Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sherryn's Potato Salad

I’m a dill girl. Ok, I’m more like an absolutely-anything-sour-girl. Green apples. Lemons. Limes. Grapefruit. Cranberries. Balsamic vinegar. Mustard. Sour cream. Feta. Kalamata olives. And dill pickles. Don’t give me any of that sweet relish. It’s just not my thing.
One story my parents love to tell about me is one of my first food experiences. They gave me a lemon wedge to suck on when I was about a year old, expecting a funny baby face. But apparently I ate it happily. I love sour foods so much that the enamel on my teeth has been eroded severely, and I now have quite sensitive teeth. Yikes! Doesn’t stop me though…
My husband and I have several jars of pickles in our fridge, just for snacking on (his are hamburger chips, mine are whole pickles). He does it too, but almost every time he catches me sneaking one from the jar, he asks me in a half-joking tone if I’m pregnant. But no, I just like my crunchy dills.
I didn’t really eat a lot of actual relish growing up (too many bad sweet relish experiences, I think), but this recipe is my favorite way to enjoy it.
This is the recipe my husband grew up eating, and looks forward to family get-togethers mostly for this reason. I finally got my mother in law to write down the general recipe for me, and fiddled with it until it got the thumbs up from my man (I’m posting this just as much for myself as for you, my friends and readers, since I have a tendency to forget variations when I’m playing in the kitchen).
My mom also made an amazing potato salad, quite often during the summers, when I was a kid. I have racked my brains to remember it. I think she used celery, and didn’t add pasta, but it had the same general taste. Every time I think about it, I remind myself to ask her for her recipe, but never end up remembering when we’re on the phone.
I’ve made this several times with gluten free pasta, and it works great. Doesn’t keep as long though. Just a couple days, then the pasta will sometimes get stiff. I don’t tolerate potatoes well, so often I’ll just sneak a scoop of this for myself pre-pasta, and make the rest for my gluten-loving husband.
I’ll admit, I’ve tried taking several pictures of this salad, and have yet to make a good capture. But let’s be honest, it’s potato salad. Just the thought of it makes your mouth water, right? Or, is that just me....

Sherryn’s Potato Salad

3-4 c peeled, cooked, diced potatoes (or 2 cans cooked diced)
8 hard boiled eggs, diced (I usually remove half of the yolks to reduce the cholesterol)
2-3 c cooked pasta (elbow, shells, etc. Gluten free pasta can definitely be used)
2 c mayo (I’ve used Best Foods Light with no complaints)
1/3 c yellow mustard
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
Dash salt
Dash pepper
1 small jar dill pickle relish
A few splashes red wine vinegar

2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
A few shakes paprika

Mix potatoes, eggs and pasta.* Add mayo and mustard; fold together. It should have a nice yellow color, and not be too pale.
Add onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, relish and vinegar. Mix carefully but thoroughly.
Taste to see if it needs more mustard, vinegar or relish.*
Scoop into serving bowl. Top with remaining eggs and extra paprika.
Can be served immediately, but it tastes better when allowed to sit for an hour or so.

*Obviously when I’m making this gluten free style, I’m ok to taste test. But if I’m making it for my hubby, I’ll hold off on the pasta until after I’ve mixed everything else and tasted it. If you choose to make this pasta-free, just add a bit less mayo and mustard. It's pretty good that way as well.