Yesterday in a meeting at work someone brought up the potato salad I made for a staff party in Summer 2008. I guess it was memorable — in fact, I was always pretty sure I should win a prize for it. The Nobels have already been given out, but maybe there’s another? Anyway, here it is:
Tom’s Famous Potato Salad
- About 3 lbs. of red-skinned potatoes
- A ham steak, or 1/4 lb. of smoked salmon
- A large bunch of fresh dill
- A bunch of fresh scallions
- Mayonnaise (see below), extra-virgin olive oil, and a lemon
- Salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes until they’re just tender, and let them cool.
Heat a skillet and brown the ham steak on both sides. This forces out a lot of the extra water they pack it in, concentrating the flavor and improving the texture. The ham is best, but if your guests don’t eat it the salmon is good too. Use a dryer kind, not too much liquid.
Chop up the dill. Trim the scallions and slice them thinly, including all the green and white parts.
Cut the potatoes into quarters. Cut the ham into a 1/2 inch dice.
Make the dressing: You’ll need about a cup of good commercial mayonnaise. If you’re interested in something really killer, make your own using extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Otherwise, whisk in a few tablespoons of good oil, and the juice of 1/2 the lemon. It should be thinner than when you started. Then, fold in the scallions and dill.
In a large bowl, mix the potatoes and ham, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in the dressing and fold it all together with a rubber spatula. If it’s too dry, add some more mayo. If it’s too wet, take a knife and cut the potatoes into smaller pieces (to make more surface area for the dressing to cling to).
Chill. Serve. You too can be a star.