Friday, May 20, 2011

French Fingerling Potato Salad

Contrary to what you may think, (hell, what *I* may think) my father, when he wants, can make the best potato salad I've ever tasted.

The funny thing is that it took me ten years to convince him to make it again. See, my father likes to experiment with his cooking, as do we all. He would find something new, try adding it to something he loves, and if it works, was happy. If it didn't work, he would leave it in and try something else. The potato salad started with something simple and flavorful, the potatoes nicely cooked, not too much mayo, a delicious aromatic quality from the red onions he would use, and some salt and pepper. That was about it. It was simple and delicious. But as the years and the experiments went on, it changed. Finally, I refused to eat it anymore, and I know it hurt him. I genuinely did not want to upset him. But the potato salad had devolved to become a sludge of egg yolk and onion in mayonaisse with bits of green onion and very little potato. I prevailed on him to, just one time, make the potato salad the way he had ten years before. To humor me, he made it. And to his astonishment, he admitted to me that it was delicious and much better than what he'd been making for so long.

This is not to say that one should not experiment with recipes. That makes cooking dull. It also isn't to say that only simple recipes are good. This has been the big wave in cooking in the last twenty years or so, very simple dishes of 5 or fewer ingredients used to highlight one particular ingredient. I enjoy and appreciate this trend, but I also do not think that it necessarily is better or superior to food with many ingredients delicately combined and layered to provide a unique flavor and texture experience. This is all just my way of saying that though I tease my father about his cooking, he can actually make decent food. When he listens to me, anyway.

And that's my segue into today's recipe. I was making dinner tonight, simple cheeseburgers and fries, and I thought that it might be nice to do something different. I was thinking of throwing a Rapture BBQ this weekend, and wouldn't it be nice if I could try something out tonight for then? Well, I looked around for what I had. I could make a potato salad. Then I had an idea- why not a fingerling potato salad? Fingerling potatoes are small, waxy, delicate little potatoes, and it might be a chance to make a lighter version of the classic. Well, what the hell, why not give it a try?

Slice the potatoes into small pieces, then throw into a pot of boiling water. boil 4 eggs as well. I chopped a half of a large red onion pretty small (note- using the entire onion might not have been a bad idea). An equal amount of celery chopped delicately. I wanted to try using a piece of cucumber, but my cucumber was....weird. I just happened to have snatched a piece before adding it to the bowl, and it's lucky that I did. The cucumber tasted as though it had been dipped in a toxic waste barrel. My mouth burned, I shit you not. Out that went. But it would have been nice to peel the cuke, remove the seeds, then rough chop and add. Add the potatoes. Slice the eggs into 4 slices along the lattitude, then one long slice along the longitude. Add the eggs. Add equal measures of mayo and sour cream. No, this is not for any kind of health thing. I wanted it to be light and delicate, and sour cream is that. Plus, if you add too much mayo, it is nasty, but if you add too much sour cream, no biggie. Neither my wife nor I noticed the change.

Ideally, let sit in a sealed container overnight in your fridge.