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Julia Child Reveals The Secret To Making The Best Potato Salad Ever


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A true staple of South Louisiana is potato salad. The great thing about it is, everyone makes it just a little bit different. I’ve been a big fan of my wife’s potato salad from all the way back to when we were just dating. There’s just something about it, and I truly don’t know her recipe. The late Julia Child was also known to make a mean potato salad, and these are her simple tips on how to make a show stopper. lists the first four steps to a great potato salad that Child revealed on her podcast back in 1995.

1. Give the potatoes a chance to cook evenly. The whole point of potato salad is the potatoes, so make sure that you cook those right. Child says, “I slice the potatoes first, then I cook them in lightly salted, boiling water.”

2. Don’t walk away from boiling potatoes. Just because they’re in the water doesn’t mean they don’t need supervision! “I keep tasting them just to make sure that they’re just done because crunchily undercooked potatoes are horrifying.”

3. Be light with the mayo. “You don’t want too much mayo in it,” Child says. Potato salad is, after all, about the spuds. It is not ever about the mayonnaise. In fact, sometimes you can make potato salad entirely without it.

OK, some pretty decent advice. Not exactly earth shattering, but some great steps to bear in mind when you’re on your way to potato salad domination.

What did Julia Child do, besides the steps above, to make her potato salad head and shoulders above most?

Here is the recipe straight from Julia Child’s mouth on The Splendid Table 1995 podcast…

I use either the new potatoes or the red potatoes. You have to have one that’s going to boil properly. Those Yukon Gold are awfully good ― they’re just delicious.

After you boil them, they’re just right. Then you drain them out. While they’re still warm, you toss them with some finely minced shallots, scallions or very, very finely minced sweet onion, and then salt and white pepper. I put in either a little potato cooking water or a little chicken stock and a little bit of wine vinegar to taste. Then I just very gently toss them around.

We have celery and dill pickle. I like a little crisply cooked crumbled bacon and diced hard-boiled eggs. I always use the canned red pimento and some fresh minced parsley. Toss that all around. You don’t want too much mayo in it.



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