low heat for a few minutes.

While potatoes are cooling, make vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, mustard, pepper (to taste).

Peel potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces. I quarter each potato half, then slice the quarters crosswise.
While you are peeling and slicing the potatoes, boil the eggs.

Place peeled potatoes in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette over them.

Dice eggs, either by hand or with a good egg slicer. Save a few eggs for garnish.
Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir eggs into potatoes.
Drain the onions: using a strainer, rinse the onions under hot water, shake excess water out, add onions to potatoes.
If using green onions, add them at this time.
Stir in mayo to taste. Depending on your potatoes and how long they've been soaking up the vinaigrette, you'll probably need one to two cups of mayo.
Slice the green olives, using as many as you like, and when you add them to the potatoes, also add a splash of the olive brine.
Refrigerate the salad several hours, or overnight if you have time.

Add celery. Do not add it until shortly before serving, as it can make the salad watery.

To serve:
salt and pepper to taste
add in more mayo if needed
Scoop salad into a beautiful bowl, top with sliced eggs if you like, and sprinkle with paprika.

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