Monday, May 26, 2014

Classic American Potato Salad (adapted for pressure cooking)

One of my most top viewed and rated recipes on my blog is my mother's German Potato Salad. I can see why, because it's delicious-- and there's bacon in it! German potato salad is made with oil and vinegar. No mayonnaise, whatsoever. To add mayo to a classic German potato salad would be sacrilegious.

American potato salad, on the other hand, uses mayonnaise. I know some people who think mayonnaise is "gross". To each his own. I like it, but obviously, I don't eat it in massive quantities. Now that we're heading into warmer weather and BBQ Season, I was bitten with my yearly hankering for a  homemade classic American potato salad.

I think that a classic American potato salad should include eggs, mayonnaise and mustard. The rest of the ingredients are totally up to one's personal taste or imagination.  I like to add celery, green onion (I find regular onion can sometimes overpower the flavor), and a little bit of chopped dill pickle.  I love to add black olives (which my son despises and says ruins the whole thing).  On occasion, I've been known to add thinly sliced red radish, for some crunchy texture. Or not.

Recently, I've been featuring recipes I've made with my beloved pressure cooker.

I will be sharing how I made a pressure cooker cheese cake in 12 minutes-- (now, on the blog(! This was so creamy and delicious, and so easy to make!

I know that not all of my readers own a pressure cooker-- or, you've admitted that yours has been banished to your garage, gathering dust.  I am working on a post to share my suggestions/recommendations on how to choose a pressure cooker and why I think they're so wonderful to use. You can still make this without a pressure cooker-- however it will take an additional 30-45 minutes!

I've never posted my American potato salad recipe, because I don't measure when I make it. Today I'm going to share my recipe, but I have to give credit to Barbara of "Pressure Cooking Today" for sharing her genius way of making using a pressure cooker to speed up the process of preparing the potatoes and eggs.   This was so fast and easy that I could just hug her!

The stove top technique to making a potato salad beings with peeling potatoes, cubing them and boiling them in salted water for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender.  Eggs are also brought to a boil, the heat turned off and pot covered and allowed to sit 15-20 minutes.  With a pressure cooker, both the potatoes and eggs are cooked for four minutes! Yes, FOUR minutes! Ta-da!  My electric pressure cooker comes with a trivet and steamer basket. 1-1/2 cups water is added, the lid locked on. I pressed 4 minutes and while the spuds and eggs were cooking, I prepared  a  bowl of ice water.

Once the pressure cooker beeped, I removed the eggs and plunged them into the cold water. I checked that the potatoes were tender (they were) and then carefully removed the steamer basket of potatoes.
NOTE: I use my pressure cooker to "steam" the potatoes for making creamy mashed potatoes. Four minutes!  I used Russet potatoes for this salad, because it's most traditional.  Red Bliss, Yukon Gold or even Fingerlings potatoes would work, too.

I noticed a coating of starch on the cooked potatoes. I made a split decision that I should rinse them with cold water, to remove the sticky residue. I also figured this would cool down the potatoes faster as well. I didn't want to add hot/warm potatoes to mayonnaise, thinking it might melt the mayo.

While I left the potatoes to drain well, and for the eggs to cool down, I started with the salad dressing:

I've sliced about six green onions. Starting with about one cup mayonnaise, I add yellow mustard, chopped dill pickle (this is totally optional), white wine vinegar (or you can replace with pickle juice), salt and pepper ...

Last, I stirred in the green onion, and tasted the dressing.  I added about one teaspoon of white sugar to counterbalance to flavor from the dill pickle.   Bingo.

Pressure cooking hard-boiled eggs has become my fool-proof method.  I've learned that cracking the cooked (and cooled) eggs and removing them with cool faucet water yields perfectly peeled eggs. Yes!

See?  They are perfectly cooked in four minutes!

To me, egg slicers are one of the greatest kitchen inventions. They make chopping eggs simple and unfussy to do. I set one peeled egg aside, for a garnish.  For the assembly:

In a large bowl, I add the cooled potatoes and eggs. I recommend adding about half of the dressing and giving the salad a gentle tossing to coat evenly.  Add more dressing until the salad is the way you like it. I like to make mine just a tad past the "dry" point.  I don't want a potato salad where the potatoes are floating in the dressing-- yuk!

From start to finish this salad took less than one hour to make!  I will never boil my potatoes or eggs again. My pressure cooker has, once again, made this arduous task a very simple one to do.

TASTING NOTES:  Chill the salad for at least an hour. In truth, I like the way this taste the following day, because the green onion has had a chance to give a great flavor to the salad.   I give the salad a gentle stir, taste again for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

When serving this salad in the outdoors, remember to keep it well-chilled. We don't anyone getting sick from contaminated mayonnaise-- which is made from raw eggs!

A printable recipe is at the end of this post.

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Sue/the view from great island said...

You've totally piqued my interest Debby!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I am amazed at the speed of which you put this salad together in the pressure cooker. Wow.

Bill said...

This post made me so hungry, Debby! I'm in total grilling mode in Atlanta and potato salad is the perfect side for most of what I grill. I'm definitely in the "love" camp with mayo and I love your recipe! Great post!

Big Dude said...

You are definitely getting a lot of use from your PC. We've never cooked eggs in ours and I would have thought they might explode so this is good to know. Potato salad looks delicious and is one of my all-time favorite foods - I've never met a version I didn't enjoy. My mom always added mustard but never pickle so it's still my favorite - potatoes, onion, celery, eggs, mayo, mustard, and S&P.

Kim said...

Debby - You and Barbara are inspiring me to purchase a pressure cooker and get to work! Seriously amazes me that you can cook things so quickly. This looks like a wonderful potato salad. In fact, you've pretty much got me craving some now :)

Kate said...

You are right, it is time to enjoy America's Classic Potato Salad....I can see some barbecued hamburgers and potato salad for dinner soon!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

One more reason to get a pressure cooker. Never would have guessed eggs could be cooked in there. Amazing! This looks like a wonderful classic salad.

Maria said...

Salad is always my favorite.Without it my dinner is never completed.Thanks for the Classic American Potato Salad recipe.