Potato salad is a popular southern side dish. It’s hearty and delicious. Easy to make with simple ingredients. Pairs well with baked pork chops, fried chicken, fried fish, meatloaf, or whatever you like. Also superb with a ham sandwich.
The ingredients can be adjusted to suit your taste. Simply add more or less of preferred ingredients.
Potatoes should be firm-fork-tender, not soft like mashed potatoes. Watch closely to prevent over cooking.
When I first started making potato salad, I had difficulty getting the potatoes right. They were either too hard or too soft.
To solve the problem, I always pierce with a fork. If firm outside and smooth inside, I remove from pot. I do allow potatoes to boil until they break apart. I like the texture. Not too hard. Not too soft. Also stir lightly to help keep potatoes firm.
I remember serving potato salad with mashed potatoes. The potatoes were cooked until soft and not on purpose. I got distracted while they were cooking.
So, I served Mashed Potato Salad with dinner. No complaints. We gobbled it up.
My point? If the potatoes are too soft, still use ’em!
People are passionate about ingredients in their potato salad. Some prefer mayo while others will only use Miracle Whip which is slightly sweet and spicy.
Sweet salad cubes or sweet relish? Both contain cucumbers, red peppers, and the same seasonings.
The difference is size and texture. Sweet relish has a fine texture. Sweet salad cubes are cut larger and have a crunchy texture.
Use either one in this recipe. I used sweet salad cubes provided by Mt. Olive Pickles, my preferred brand.
My Hard Boiled Eggs are perfect for this recipe.
You’re invited to check out my tasty Dill Pickle Potato Salad.
How To Read & Follow A Recipe
Reading a recipe is an important life skill. It starts with knowing how to read a recipe’s ingredients, follow the instructions, prep ingredients, and knowing what equipment to use.
The following tips and strategies will help beginners or experienced cooks create a delicious dish as intended in the recipe.
Start with clean hands and organized kitchen. Wash hands thoroughly. Make sure kitchen and countertops are clean before making a recipe.
Create a relaxing environment. Play favorite music while in the kitchen. I love listening to classical or gospel music.
Read the recipe. Don’t just quickly skim it. Thoroughly read from start to finish. Visualize doing each step which will help you avoid missing a step.
If you see ingredient that you and your family don’t use for whatever reason, use a substitutions or omit the ingredient.
My recipes are packed with helpful tips like shortcuts and serving sizes which save time and help with meal planning.
Pay attention to the order in which ingredients are prepped. For example, 1 cup of chopped pecans is not the same as pecans, chopped (measure whole pecans and then chop).
Know the assumptions. For example, when my recipe calls for “sugar,” use granulated sugar. If brown sugar is an ingredient, it will be written as such in the recipe.
Figure out the timing. Check the listed “prep time” and “total time” to be sure you have enough time to complete the recipe.
Look for hints, such as the words “meanwhile” or “at the same time,” which indicate two or more steps can happen simultaneously.
For example, my prep time doesn’t include bringing cold butter up to room temperature. Be sure to include in your timetable.
Watch Recipe Videos. If you’re a visual learner (like me), watch recipe videos. Perfect for when you’re learning a new skill or just want to see how a recipe is made.
Mise en place is a super time saver. This French cooking term translates as “putting in place.” It means prepping/measuring ingredients and chopping food before you start cooking. It’s the perfect way to get organized and avoid missing an ingredient or missing a step in the instructions.
Organize your tools and kitchen equipment. Mise en place isn’t just for ingredients. Before starting, make sure you have parchment paper, aluminum foil, measuring cups, measuring spoons, the right pans, mixing bowls, and other equipment.
Make notes in your recipe. Note any special prep instructions and highlight cooking times. Make note of ingredients omitted, favorite substitutions and creative twists. The notes will be very helpful the next time you make this recipe.