The 4th of July is one of the best times of the summer. It’s about celebrating the birth of America and the signing of the Declaration of Independence after the American colonies triumphed over the British. It is also a wonderful time to get together with friends and family, as well as feast on delicious food. I would like to present a recipe that is perfect for this time of year—my dad’s slightly Southern potato salad. This is from my father’s Staff Meals cookbook when Chanterelle, his magnum opus of a restaurant, was in bloom.
This recipe serves 4 to 6 people, and will keep for up to one week tightly covered in the fridge.
- 2 pounds of Yukon Gold or other waxy potatoes, scrubbed
- 1/2 cup of minced onion (red or Vidalia onions, if available, would be nice)
- 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
- 2-3 tbs. of sweet relish
- 1 tbs of white wine vinegar
- 2 tsps. of Dijon mustard
- 2 tsps. of coarse (kosher) salt
- 1 tsp of sweet Hungarian paprika
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 4 strips of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped (optional)
- Put the potatoes in a big saucepan of cold, salty water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a medium and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are easy to pierce with a fork. Do not overcook. Cook for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain the potatoes in a colander. When they’re cool enough, peel them.
- Dice the potatoes into 1-inch pieces, put them in a large bowl, and let cool to room temperature.
- Place the onion, mayo, relish, vinegar, mustard, salt, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl and mix by stirring. Add the dressing to the potatoes and toss gently yet completely. If you’re using them, add the optional ingredients, bacon and/or eggs and mix gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Afterwards, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Enjoy, and Happy 4th of July!
Jacob Waltuck has enjoyed working in the Arts + Culture and Marketing Departments at the 14th Street Y. He also enjoys acting, visual art, and theater, and is involved in employment support programs through JobPath.