Southern Potato Salad

Potato saladSince I haven’t taken time to make the salad for a photo, I grabbed this photo from MorgueFile.

As much as I love most types of food, I’m a Southern gal and partial to Southern food. We Southerners crave delicious potato salad. It’s a staple for about any get-together I’ve ever attended. Also it travels well. Usually, as time closes in on a special lunch or other meal, I get a call before the email listing foods to bring. “We’re hoping you’ll bring potato salad again. Can I take potato salad off the list?” I love it!

Okay, what else can I do except dig in and gather ingredients together? It’s delightful having people ask for your special dishes, and quite an honor.

Southern Potato Salad
Feeds approximately 20-25 people

10 lbs. Red Potatoes (peeled or not, your preference) dice small
1 extra large Red Onion diced small (Buy an extra small red onion, in case you need more)
4 large stalks Celery (including tops) Slice thinly or you can dice very small
2 jars cubed Dill Pickles (Not sweet) (can use dill relish, but not as tasty) Drain well
3 or tbsp. salt
4 level tbsp. yellow mustard (or to taste)
5 or 6 large boiled eggs, refrigerate to cool.
About 4 cups mayo. You may need more mayo, depends on how dry the mix is once you fold into potatoes, celery, onion and pickles.

(I use Hellman’s. I believe it makes a taste difference. You don’t want a thin or sweet mayo)

Step 1: Add peeled (or not) diced potatoes to pot, cover with water, add 3 or 4 tbsp. salt. Bring to a boil, turn down to low to simmer for about 15 min. Check potato for doneness after 10 minutes with a fork. If getting soft, take off heat and drain. Do not rinse. In a 2 gal. bowl, refrigerate potatoes to cool. Takes about 30 minutes or so. If some are a little warm, that’s okay. Fold potatoes over a couple of times with extra large spoon to help cool. Do not stir. They will be too much like mashed potatoes. You can still use, but won’t have a good potato texture.

Step 2: While potatoes are cooking, boil eggs, peel and separate whites from yolks. Dice or chop egg whites. Mash yolks, with a fork not a blender or the mixture will be gritty, into about 2 or 3 heaping tbsp. of mayo until smooth. (As you would for deviled eggs) Stir in 3 or 4 level tsp. mustard into mixture. In bowl, mix 4 cups mayo with the mustard mix, add egg yolk mixture, then fold in egg whites. Refrigerate.

Quick tip: Mixing the egg yolks with a lot of mayonnaise before creaming fully, will result in a gritty texture, therefore changing the flavor a bit. Also, the flavors blend well overnight. I like it better the next day, but hubby prefers it the same day. Go figure.

Step 3: Drain 2 jars cubed Dill Pickles. Dice onions, and celery. Add all ingredients to mayo and mustard mixture. Refrigerate.

Step 4: After potatoes are cooled, remove from refrigerator. Using a spatula to get all the mixture from bowl, fold in mayo mixture to potatoes. Do not stir too vigorous, you’ll have mashed potato salad.
If you’re going to add more salt, add it to the mayo mix, so you won’t need to stir potatoes more than necessary. Do not add more than a tbsp. of salt to mayo, it’s salty, plus the pickles and mustard are salty. Add more to taste though, if needed.


A Smoky Mountain Wedding – Book Two, coming November, 2013
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About Carol

Carol falls in love with every character she writes in her books. She loves basing them on the good and the bad personalities that make up life. That's what makes them real. Carol feels as though she’s in a movie when visualizing characters and she jumps right onto the page with them. Often the theme of her books is forgiveness. Whether planned or not, forgiveness sneaks its way into her stories. That's okay, because Carol believes forgiving others is essential. She favors a great story, with slices of twists that cause her to reflect on the problems life throws at us and how we react. Carol believes in happy endings. Humor is a big part of her stories and daily routine, and yes, she laughs a lot! Travel is one of her favorite things to do. She dabbles in art, always has popcorn and hot chocolate on hand. Carol is a small-town girl at heart and her stories are peppered with a dose of humor, based on Southern roots. She currently resides in Georgia with her husband and family.
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6 Responses to Southern Potato Salad

  1. Jill James says:

    Carol, my mom made a delicious potato salad. She didn’t add pickles, but a splash of pickle juice. And on our side of the Mississippi, Hellman’s is Best Foods. 🙂


  2. E. Ayers says:

    There is a difference in brands. And a difference between butter and the “other” stuff. There’s nothing wrong with having more than one brand of the same food in the house.

    Never had mustard in my potato salad until I moved to Virginia. It must be a Southern thing.


    • Carol says:

      Rather than add mustard to the entire dish, take a spoonful out and mix in a drop. You may like it. Not really overpowering, just adds flavor. I sprinkle Cayenne pepper over my portion! Good too! 🙂


  3. stephaniequeen says:

    I could never master the potato salad, but I love it so I always invite someone to my cookouts who has a great recipe and will bring it–Carol, you’re invited to my next cookout!


  4. Carol says:

    Stephanie, I normally make a gallon for get-togethers. Practice, practice. Can you ship potato salad? Lol


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