Michael’s Potato Salad
DISCLAIMER: This potato salad does not contain onions. It does not contain celery. It doesn’t even have a parsley garnish, since parsley falls into the condemned category of “green stuff” in my household.
This potato salad, my friends, is what I came up with after Michael asked for potato salad for his birthday celebration that, as he puts it “he could eat.” Michael, you see, is a picky eater. He picks out onions, celery, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms….well, you get the drift. I grumbled a bit about leaving out what surely contribute the most delicious, flavorful, and textural elements of just about any potato salad, but, being a dedicated partner, I set out to tackle my challenge.
And you know what? It’s pretty darn good.
I mean, how bad can potatoes be, in all their creamy goodness, dressed with copious amounts of mayonnaise, accented with mustard, salt and pepper? And oh yeah, all those eggs! The black olives add visual contrast, the cornichon a bit of crunchy tartness, and smoked paprika brings it all home.
Make this, and I doubt you’ll miss the onions or celery. Just don’t tell Michael he was right.
Michael’s Potato Salad
5 lbs red or yellow-skinned, waxy potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
4 cups mayonnaise
¼ cup yellow mustard
3 Tb red wine vinegar
1 Tb coarse salt
1 ts freshly ground black pepper
¼ ts garlic powder
¼ ts onion powder
10 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and sliced (use your egg slicer)
1 can (4 oz size) sliced black olives, rinsed and drained
10 cornichon, thinly sliced
Place potatoes in a large stock pot and cover with liberally salted water by an inch or so. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain in colander and rinse with cool water. When cool enough to handle, casually peel and cube (it’s cool to leave some skins attached). Set aside in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders. Pour over potatoes and toss gently to coat.
Add eggs, olives, and sliced cornichon. Fold gently (but thoroughly) to combine. Cover and chill in refrigerator for two hours or overnight.
To serve, toss to rejuvenate, correct seasonings (you’ll probably need some salt and pepper), and garnish with paprika. Marvel in its onion- and celery-less glory.