From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...My first cookbooks were Farm Journal and Better Homes and Gardens. Though both are grease strained and have broken spines, I've held on to them for sentimental reason. They've traveled with me from a basement apartment to the house on the hill and I am wont to part with them. Last year, Food and Wine magazine published a recipe for an old-fashioned potato salad that was similar to the ones in those two old books. Certain changes had been made to reflect healthier lifestyles, but the recipe was much like an encounter with an old friend. To be sure, the amount of mayonnaise had been scaled way back and the eggs had completely disappeared, but the relish, which was a hallmark of Midwestern potato salad, was still there. Radishes had been added to the salad for crunch and the new version contained some heat which came from smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Last week I was working on salads that could be served at barbecues and picnics and I thought that with a simple change this recipe would be a perfect fit. I swapped an eggless salad dressing for the mayonnaise in their recipe and proceeded, using the remainder of the specified ingredients and their directions. The salad is very nice and I know those of you who like potato salad will enjoy it. I do, however, have one suggestion to share with you. I don't like water logged potatoes. I think they make potato salad goopy and in order to avoid that, I use the microwave to cook them. I film the bottom of a large microwaveable dish with water, then add the potatoes and cook them for 10 to 15 minutes on high power, or until they can be easily impaled and slowly slip back off the fork. Potatoes cooked this way cube beautifully and make the salad more attractive. The original recipe appears below. I do hope you'll give it a try. Here is how the salad is made.
Potato Salad with Radishes and Sweet Pickle Relish...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Food and Wine magazine
3 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, halved but not peeled
1/2 cup salad dressing
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 red radishes, 1/3-inch dice
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/3-inch dice
1/2 medium red onion, cut into1/3-inch dice
1) Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and return them to pot. Shake pot over moderately high heat for about 10 seconds to dry potatoes. Transfer potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely. Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.
2) Blend salad dressing with relish, vinegar, mustard powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne, radishes, celery and onion in a large bowl. Gently fold in potatoes and season with salt. Refrigerate potato salad for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve cold or lightly chilled. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Make Ahead The potato salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
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