Big Joe shares Nana’s Homemade Potato Salad
The nice weather is finally here! It's time to get cooking outside and enjoying the company of friends and family around a big grill pumping out serious barbecue. This recipe is the perfect side to any great barbecue, which is why it makes an appearance on my table quite often throughout the spring and summer months.
It was my grandmother's recipe and I adored my grandmother; I had the pleasure of living with her for a lengthy period of time as I was growing up. In the Bronx when I was kid, every night when my grandfather was alive and he and my mom would come home from work, on the table there was always a meal, a good meal.
In the summer it was lighter fare, but mostly you could count on meat and potatoes at 6:00pm on the dot every week night, 5:00pm on Saturday and 4:00pm on Sunday. As a kid I didn’t have a watch, still my butt was in that seat for dinner or I wouldn’t eat and you know how I feel about not eating!
I was there on time every night. My grandmother always cooked the hell out the meat because that’s the way they did it back then. Lamb was always well done, not charred, but well done, pot roasts, every kind of meat was cooked well. Sometimes you needed dental charts to identify it but it was all good.
I really enjoyed sitting around the table chatting with my grandparents and mother and enjoying those family meals. It made me appreciate the importance of sharing a meal with people you love. My nana made a great potato salad, just outstanding! When I was in college she had moved in to our house so she shared that recipe and we made it together. I memorized the recipe because I loved it so much. I loved her so much as well. Here’s her recipe.
3 pounds of Red Bliss potatoes, peeled and cubed (some of you may want to
keep the peel on, that’s o.k.. It works fine on or off.)
2 1⁄2 ribs of celery finely chopped( as small as you can)
1⁄2 large red onion, finely chopped (as small as you can)
3 hard-boiled eggs (discard two of the yolks and finely chop the egg whites and set aside cooked yolk)
1 1⁄4 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise (I only use Hellman’s mayonnaise in all of my dishes that call for mayo. There is no other brand.)
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
1⁄4 cup of white vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
1⁄4 cup of freshly chopped parsley for garnish
How to put it together:
Boil potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain and if peeling potatoes, now is the time to peel them. Cube potatoes and add to a large bowl. While they are still warm add the vinegar. Mix well, let cool, keep covered in refrigerator for 1 hour minimum.
Once potatoes are cool, in a separate mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar and egg yolk finely chopped. In bowl with potatoes add the oil, celery, onion, egg whites and sugar. Mix in mayonnaise mixture in with potatoes. Add salt and pepper and stir well so that all the potatoes are covered with mayonnaise mixture.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Let the potato salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 1⁄2 hours, preferably overnight, to let all those ingredients blend in nicely.