Monday, May 30, 2022

Won't Take Nothing But a Memory

An unusually barren beach view from a Red Hook construction site. 
Simple, yet perfect combo of Mock Shake and Bake Chicken, with sweet corn and my mom's potato salad. Everyone has their own version of the perfect potato salad.  Did your family use Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing, maybe it was sweet.  Ours was made with a boiled egg and yellow mustardy mix, along with pickle brine on the warmed potatoes, diced egg white, pickles, the smallest chop of celery and no onions.  Paprika only for garnish and salt, no pepper as I recall.  I've not been terribly successful in the past, creating this from memory but finally cracked the code.  
Learned lessons:
  • Ensure potatoes are drained entirely of water by leaving them on the stove on low until all water evaporates.  My mom boiled them whole and we peeled them after they came out of the water.  This way they don't get water logged and keep a rustic flavor.
  • Pour on pickle juice, enough to flavor while the potatoes are still very warm so they absorb all the flavor.  
  • Salt the water generously when boiling potatoes.  Cut the potatoes to the bite size that you prefer, which for me is not too big, but not too small and the pickles, eggs and celery to about 1/2 that size. 
  • The mustard to egg yolk ratio is to taste but error on the side of less mustard until the final mayo is added because it too is tangy.  Remember, you can add but you can't take out.
Mom's Potato Salad

6 Potatoes - boiled, peeled and chopped
4 Eggs - properly boiled and separated
1 heaping tablespoon - Yellow Mustard - don't get fancy, use plain 
3/4 cup Hellman's Mayonnaise
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup pickles & pickle juice

Chop potatoes into bite sized cubes. Immediately add pickle juice, from 2 tablespoons to a 1/4 cup.  
In separate bowl, mash the egg yolks whipping in the mustard a little at a time.  I go for creamy, tangy.  Add mayo until just the right level of Mmmmm is achieved, about 3/4 of a cup.
Get a big bowl and add in celery, pickles and egg whites along with your brined potatoes.  Stir in the dressing mixture until every bit is coated.  Stop when you reach your desired creaminess.  Add salt and paprika to taste. Refrigerate until cooled and married.  Before eating, add one more dollop of mayo to revive the party.

A glorious toasted Everything bagel with tomato, onion and cream cheese - the perfect breakfast. 

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