A creamy All-American potato salad, perfect for summer barbecues and picnics. Tender russet potatoes and traditional ingredients for a tasty side dish!
When you think about summertime side dishes, potato salad is one essential item that almost always makes it on the table. There are so many recipes and types of varieties of this comforting dish. For me, I like the classic All-American potato salad especially when I have barbecued food. The creaminess of the potatoes combined with your favorite seasonings is always a hit with a swarm of hungry summer guests.
I found a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated that seemed approachable with just the right combination of ingredients for an All-American potato salad. I decided to give it a try with some minor tweaks.
The first step to a creamy potato salad is the type of potato you choose to use. Russet potatoes are the root vegetable of choice because they have a more “mealy” texture. This means when the potatoes cook, you can sense a more crumbly and starchy texture that the “creaminess” of the potato salad.
Just try and make sure you don’t overcook mealy potatoes otherwise they fall apart completely when mixed otherwise you’ll have made a mashed potato side dish instead! I always check a few times to make sure the chunks of potato are “fork tender” for doneness, also tasting helps to ensure that you nailed the cooking time.
This All-American potato salad recipe incorporates additional ingredients to provide extra texture, flavor, and lusciousness. A bit of mayonnaise goes a long way, plus mustard, chopped celery, relish for sweetness and chopped red onion for a bite and crunch.
This recipe also calls for chopped hard boiled eggs, which adds some extra creaminess to the potato salad. It’s the perfect base recipe for potato salad that everyone will love. However, you can add any additional ingredients you like!
When I was growing up my uncle Brian made the yummiest Hawaiian inspired potato salad for our summer barbecues. He would use a very similar potato salad recipe, but he added some chopped ham, pineapple, and Fuji apples.
Don’t be afraid to play around with this recipe to find what your favorite potato salad combination is! I have been serving this All-American potato salad this summer with some of my favorite barbecue recipes like Santa-Maria style tri-tip, spareribs, and tequila lime chicken.
Always start cooking your potatoes in cold water!
My Chef Instructor in culinary school always made sure that when we prepared any potatoes, the water was cold and salted. This helps provide flavor absorption into the bland potatoes and a better consistency of texture. Potatoes should be started in cold water then gradually brought to a boil, then simmer to finish cooking. This helps to prevent the outside of the potato from cooking too fast and the interior taking longer to cook. This is important for when you want to retain the chunks of potato like for the All-American potato salad recipe. Although for mashed potatoes this step becomes less important.