For my friend Gabriela, who wasn't going to ask for the recipe because it seemed complicated, I offer this simple interpretation of the improvised potato salad we enjoyed this weekend. Thank you for your continual hosting panache at your spectacular Santa Cruz digs on the perfect beach with an outstanding cadre of cohorts.
Originally, I planned to do an Ahi Poke. Hawaii is part of the USA that probably doesn't get much love from the mainland on this holiday. It seems to be all about the heartland, when it comes to the food of the fourth. Hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob - you get the gist. But when I went to the store, I faced the conundrum over choosing seafood these days. The Ahi was "sustainably" farmed according to Whole Foods, but the fine print mentioned Fiji and the guy behind the counter said he thought it probably came from Indonesia. I couldn't do it - too much traveling.
So, I wandered the aisles looking for some inspiration. There were going to be some heavy weight culinairesses in attendance. I couldn't slack. Then it hit me. In the produce section, lined up in a row there were some local tiny white potatoes, red potatoes and glorious purple potatoes. Close enough to red, white and blue for my sensibility. Smaller is always better with potatoes, in my opinion. Some sweet corn, english peas, local spring onions and dill all were screaming to jump in my bag. For added measure I grabbed some of those TLC Ranch pastured eggs heralded by Rebecca T. in the comments of my previous egg post. Here's how easy it was, Gaby:
In a large pot of salted water, boil the potatoes, shucked corn and eggs. I would add the red potatoes at least 10 minutes after the others. They are softer and will fall apart if they go as long as the white and purple (which mine did). Pull the corn out once the water boils and cut the kernels off. Pull the eggs out a few minutes after the pot boils. The objective is to get them soft-hard cooked. Cool them in ice water. After you de-pod your peas, put them in the strainer in the water for a moment to blanch them. Take all of the veggies / eggs and put them in the fridge to cool.
When the potatoes are just fork tender remove them from the boiling water and transfer them to ice water to cool them down quickly and stop the cooking. Slice your onions finely and put them in a large bowl. Add some dijon mustard, champagne vinegar (or comparable) and whisk in olive oil to emulsify.
When your potatoes are cool, dry them, slice them into bite-size pieces and add them to the dressing. Toss in the peas, corn and break up some dill. Gently toss the whole thing together to get everything coated well with the dressing and onions. Salt and pepper to taste and then slice the eggs on top.
I enjoy this simple type of potato salad. There is a little bite from the vinegar but no heaviness from mayo. The flavors of the fresh peas, corn and onions pop to compliment the richness of a good potato. And Rebecca was right, her TLC Ranch eggs were outstanding!! Click on the image to visit her website.
I hope all of your 4ths were as enjoyable as mine. Great time with the family and friends. We are truly fortunate.