Potato salad is a staple at our house during the summer. I seem to be making it just about once a week. My grandmother felt that the best potato salads were made by mixing the dressing ingredients into hot potatoes so the flavors would blend while the potatoes cooled. For many years, I cooked potatoes in their skins, quickly peeling and chopping them while they were hot and putting the dressing ingredients on as soon as possible. Though this process made good potato salad, it was kind of a pain to do, and I often managed to burn my fingers.
Sometime ago I ran across a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated that looked as though it would accomplish the same thing in a simpler way. They used a combination of dill pickle juice and mustard. It was poured over hot potatoes which were then allowed to cool in the refrigerator. I decided to try this method. I did add some vinegar to the pickle juice/mustard mixture.
Because the brining requires the use of a jelly roll pan, I now semi-steam potatoes for potato salad in the jelly roll pan in the oven. This makes one less item to wash, and the potatoes do not absorb as much water as they do if boiled.
I’m sure that most people have their own favorite recipe for potato salad, so I am not including a recipe for dressing ingredients or what goes in the salad besides potatoes. Here, however, is the method I use to prepare potatoes for potato salad.
Brined Potatoes for Potato Salad
3 lbs. potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks-I have used russets, red, and Yukon Gold potatoes, they can be peeled or unpeeld
1/2 c. water
3 T. dill pickle juice
1 1/2 T. yellow mustard or mustard of choice
1-2 T. vinegar
1 t. salt
Place potato chunks in a non-stick sprayed jelly roll pan. Add the water. Cover pan with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until just tender. Most of the water should have evaporated, pour off any water that is left. Mix together pickle juice, mustard, vinegar and salt until well blended. Pour over potatoes and gently mix well. Cover pan with foil that was used to bake the potatoes. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Add other ingredients and dressing ingredients of choice to make salad. Chill to blend the flavors.
No matter how you cook your potatoes, I encourage you to give the brining idea a try. I feel it really enhances the flavor of the potato chunks.
Linking to these great parties:
Cast Party Wednesday
Wicked Good Wednesday
Show and Share Wednesday
Wow Me Wednesday
Work It Wednesday
Two Girls and a Party