21 June, 2011  |   10 Comments

Mom-style Potato Salad

There’s something about the potato salad made by mom. Mayonnaisey, pale, studded with crunchy bits of celery and always with the crumbled hard-boiled egg, Mom-style Potato Salad is a truly satisfying way to round out a barbecue.

Digression: Do you call it a barbecue?

I said this on the Twitter, but, growing up, when we cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, it was “Grilling out.” James snickers at this term because, well, where else are you going to grill?

He stands by his southern Californian term of “Barbecuing.”

Where I’m from, barbecuing implies that you’re cooking something slathered with barbecue sauce.

What’s your experience? Does Wikipedia have anything to say on the matter? Any ideas on this kersniffle? Aye, my people, let’s get, back to potato salad.

2 pounds potatoes (I like Yukon Gold)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped fine
2 stalked celery, chopped fine
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup water
1 cup mayonnaise
1 hard boiled egg, chopped fine.

Wash the potatoes good. Fill a large pot with cool water and then put the potatoes in that pot. Bring the water to a boil, then cover, turn the heat down and simmer the potatoes for a half hour. While you’re waiting for the potatoes to cook, whisk together the oil and vinegar in a small bowl. You’ll know the potatoes are done when they’re cooked through but not mushy.

When they’re cooked, drain the potatoes, cool them a little and then peel them. Cut the potatoes into chunks and put them in a large bowl.

Mix the vinegar, and oil mix together in a small bowl. Drizzle the vinegar/oil mixture over the warm potatoes, stir them gently and let them cool completely.

Only after they’ve cooled, stir in the onions, celery, parsley, salt and pepper.

Whisk together the water, mustard and mayonnaise. Pour over the vinegared potatoes and mix until everything is nestled together quite beautifully. If you’re ahead of the game, chill the potato salad for a day before serving with the chopped hard boiled egg on top.

Mmmm. Momstyle.

10 thoughts on “Mom-style Potato Salad

  1. 1

    […] Today’s recipe is for Mom-style Potato Salad. […]

  2. 2
    Michele says:

    I grew up with “Barbecuing” – Oregon…maybe a west coast thing??

  3. 3
    Alyson says:

    I like the term cook out. But that’s because I’m from the South and I think that barbecue is a food, not a verb!

  4. 4
    ann says:

    love the potato salad recipe – making it today 🙂

    • 4.1
      Emily says:

      Yep. You are exactly right. “Grilling Out” is a midwest term, and possibly limited to Wisconsin. It means cooking things on the grill, and said grill is situated outside. A party with said activities is called a “cookout” or just “come over and we’re gonna grill out and drink beer” In this same context the term “Barbequeuing” is 100% limited to cooking things (on a grill) with BBQ sauce, chicken, ribs, etc. and you’d never invite someone over to Barbequeue.

      You are correct.

  5. 5
    Nina says:

    Barbecuing is both a verb and a food– “to barbecue” something is to cook it a long, long time over low, low heat– brisket, pork shoulder, ribs if you do them right. Burgers, hotdogs, etc., that’s “grilling.” Epicurious says so! And most Southerners. I grew up in Seattle with “barbecue” meaning “grilling,” but since moving to the South, I have reformed my language. 🙂

  6. 6
    Amber says:

    Cook out or grill. But not grill out.
    That potato salad sounds delish!

  7. 7
    Catherine says:

    Barbecuing (most definitely not barbequing!) is our word of choice on this side of the pond, though it is an infrequent treat.

    I do like the sound of hard-boiled egg in a potato salad – my momma’s is mayonnaisey and spring-oniony all the way. Me, I like to add a little bacon.

  8. 8
    Helen Jane says:

    Good to know I’m a product of my upbringing.
    Grilling ’tis!

  9. 9
    Kristen says:

    I’m from Michigan and it’s definitely grilling out. Or cooking out. But not barbecuing unless you’re making ribs or something with bbq sauce. Duh.

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