POTATO SALAD, from Salty Potatoes
For this summer’s potato salad recipe we start with our SALTY NEW POTATOES, size “c.” We tasted these potatoes back East when we lived in Maryland. The recipe was first inspired by the salt mines in Syracuse, NY, thus they are also known as Syracuse potatoes. They are a favorite in summer for concerts in the park, hiking, picnics on the beach, etc. and in the lunch box for back to school. They are simple and delicious by themselves or with a dressing/dip, or made into a simple potato salad as we do here. The unusually briny water creates a lightly salted exterior with a creamy moist interior. We choose to use them for this summer’s potato salad because they will already be flavored by the salty skins, and make short work of this traditional potato salad recipe.
To cook the potatoes:
- 1 pound potatoes (new red bliss "C" or yellow Yukon gold, same size)
- 1 1/3 cups salt (*)
1 gallon water
To make the salad: 1 batch salty potatoes (1 pound) (8-10-red bliss "C" potatoes (smallest)
- 1 cup celery
- 3-4 eggs, hard cooked, cooled, peeled
- 2 tablespoons piquillo peppers (small chop) or red bells
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons dill or sweet pickles, small chop, optional
- 1/2 cup English peas, fresh, only slightly blanched, optional and nice when you can get them fresh
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, cold
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise, cold
- Salt, (if you need it), and a few grinds of Pepper and Coriander to taste
Cooking the potatoes: Wash the potatoes without breaking the skin. Using a soft abrasive cloth, carefully remove any sand or dirt spots from the skin. Bring the water to a boil after dissolving the salt in the water. Drop in potatoes when the water is boiling. Bring back to boil and reduce heat to maintain gentle boil until potatoes are tender when sharp paring knife is inserted. Remove and drain. Potatoes will dry on the outside with a light “salt frosting.” Refrigerate uncovered until potatoes are 40 degrees F. Cover and keep refrigerated until needed to finish this salad.
To make salad:
Cut cold potatoes in halves or quarters, depending on size. Add the celery, piquillo peppers, parsley, and any optional items. Set aside. Blend mayonnaise and mustard. Toss into the potato mixture, coating all around. Using a cooling grate, press the eggs through to get a nice even “chop” on the top of the salad. *
* Serve immediately or reserve in refrigerator until service.
Chef Note: To chop hard cooked eggs evenly and quickly, press them one at a time through a cooling rack grate over bowl. Neat slick trick!