These salads are based on my mother’s potato salad, but the kids are coming over and this is a dilemma. They are on the Atkins diet, which means no potatoes. I decided that I would make two almost identical salads: One with potatoes for those of us eating starchy foods and a second with the potatoes replaced with cauliflower.
Note: Although I remember my mother’s salad having celery, it was not on her 3×5 card. I also could not conceive of potato salad without black pepper. (Hey! I didn’t add any garlic!)
After Dinner Note: The incredible shrinking product is not the only problem I had in replicating Claudia’s potato salad. The can of condensed milk I used was not only smaller, then in my mother’s day, it was thinner. My dressing came out watery, instead of creamy. I have adjusted the recipe to correct for this.
Karl’s “Potato” Salad – Two Ways
5 medium red rose potatoes
OR 1 small head of cauliflower
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ cucumber, seeds removed and diced
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
¾ cup real mayonnaise
1 Tbs. condensed milk
½ tsp. black pepper
Note: In this recipe, the first two steps will be repeated with the main vegetable changed as appropriate step “a” for potato salad and step “b” for cauliflower.
1a. Boil the potatoes whole in their skins for 20 to 30 minutes, until a knife slips in easily.
Note: Leaving the skins on and not cutting the potatoes is important. By the time the potatoes are cooked through any exposed potato flesh will become “blown”—the starch will have absorbed enough water to burst the potato cell walls creating a “fluffy” surface on the potato. While there are some recipes that treat this as a virtue—it creates a creamy, semi-mashed, potato salad—it is not what my mother would have made.
1b. Break the cauliflower into large florets and boil them for 7 minutes.
2a. Let the potatoes cool and peel the skins. Chop the potatoes into small pieces and put them in a large mixing bowl.
2b. Submerge the cauliflower in cold water to stop them from over cooking. Chop the florets into small pieces and put them in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the diced onion, celery, green and red bell pepper, cucumber, and eggs to the bowl.
4. Whisk the mayonnaise and condensed milk together in a small bowl.
5, Pour the dressing over the salad and add some fresh cracked black pepper.
6. Gently fold the ingredients to mix and coat everything with the dressing.
7. Refrigerate to meld for at least one hour before serving.