Mom’s Potato Salad

(June 26, 2020) Summer is officially here! Vacationers are flocking to the Eastern Shore to soak up the sun and pig out on the Boardwalk.

Gov. Larry Hogan is gradually lifting restrictions, and how great it feels to get back to some sense of normalcy.

Picnics, barbecue and parties are gearing up as friends and family gather for a fun time.

If one has been invited to such an occasion, it’s always a nice gesture to offer to help in some way.

Bringing a dish is a possible option. Entertaining is time consuming, and chances are the host will greatly appreciation your consideration.

As gourmet supermarkets upscale their offerings, many consumers opt for convenience. While this is a tempting choice, we should not make this a daily practice.

Potato salad is a popular summer dish. However, I have never tasted a commercial potato salad that strikes my fancy.

Homemade potato salad is the only way to go.

Credit must be given where credit is due, my mother’s potato salad is delicious. I have revised the recipe a bit for more depth of flavor.

Following are a few helpful hints for the best potato salad ever.

Placing the raw potatoes in cold water and allowing them to heat up gradually versus placing them in boiling water allows the potatoes to cook more evenly.

That being said, there is a fine line for under cooked, perfectly cooked, and over cooked potatoes. Once the potatoes are almost done, you need to constantly check them for doneness.

Adding a mixture of rice vinegar and chicken stock to the hot potatoes gives them so much more flavor. Hot potatoes are more conducive for soaking up additional flavors.

Have you ever wondered why your potato salad gets soggy after a few days?

Vegetables have a lot of natural juices, so it is imperative to squeeze out the excess. Also, salt has a tendency to extract the natural juices. To solve the problem is easy.

After you chop your celery, green pepper and onion, use paper towels to squeeze out the excess liquid.

Bacon is a key ingredient for this recipe. I find the thick bacon stands up to the potatoes better than regular sliced bacon. Also, coarsely chop the bacon for more of a wow factor.

In addition, regular mayonnaise is the preferred choice. This is no times to be counting calories.

Also, the recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of mayonnaise. If you prefer more or less, feel free to adjust according to personal preference.

In closing, it is important to cherish heirloom recipes. Yes, they do take time but they are well worth the extra effort.

Special occasions deserve exceptional attentiveness. The next time potato salad is on the menu, consider making homemade potato salad.

Trust me, your family and guests will love this recipe. Enjoy!

Mom’s Potato Salad

Ingredients

5 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into thirds

4 celery stalks (including the leaves), chopped

1 large green pepper, seeded, stem removed, and chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

1 ½ pounds thick bacon, coarsely chopped

5 large hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped

2 cups rice vinegar

2 cups chicken stock

1 ½ cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus salt to taste

1. Place bacon in a large sauté pan and cook until it is crispy.

Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and blot off any excess drippings. When the bacon has cooled, coarsely chop, and set aside.

Save bacon drippings for future use.

2. Place eggs in a small pot of simmering water. Make sure the eggs are completely covered in water.

Once the water returns to a hard simmer, cook for 12 minutes. Remove pot from the stove, empty hot water, and run cold water to stop the cooking process.

When the eggs have cooled, coarsely chop and set aside.

3. Place peeled potatoes in a large pot of cold water, add 2 teaspoons of salt. Allow water to come to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook potatoes until fork tender.

4. In the meantime, chop the celery, green pepper and onion. Using paper towels, squeeze the excess liquid out of the vegetables. Set aside.

5. Using a microwavable bowl, combine the rice vinegar and chicken stock, and microwave for 2 minutes.

6. When the potatoes are done, drain all the water and place them in a large bowl with the rice wine mixture. Using a knife, cut the potatoes and allow rice wine mixture to soak into the hot potatoes for 1 minute.

Drain the potatoes thoroughly and transfer to a large clean bowl.

7. Add the chopped celery, green peppers, sweet onions, bacon, eggs and mayonnaise to the potatoes. Mix well and salt to taste.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Secret Ingredient – Recipes. “If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.”

– Linda Henley

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