Jun 262014

Potato Salad

Commercially prepared potato salad sometimes contains wheat starch or is made with salad dressing that contains milk. This puts it firmly out of bounds for my family. Preparing potato salad from scratch isn’t especially hard, but there is the business of peeling and boiling the potatoes, which can be tedious. On the bright side, it can be prepared ahead of time and then allowed to sit in the fridge overnight, or until you’re ready for it. I often prepare and boil the potatoes after breakfast while I’m washing up the breakfast dishes. After draining the cooked potatoes I stash them in the fridge until I have time to put the salad together. If you simply have no time to boil potatoes from scratch then it can be made from canned potatoes. It requires 3 (15-ounce) cans of diced potatoes, well drained, and rinsed if possible.

Classic Potato Salad

  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 4 boiled eggs, completely optional
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet pickles or relish
  • 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Start with the potatoes. Wash them well and then peel with a good potato peeler. Cut them into bite-sized chunks about the size of playing dice. Place them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-high. Boil for about 15-minutes or until they are mostly tender, but still a little firm. Avoid over cooking or you may wind up with mashed potato salad. This tastes good, but isn’t quite as pretty as regular potato salad. Trust me, I speak from experience.

If you want boiled eggs in your potato salad then slip the whole eggs into the water with the potatoes and let them cook along with them. They will boil hard in the same amount of time it takes the potatoes to boil tender.

When the potatoes are mostly tender drain off the water. It can be saved for soup, sauces or baking or poured down the drain. Now set the potatoes aside to cool. You can place them in the fridge for an hour or so, or you can place them in a baking pan and slip them in the freezer for about 20-minutes. It depends on how quickly you want them chilled.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the chopped celery,  minced onion, relish, mustard, mayonnaise, and pepper. Stir with a fork until the dressing is well mixed.

Peel the eggs if you’re using them and chop them with a knife or simply mash them with a fork into small pieces. Add to the dressing.

Add the chilled potatoes to the dressing and stir gently until all of the potatoes are coated in the dressing. Turn the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until dinner time. Makes 8 servings. Leftovers are always popular and don’t last long in my house. If you do have leftovers simply serve it with lunch or dinner the next day. This can be made a day ahead of time if need be.

Assuming 8 servings; prepared without eggs; using mayo with 35 calories per tablespoon.

Per Serving: 157 Calories; 4g Fat (23.1% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 7mg Cholesterol; 249mg Sodium.

Calories By Percentage: 23% Fat;  70% Carbohydrate;  7% Protein.

Exchanges: 1-1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates (note from Maggie OR more simply 2 Grain(Starch); 1 Fat)

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