Monday, July 2, 2012

From the Boring to the Sublime

Potato salad.  One of the major participants at barbecues and cook-outs countrywide.  I may be pushing the 'sublime' designation...but work with me.  With Independence Day a mere two days away (don't you hate when a holiday falls smack in the middle of the week?'s not close enough to either the beginning or end to stretch it into a 3-day weekend), I'm sitting here thinking about a huge spread in the backyard, the table covered in red gingham, lemonade in tall glasses, playing horseshoes, the grill fired up, huge bowls of cole slaw, macaroni salad, and potato salad, watermelon, endless condiments, flies buzzing about, a sunburn from not putting on enough sunscreen, and platters of hamburgers and hot dogs.

There is one small problem...I don't have a backyard with the gingham-covered picnic table, a grill, or the horseshoes.  I can squeeze lemons for the lemonade and make the rest of the food, but on a much, much smaller scale.  I can sit out on the common patio here with a Cook-Out for One...made inside!  I'll be happy with a couple of hot dogs and potato salad.

This is going to be one of those admissions where you're probably going to say to yourself, 'How long has she been cooking?'  I honestly believe this is the first time I've made potato salad.  Truthfully.  I cannot remember making it in the past, unless the result was so horrendously awful, I have conveniently forgotten the whole incident.  When I make something like this, I could almost smack myself for thinking there was some mystery that was eluding me.  It's boiled potatoes...with other stuff thrown in!  I think a lot of the hesitation has to do with not wanting to destroy the memory I hold of certain foods.  My mom is a decent cook, and I  distinctly remember how her potato salad used to taste over all those summer cook-outs when I was growing up back East.  I'm not saying hers is the end-all-be-all of potato salads, but I can 'taste' it in my mind.  Know what I mean? I come with my own twist on a classic.  I know my mom's and most other potato salads I've eaten have hard-boiled egg in them, but I've kept it out of this version.  It's pretty short and sweet.  Measurements are estimations at best, because,'s how I least today.  Maybe 'sublime' is too extreme a designation for something so easy...but I do believe it's far from boring.

'Sublime' Potato Salad  (okay...maybe, maybe not)
(Serves 2-4)

3 medium to large red potatoes
1/2 cups diced baby carrots
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped pepperoncini
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Wash potatoes and dice into roughly 1-inch or slightly larger pieces (skin on).  Add to medium saucepan with enough water to cover and bring to a boil.  Cook until done (about 12-16 minutes).  Drain and rinse under cool water.  In a bowl, combine all ingredients and gently stir to evenly distribute mayonnaise and mustard.  I also sprinkled in a little Magic Dust Rub because that stuff is amazing!  Try to make it a day before, so everything has time to co-mingle.  



  1. Mom does make a mean potato salad! I recently made a potato salad with dill and it was quite tasty! I'm making macaroni salad for the 4th, but next try at potato, I'll give yours a go!

    1. She really does!...oooh, I'm craving macaroni salad too!