Saturday, May 26, 2012

Not Your Mama's Macaroni Salad

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I was asked to make some old-fashioned salads for a party this weekend. The request made me smile. Years ago, potluck suppers and luncheons were more common than they are today. Most women were still at home and operating their households on budgets that would make lesser women weep. That greatly affected the type of food they could bring to these affairs. Salads, particularly macaroni and the ubiquitous three bean, were odds on favorites and you could count on at least several people bringing them to any function you attended. Now, I have nothing against these salads, save for the fact I ate a lot of them as a child and young woman. Having tired of them myself, I assumed the immediate world shared my fatigue and would prefer other salad offerings. The world and I are apparently not in sync with each other. This weekend's request is proof positive that we grow too soon old and too late smart, or at least I have grow too soon old and too late smart. So, macaroni salad it is. I decided to make a version popularized by Cook's Country magazine several years ago. The dressing in this version contains some heat and barbecue sauce has been added to the mayonnaise that binds the salad ingredients together. It is quite nice and the salad works well with hamburgers and plain grilled meats and poultry. It is easy and inexpensive to make and I thought those of you not suffering from macaroni fatigue might like to give it a try. Here's the recipe.

Barbecued Macaroni Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cook's Country

Table salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
4 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
2/3 to 1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
Ground black pepper

1) Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and macaroni and cook until nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water until cool, then drain once more, briefly, so that pasta is still moist; transfer to large bowl.
2) Stir in bell pepper, celery, scallions, vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper, and let sit until flavors are absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in mayonnaise and barbecue sauce and let sit until salad is no longer watery, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve. (The salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Check seasonings before serving.) Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

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Big Dude said...

I like the BBQ sauce in the dressing and you could jazz it up a bit by calling it pasta salad :-)

Rita said...

Love this idea; I will be making this one soon. Great looking salad.

Cindy@NorthofWiarton said...

This is very similar to my Aunties, Mary. I do love "potlucks", as we have one every year at our family reunion. It is always a big decision to decide what to make, however fun deciding.

Becki's Whole Life said...

I love a good mac salad. The combo of the mayo and BBQ sauce sounds perfect for a picnic!

pam said...

I love macaroni salads, and even the jello salads of the past!

Arlene Delloro said...

I know my DSO would love this version. Not a mayonnaise eater, I only make salads for BBQ's or I make a pesto salad. Will try this in the future.

Tanna said...

PERFECT!! My brother is doing hamburgers today for a post graduation gathering for my niece! I needed to make a salad! Thank you, Mary!! blessings ~ Tanna

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

There is still a place in my heart for these old standards.

Barbara F. said...

For Memorial Day and Fourth of July, I want my old-fashioned potato salad (I always add hard boiled eggs) and elbow macaroni salad (I sometimes add tuna or shrimp), and a creamy coleslaw. The rest of the year I use more modern versions of pasta salad, and quinoa salad, etc. I will take the old fashioned ones over them anyday. :) xo

Diane said...

This recipe is perfectly timed I said I would make a macaroni salad tomorrow and this sounds fantastic.Thanks Diane

Annie said...

Mary, I see that all the old things, are coming back and are very appreciated, but probably not for us, but I think is a good thing that this is happening.
Anyway the salad sounds delicious.
Have a happy weekend.


How interesting that it has a bit of bbq sauce in it.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, Mary.


Claudia said...

I always - ALWAYS make an Italian pasta salad with vegetables and a vinaigrette. I think I will surprise people this summer - the idea of a barbecue salad is perfect!

Shug said...

Be still my fainting heart...I LOVE these kind of salads! Nobody else in the family does, so I rarely get to eat it. I do remember lots of these at the church dinners...
Have a great weekend.

Veronica Miller said...

You're giving me a pasta salad craving! I've never had one with barbecue sauce in it but I bet it's perfect with barbecue! :)


there's something comforting to know that we could fall always go back into the classics just like today i made my old reliable potato salad. I love the bbq zing on it. This I have to remember when serving an old classic dish like the macaroni salad.
happy memorial day weekend!

Ginny Hartzler said...

This looks just like the Amish Macaroni Salad I have been buying at the deli!!! But I clicked below on your egg cream, and that is EXACTLY how I make mine. At least I'm not a schlub at everything!!

Shawn@I Wash...You Dry said...

Loving the heat to this salad! To me, everything is better with spice! Sounds terrific!

Unknown said...

Oooohh... I like this. I little hot sauce and chili powder to give the old classic a fantastic little twist!!

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