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Aug. 1st, 2011

chicken is marinating in barbecue sauce. i have made what seems to be approximately sixteen pounds of potato salad (I am the only person in my 2 person household who eats potato salad). somebody please come take away my potato salad so that i don't eat all of it tonight and then i wont have any tomorrow for dinner with our chicken.

i mean i guess since i made so much (it's always like this. like, you guys, is potato salad one of those things that just grows exponentially as you make it?) i could eat some of it and there would be plenty left over. but. CONFLICTED.

Mizu's Potato Salad:
(probably enough to feed 3 people, oops!)
-1.5lbs? waxy yellow potatoes with thin skins, cut into big even sized chunks.
-1 egg
-2 ribs of celery, with lots of leaves still on.
-8(ish) little gherkin pickles
-onion powder
-paprika
-mustard powder
-apple cider vinegar
-a little sugar
-salt & pepper
-mayonnaise

So you boil your water before you put the potatoes in. Salt the water liberally, then put the potatoes on a big spoon and lower them into the pot so you don't get splashed. Put your (washed) egg in the water when it comes back up to a boil. You want the chunks of the potatoes big enough that they will stay intact for the length of time it takes for them to boil, but not so huge that insides are still a little raw. IDK, two inch chunks? Three?

While stuff is boiling take your celery. Cut the leafy parts off & pick off any wilty sad bits, and then finely chop the leaves like they're herbs, because they ARE. I like to chop them and then push them into a pile and then sort of rock my knife back and forth over them until everything's uniformly small. Then cut vertically down the ribs so they're in little like, 1/4 inch wide strips. Have them on the cutting board string-side-up, so when you dice them horizontally your knife definitely goes through the strings. Cut the celery pretty small, you don't want big honking chunks of it.

Slice your gherkins into quarters lengthwise and then chop so they're about the same size dice as the celery. If you don't have gherkins, dills are good and so are pretty much any other pickle you like, but gherkins are, idk, extra tangy and crispy and hold up a little better since they're so small and the skins of the pickles are on every piece. Also we have them around the house since they seem to come in every Zingerman's basket we get, and we get a lot of those from my BFF's mother.

Poke your potatoes with a knife. Is it going through to the center with little to no resistance? Good. Put a strainer in the sink and pour the potatoes into it. Don't rinse or anything silly! Let them sit there and steam. The heat of the potatoes will actually drain & dry them, isn't that cool?? Let them cool for a few minutes while you put the celery and gherkins into a dish or mixing bowl.

Slap a good amount of salt & pepper on your green things. A spoonful of paprika (I'm Hungarian by ancestry, so I'm pretty hardcore about my paprika, use sweet smoked hungarian if you can get it for the love of god.) Another spoonful of onion powder. I find that using actual onions isn't as good - they're not good raw with all the other things and the flavor doesn't get distributed. Remember if you're using onion SALT then cut down on the other salt. But only fools use spices that have salt in them too. Maybe half a spoonful? Less? of dry mustard powder. Depending on the punch and flavor of the mustard you have. Using whole grain mustards (and I am a mustard AFICIONADO, I have like ten mustards in my fridge RIGHT NOW) adds an unpleasant bitterness, I find. About two spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar, and then a pinch and a half of sugar. Mix that all together with your celery and pickles.

Fish the egg out of your potatoes and run it under cold water so you can handle it. Peel it and then slice the white to extract the yolk. Put the yolk aside and chop the whites. Cut it into strips and then cube it up. It's a lot easier to do this without the yolk inside! I like to keep it about the same dice as the celery and pickles but you might want it chunkier. Then drop your yolk into your other stuff and poke it with a fork a few times and mash it all up. Mix it with everything so it's all evenly distributed.

Once your potatoes are handle-able, cut them into smaller chunks, making sure you cut the skins up into little bits so you don't get a big honking potato skin in your mouth. I like the texture of keeping the skins but they can be kinda yucky in large amounts. Apply potatoes to everything else, and put a large dollop of mayo on top. Put less mayo on there than you think you need, and mix it all up (probably add some more S&P at this juncture.) Then taste, add more mayo to taste, adjust your other seasonings, and go "yes, this is delicious." Then stick it in the fridge overnight because it will be even more delicious the next day.