October 31, 2011

Oktoberfest – Don’t forget the Potato Salad

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action” (Ian Fleming).  Potatoes are my enemies, actually boiling potatoes.  I have to be honest.  I hate having to boil potatoes because, for some strange, inexplicable reason, I always manage to overcook them and they come out watery and way too soft.  I then become frustrated, I start hitting the floor with my right foot as if I would be a raging bull ready to attack the facing matador; I slouch and cross my arms, and I refuse to accept any kind of help or suggestion.  Horrible!  At that point, the best thing to do is to just stay away from me.  

So, that’s why I don’t make too much potato salad, although I love it.  But I did want to try my grandmother’s potato salad for Oktoberfest week.  I just couldn’t leave out the potato salad!  Maybe, fourth time the charm.  Throughout the entire cooking process, my heart was racing as if I were running the marathon.  I was nervously sweating while wondering whether I would turn fork tender before the potatoes.  By the time my potatoes were perfectly cooked, (although I checked them ten times before I turned off the stove) I was exhausted, ready to go to bed and forget all about the potato salad.  However, thinking that I overcame the most difficult part made me realize that I could actually bring this dish to the finish line.  And I did.  It’s a very easy dish to make once you’ve past the stage of boiling the potatoes, which for me is always nerve-racking. 

Potato Salad
By Simply Romanesco inspired by my Grandma Vicki

Yields 4 servings


·         2 pounds (1.25 kg) potatoes, such as Red, Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes
·         1 small to medium yellow onion (depending on how much you like onions in a salad), sliced
·         Olive oil or vegetable oil
·         Salt and pepper
·         A pinch of paprika (optional)


Slice the onion; put it in a medium bowl and season with 1 teaspoon of salt.  Mix well and let it sit in the salt for 30 minutes until it softens. 

Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes for 20-25 minutes, uncovered.  Drain the potatoes and let them sit until just cool enough to handle, about 10-15 minutes.  Peel the potatoes and slice them. Put them in a large bowl.

Drain the onion with your hands and mix it in with the sliced potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with olive or vegetable oil and stir well.  Serve with a pinch of paprika on top.  Enjoy!

Note: Instead of oil you can also use mayonnaise.      

This is a very simple dish.  You can serve it as an appetizer, as a side dish, or as a light lunch.  The only thing that you may want to take into consideration is to have Life Savers, Tic Tacs, or any kind of hard mints on hand, afterwards. 

P.S.:  Happy Halloween!

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