Thursday, August 12, 2010

Potato Salad for a Crowd

This is a pretty basic, traditional potato salad, elevated from the humdrum by excellent ingredients and homemade mayonnaise. Use some of the incredibly delicious new potatoes available at farmers markets this time of year - fingerlings would be perfect, but any waxy type would work well. Red potatoes with the skin left on are nice visually, too. Feel free to halve or quarter the recipe if you're not making this for a party. The proportions for the mayo come from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

6 lbs potatoes, cubed (peel or not, your choice)
3 shallots, minced (about 1 cup)
8 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup snipped chives
1 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1 uncooked egg
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp spicy mustard
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

You can make the mayonnaise while the potatoes cook (see below). To make the mayo, crack the egg into a blender, then add the lemon juice, about 1/4 cup of the canola oil, the mustard, and cayenne. Blend briefly, then slowly add the remainder of the canola and olive oil while the machine is running. The mayo will thicken and turn light yellow. Taste, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until they are just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Combine the potatoes with the shallots, hardboiled eggs, chives, and parsley, then stir in the mayonnaise until everything is well coated. Refrigerate the salad until ready to serve.

Don't leave this salad out of the refrigerator for more than an hour.

Serves about 20.

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