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Archive for April 18th, 2012

Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad

18 Apr

Potato Salad

M: Potato salad has been around a long, long time.  First introduced in sixteenth century Europe by Spanish explorers, it was a blend of potatoes, vinegar, spices and… Yeah, OK, I enjoy researching the history of the food on my table.  But I’m just going to trace this back to a block party back in 1976 or ’77.  Hot summer.  Might’ve been 4th of July.  Picnic tables were set up at the end of our street.  After the water fights and watching older kids set off M-80s, we scurried over to the tables to load up paper plates with hot dogs, chips and a variety of summer sides.  I skipped the cole slaw and the bean salad and dove right into a massive bowl of potato salad.  Thinking back on it, it was probably not much more than potatoes, sweet pickle relish and mayonnaise.  A lot of mayonnaise.  But to my young palate, it was a gourmet delight.  But then, I was the same kid for whom sneaking a spoonful of butter was a gourmet delight as well.

As an adult, my tastes have become more selective.  Perhaps inconveniently so.  These days, many if not most of the mayo based potato salads jut don’t do it for me.  Almost always for the same reason I liked that block party side as a kid.  They are little more than potatoes and too much mayonnaise.  Not so with this aptly named take on the picnic favorite.  The mayo is there, sure, but an aggressive blend of strong flavors come together here in a wonderful way.  This doesn’t just lay on your paper plate.  It does indeed stand up and shout hallelujah.   I’ll also mention that it is a good *looking* potato salad. Colorful, like culinary confetti. Pretty means almost as much as flavorful when competing against other pot luck picnic dishes lined up in tupperware display.

I’d have skipped this one back in ’77.  A little too grown up perhaps. But then, I don’t sneak straight butter anymore either.  You know, I haven’t thought of that in years.  Gross.

Recipe: Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad

Summary: A blend of attention getting flavors (especially for potato salad) makes this something out of the ordinary.  And that is very good indeed. From The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 5 Lb Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 4 Eggs, hard boiled
  • 4 oz Pimentos, diced
  • 4 drops Hot Sauce
  • 2 tsp Celery Salt
  • 2 T Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 T Lemon Juice
  • 1 c Sweet Salad Pickle Cubes, drained
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 c + 2 T Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c Yellow Mustard
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 c Red Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 c Celery, chopped
  • 1/4 c Flat Leaf Parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika

Instructions

  1. Boil potatoes ion a large pot until a knife pierces easily (about 20 minutes).
  2. Rub skin from potatoes, cut into large chunks and place in a large bowl.
  3. Cut eggs into chunks and add to potatoes.
  4. Add pimentos, hot sauce, celery salt, vinegar, lemon juice, pickles, olive oil, mayonnaise, mustard, jalapenos, onion, bell pepper and parsley.
  5. Mix well with hands, mashing potato chunks a bit.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and place in serving bowl or form into mound on serving platter and dust with paprika.
  7. Chill before serving.