{ labor day deliciousness }

Monday, September 3, 2012 

Mom's Old-School Potato Salad }


Ah... Labor Day.  A day of splashing in the pool, BBQing lots of meat and most importantly, having fun with friends and family!  That being said, we want to spend more time having fun outdoors than preparing food in the kitchen, so marinate your meat and make your sides ahead of time and have your man do all the grilling.  (I have to admit, I'm actually not allowed to touch his Weber grill!)

To save time, it's best to prepare several hefty salads the night before Labor Day.  Of these, I alwasy make is a potato salad my mom made every summer for us as kids.  I've recently come to realize what an awsomely complex salad it is!  With only a few ingredients, it's a combination of a tasty egg salad and potato salad with the addition of cubed ham and green peas.  Truthfully speaking, green peas are not high on my list... but they are just fabulous in this salad.  The subtle bite of sweetness from the peas offset the salty ham.  Brilliant.


 Ingredients (serves 16)

  • 3 pounds red potato, washed and scrubbed clean
  • 1 pound unsliced good-quality ham, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 9 eggs
  • 8 ounces frozen green peas 
  • 1¼ cups real mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup sour cream or plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon course ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or as needed 

1.  Cut red potatoes to 1½-inch pieces, skin-on.  Place in a stockpot and add enough water to cover 2-inches above potatoes.  Cook potatoes for 30 minutes over medium-high heat.  Drain completely in a colander and place in a large bowl.  Cover and place in the refrigerator until at least "room temperature" (or if you have time to kill, set out at room temperature to cool for a couple of hours).

2.  Place eggs into a separate pan and add water until eggs are just covered.  Cook for 12 minutes on medium- high heat.  After 12 minutes, turn off heat and leave eggs in the hot water for an extra 3 or 4 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

3.  Boil peas as directed on package.  Drain, set aside.

4.  Dice potatoes, skin-on, into -inch cubes.  Place cut potatoes in a clean, large stockpot (stockpot because your are going to need to fold all the ingredients together from here and you'll need a large container to hold it in!). 

5.  Peel and dice eggs into -inch pieces and put into stockpot.

6.  Add remaining ingredients to stockpot: cubed ham, cooked peas, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, black pepper and ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt.  Fold everything together with a baking spatula or giant stainless steel spoon... don't worry if you make a mess, it's part of the potato salad fun!

7.  Taste and add the remaining ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt, if preferred.  I do :) 

8.  Store in an airtight container, fitted with a lid.  Refrigerate until chilled through, about 4 hours, or overnight!

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