I have been following this thread since the beginning, hoping to find a stunning recipe. What startled me is the fact that nostalgia seems to play an important role. Nobody seems to have written down or remembered that fantastic dish from a long time ago. Even more strange is the fact that everyone is going for an all-round potato salad. How about adapting the salad to the rest of the dish? It is a known fact that remembrance of a great dish is mostly some sort of holistic experience, say the whole ambiance in which it was served is key... something impossible to recreate.
So, how about putting a few suggestions together? Please add your own experience if you like.
- Don't make a universal potato salad but let it pair with the rest of your dish.
- Cut every element into small bite size bits.
- Use not too waxy potatoes. More floury potatoes will absorb some dressing more easily.
- Boil larger potatoes halved or quartered in salted water. Don't cut them in small chunks before boiling them, you'll have little control over the cooking time.
- Cool the potatoes entirely before going any further, it will ferm them up. Then cut them in smaller chunks.
- You can leave the peel on before boiling but peel the potatoes before serving. The peel may add some flavor but has a nasty mouth feel.
- Think of adding color to the potato salad by adding other fresh colorful ingredients.
- Make a dressing adding all ingredients like spices and fresh herbs before adding it to the salad. This gives you more control over the total of added elements in the right proportions.
- When using mayo, dilute it with vinegar and water or other additions. A fatty layer of pure mayo is not nice to eat at all and it will mask all other taste.
- Use only a minimum of dressing, it's all about taste and the main ingredient is potato, not the dressing. Add the dressing just a spoon at a time.
- Save some dressing and use it as a sauce for other elements on the plate; it will pair one element to another.
- When plating, add some more freshly chopped herbs over the potato salad or add other interesting ingredients that contribute to the dish.
- As always in cooking; less is more. Don't add too much ingredients.
The picture above is an example I just made. The meat is turkey breast. I often buy a whole breast and cut it in strips to be used just like chicken breast. One thing; turkey is quite bland but on the other hand, you can add a lot of taste.
The meat was sprinkled with a good number of whole cumin seeds, salt and pepper.
The potato salad is made with potato, peeled tomatoes and fresh haricots, all cut in bitesize pieces. The dressing is mayo, vinegar, water, chives, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper.
I topped the potato salad with a chiffonade of fresh basil leaves and added some black olives. A tbsp of dressing goes over the meat, to pair with the potato salad.
The above potato salad was made just a few days ago and was ment to be served with raw fish. This means that I want some acidity and texture added. This potato salad is made with potato, apple, radish, red onion, celery stalk (no leaves!) and Moroccan preserved lemons. Also diluted mayo and used minimally.
BTW, cut a celery in two and look at the core. It contains small stalks with pale leaves. These leaves are sweet and so tasty; please use them!!! However, never use the outer celery leaves, they are horribly bitter!!!