I love potato salad. Not a great thing for someone who is still losing weight, but I made some last night. It was OK. Not great, but OK. We didn’t have all the ingredients to make a great potato salad.
We like a “baked potato salad.” No, the potatoes aren’t baked, but it has all the stuff in it that you’d find on a “loaded” baked potato (or jacket potato, for all of our loyal UK readers). A baked potato salad usually uses the round, red potatoes. (If you get the baby ones, just slice them, but if they are the slightly larger red potatoes, half each potato and then slice, and whatever you do, don’t peel them!) Red potatoes are waxy and make a better potato salad than mealy potatoes (such as russet potatoes). If you don’t know if your potatoes are waxy or mealy, put them in a bowl of salt water. If they sink, they’re mealy and not good for potato salad. If they float, you’re good to go.
So, after you boil the potatoes, for a baked potato salad you’d add crumbled bacon, mayo, sour cream, chives, salt and pepper, shredded cheddar cheese, and dill weed. Well, we had no chives or bacon, and I didn’t want to use up the cheddar cheese if this wasn’t going to be a “proper” baked potato salad. I cooked two patties of “bulk” sausage (country sausage) and crumbled it to substitute for the bacon. And in the absence of chives, I rehydrated some dehydrated onion and threw those in (some people use fineley chopped scallions instead of chives), and we did have the dill weed and, of course, salt and pepper. I threw in a few hard-cooked eggs for the heck of it, although we usually wouldn’t put that in a baked potato salad (if you put chopped hard-cooked eggs on your baked potatoes as a course of habit, then go for it).
There’s a joke in my family that it’s impossible to make just a little potato salad. Every time my mom made some, we had potato salad for weeks. (This theme was the subject of a Happy Days episode once, as I recall. Mrs. Cunningham had made potato salad for Mr. C.’s company picnic, and there was so much of it, she had it stored all over the house, even in the bathtub.) I think I’ve worked it out. Use the round red potatoes–the slightly larger ones, not the new potatoes–and figure one potato per person. This came out just about right. I cooked eight potatoes for the eight of us, and we had only a tiny bit left over.
And that’s a good thing: if there was a big bowl of potato salad left in the house, I’d gain back every one of the 42 pounds I’ve lost over the past several months. And we wouldn’t want that to happen.