Potato salad : A true staple of the Meat and Potato Diet. I don’t subscribe to that particular brand of eating on a regular basis, but when you’re cooking out with your family you have to embrace it. At our get togethers it is a plain old necessity. We all like it pretty good… Mom’s husband, Chuck, likes it ALOT.
I wouldn’t eat potato salad when i was little. Chopped up onions and what??? Mustard??? Forget it. When we would visit my grandparents in Illinois twice a year, my mom and my grandma would sit at the tiny table in my grandparents kitchen peeling potatoes and chopping vegetables for what seemed like hours (but it probably wasn’t) while they prepared potato salad. My grandma had rheumatoid arthritis so her tiny hands were gnarled and barely moved from its effects, but she was a trooper and kept right on going. When my sister was maybe 4or so, she told Grandma that her hands “looked like turkey claws”. Grandma laughed.
Everyone has their own way of combining the same basic ingredients into a good ‘ol potato salad, and while my mom and grandma could peel a potato with the best of ‘em, I am partial to the lazy (but still delicious) version of the dish. I have two secrets:
Red potatoes. And Bacon (bacon makes everything except chocolate better).
Red potatoes make potato salad pretty. Also- you don’t have to peel red potatoes! I just wash them and then cut into chunks that are all roughly the same size. Throw them into a big pot of salted water and boil until you can cut into a piece of potato easily with a spoon. While you’re waiting on that cook your bacon. When the bacon is crisp place on a paper towel to drain. When the potatoes are cooked through, drain them and set them aside.
You can’t have potato salad without celery and onions. Dice those up and chop up your cooked bacon, too. Duke’s Mayonnaise is a must for any kind of salad (tuna, chicken, potato…), so if you don’t have it, get it. I like the light version.
Also you will need some of that [delightfully] spicy mustard. Add salt and pepper to your taste and mix it all together. I always mix in the bacon last and then sprinkle a little on top before serving.
Perfect potato salad— and no peeling required!
Bacon Potato Salad
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes washed and cut into chunks (for faster cooking)
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup white or yellow onions, diced
5-6 sliced of cooked bacon, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and drain. Add the onions and celery and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix with a large wooden spoon, smashing up the cooked potatoes a little bit while you combine everything. Then add the mayonnaise and spicy mustard. Stir well and then add the bacon. Serve immediately if your crowd likes it warm or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. And remember that potato salad is not an exact science. Too dry? Add more mayo. Like onions? Throw in a few more. I never measure. I just throw things in until it looks and tastes like I want it to. But the bacon? That’s essential.