If you have lived in the U.S. for any amount of time, I'm sure you've eaten your fair share of potato salads. So you know that some of them are delicious and some lackluster. Mine have traditionally been the latter, so I have started taking notes whenever I have one I like, and I'm ready to share some tips with you.

The basics
I know everyone has their own flavor preferences and will have their ideas about what should or should not be in a potato salad, but for me, it should have the following elements:

Uniform sized pieces of potato (whatever size you like, just keep them the same)
Onion (any color you want, just cut it small)
Acid (like any kind of pickle, capers, or lemon zest)
Hard-boiled eggs
Flavorful mayo based dressing (this is where your seasonings and herbs can make the salad your own)

Now, on top o the basics, here are some other great tips for giving your potato salad an extra special flavor.

Secret #1: Everything's better with bacon
OK, that's not a secret, but my favorite aunt showed me that not only does she add bacon pieces to her potato salad, but she slowly renders the fat first and pours some of the grease on the top of everything before mixing. I mentioned she was my favorite aunt right?

Secret #2: spice it up with curry
This secret comes from my friend Sara. Just add a little curry powder to the dressing to give it some kick and some good color. this secret ingredient shouldn't stand out, but should just compliment the other flavors and make your guests wonder what makes it taste so good.

Secret #3: Flavor the potatoes before cooking
If you dice your potatoes and soak them in some vinegar for about 15 minutes before boiling, they will absorb some of that acidity. This ensures that when you take a bite, you get even flavor throughout and not just a bland potato bit.



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    January 2011



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