Monday, January 20, 2014

Creamy Maryland potato salad

It is still mid-summer as far as I can see, no matter if the kids are back in school, and the boatloads of Halloween candy have arrived in the store and are sitting on palletts all over the receiving dock. Why yes, the stuff will all be two months old by the time the little ghosts and goblins exclaim over it dropping into their bags on a (likely) freezing cold night at the end of October! And by then, the Christmas cookies will already have replaced the candy behind-the-scenes ....

But this is still summer, and still the season for picnics and potato salads. The recipe for this one may look daunting with its immense list of ingredients, but it really isn't difficult. Simply separate, in your mind, the three basic tasks: fry the bacon; make the creamy dressing; and cook the potatoes and assemble the salad as you would any other. It comes from Of Tide and Thyme, by the Junior League of Annapolis, Maryland, 1995 (reprinted 2003). I have encountered this cookbook in two places: at the local Goodwill resale shop, where I bought it, and at the Chicago Public Library's main branch on State Street in the Loop. Who knew? Perhaps the Junior League had something of a following.

Assemble the immense list:

9 medium red potatoes
3 eggs
11 slices bacon (go ahead -- use a whole pound)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup Italian dressing (optional)
minced parsley -- about 1/4 cup

And for the dressing: 

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp prepared mustard
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

First, fry the bacon until crisp, and drain it on paper towels. Crumble and set aside.

Boil the potatoes and the eggs, and cool and peel both. Dice the potatoes. Remove the yolks from the eggs, set aside the whites, and mash the yolks in a small bowl.

Make the dressing: mix the mashed egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Chop the reserved egg whites and combine them with the potatoes, bacon, onion, celery, and the Italian dressing if using.

Now, the scrumptious coup de grace: fold in the sour cream dressing.

Chill at least two hours.

We didn't wait that long.


Of Tide & Thyme

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