Sunday, May 1, 2011

Potato Salad II

As I believe I have mentioned before, I am not a huge fan of variations in the potato salad department. Some variations, like adding cheese to deli potato salad, are okay. Not using mayonnaise, not really okay. This potato salad calls for heavy cream, which is then whipped, and sour cream. This potato salad is acceptable. if bland. It's just not the kind I like.
It calls for "waxy potatoes." This is an old fashioned expression, so do not expect the vegetable man at Safeway to know what you mean, unless his grandmother came from Ireland. It refers to a low starch potato that will hold its shape after boiling. According to The Cook's Thesaurus, found at, red potatoes, round white potatoes or yellow Finn potatoes are waxy potatoes.
The cooking directions are somewhat tricky. The idea is to have the potatoes be firm, but probably not crunchy. Mine were crunchy. I made this some three weeks ago, before we went on vacation, so I can't say if I chilled the potatoes or not. Probably not.
About thin mayonnaise. This direction probably originated in the days before Helman's when cooks made their own mayonnaise, and made it thin or thick as desired. Thin mayonnaise will pour off the spoon instead of glopping.
The final direction was to serve it as soon as possible. Since we eat when my husband gets home, and that depends on the vagaries of the Congress of the United States, I did not serve it as soon as possible. It seemed not to suffer any ill effects from sitting around for 45 minutes or so. So, I would say not to worry about that too much.

Potato Salad II

1 pound waxy potatoes
2 tender ribs celery, approximately
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
juice of half a lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup cooked ham

1. Cook the potatoes in jackets, another old fashioned expression. It means don't peel them first.) taking care not to overcook them. Let cool then chill.
2. Peel potatoes. Cut them first into thin slices, then cut each slice into thin matchlike strips. Place strips in a mixing bowl.
3. Cut the celery ribs into two-inch lengths. Cut each lenth of celery into very thin strips. There should be about half as much celery as potatoes. Add celery to potatoes.
4. Whip the heavy cream until it is the consistency of thin mayonnaise. Do not whip until stiff. Stir inthe sour cream, vinegar, lemon jice, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes and celery. Mix gently without breaking potatoes.
5. Cut the ham into very thin strips and scatter over the salad. Serve as soon as possible.
Makes four servings.

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