Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tyler Florence's Potato Salad

Summer means barbeques and salads. Around here, the usual offerings are macaroni and potato salads, baked beans, and maybe ambrosia of some kind. My mother-in-law, Marylou, makes the best potato salad, and while I don’t have her recipe, I do have one that reminds me, very much, of hers. Even though her son and I were divorced years ago, she says I’ll always be her daughter-in-law, and I love her for that! The secret to her delicious salad is either vinegar or pickle juice, and I’m not sure which. I had a friend, Judy, who makes a wonderful potato salad. She coated the just-drained potatoes in an oil and vinegar combination. Then the potatoes were allowed to cool completely overnight, with the remainder of the ingredients added the next day. The vinegar/pickle juice adds a bit of tang which gives the salad a distinctive oomph.

Tyler Florence’s recipe for potato salad has a 5-star rating among the 75 reviewers of this recipe on the Food Network website. They loved it, though some mentioned cutting down a bit on the mayo. My recommendation is to mix in half the mayo and if it seems to need more, add it. For some of the more exotic ingredients in his recipe, you can change it up to use dry dill (a little bit of a dry herb goes a long way) and whatever onion you have on hand, or leave out the capers and scallions if they're not available. Use his recipe as a foundation and make it your own.
A few words about Tyler: He’s pretty. And he’s a great cook. That’s about all you need to know.

My daughter Katie put his cookbook on her wedding registry, and I don’t think it had anything to do with his recipes! (Sorry Kate – busted!)

Tyler Florence’s Potato Salad from the Food Network Website:

• 2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
• 2 large eggs
• Kosher salt
• 1/2 bunch sliced scallions, white and green parts
• 2 tablespoons drained capers
• 2 cups mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
• 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles with 1/4 cup juice, about 2 pickles
• 1/2 small red onion, chopped
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1/2 bunch dill, chopped
• 1/2 lemon, juiced
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


Put the potatoes and eggs into a big saucepan of cold salted water. Bring to a simmer. After 12 minutes remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let cool. Continue cooking the potatoes until a paring knife poked into them goes in without resistance, about 3 minutes longer. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool.

Reserve some scallion greens and capers for garnish. Meanwhile, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickles and their juice, onion, remaining scallions and capers, parsley, and lemon juice in a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes. Peel the cool eggs and grate them into the bowl. Stick a fork into the potatoes and lift them 1 at a time out of the colander. Break up the potatoes by hand into rough chunks, add them to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.

Photo credit and original recipe can be found on the Food Network website: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/potato-salad-recipe/index.html

Photo of Tyler Florence: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.womansday.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/wd2/content/entertainment/celebrities/q-a-with-chef-tyler-florence/474697-2-eng-US/Q-A-with-Chef-Tyler-Florence_full_article_vertical.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Entertainment/Celebrities/Q-A-with-Chef-Tyler-Florence.html&usg=__30lzZfB_DcWnKwzr8TkhDfe3xj4=&h=384&w=324&sz=39&hl=en&start=16&tbnid=mN0F4BnTZcTgKM:&tbnh=123&tbnw=104&prev=/images%3Fq%3DTyler%2BFlorence%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

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