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My First Time Making Red-Skinned Potato Salad

Updated on July 28, 2013
4 stars from 1 rating of Red-skinned potato salad

Making potato salad without using a recipe

Making potato salad is an undertaking I never previously considered until recently. It always seemed like a lot more work than I ever have time for and therefore, I haven't made it before. I enjoy eating it and even purchase it periodically from the grocery store where I work.

I don't know what it was recently that got me to thinking of making it in the near future. Maybe because I have been coming up with my own recipes for making different types of foods which I will be sharing in future hubs.

At the grocery store where I work I'm a cashier, and I ask a lot of customers what they are doing with different foods they purchase. One of the customers a month ago or so was purchasing several bags of potatoes and he shared with me something he does when making his potato salad.

He said that he cuts the potatoes before cooking them and that he likes doing it that way better because he feels it's faster and easier. Since talking to him I've wanted to try making potato salad in that manner. Maybe thinking about preparing it that way is what really got me to want to try it.

Red-Skinned Potatoes

I purchased two bags of potatoes not knowing how many I would need. I used one five pound bag because when rinsing the first set I accidentally spilled some down the sink.
I purchased two bags of potatoes not knowing how many I would need. I used one five pound bag because when rinsing the first set I accidentally spilled some down the sink. | Source

Why I decided to use red-skinned potatoes

When I told my husband that I wanted to make potato salad one day he told me that he knows how to make it. I thought that was interesting, since he never offered to make it in the twenty-five years that we've been married. I didn't want to have him make it because I wanted to see if I could manage it, and I'm the one that has been thinking of making it for a while.

He said that if I was serious about making potato salad that I should use red-skinned potatoes because they had the best flavor.

Why I chose to peel some of the potatoes but not all of them

When my husband suggested that I use red-skinned potatoes I told him that I wouldn't be peeling them at all. He wasn't happy about that because he peels every vegetable that he eats except for things like asparagus or other obvious foods.

When I began to prepare the potatoes I decided to peel most of them to make my husband happy and for those I chose the larger potatoes in the bag. For the smaller potatoes I decided to keep the skins intact.


How Do You Like Your Potatoes Prepared?

Do Prefer the Skins On or Off?

See results

Large and Small Red-Skinned Potatoes

Source

Use a Vegetable Brush to Clean Vegetables That Won't be Peeled

I began the preparations by washing the ones I wouldn't be peeling with a vegetable brush. Since I would be peeling the larger potatoes I chose not to wash them now as they would be washed after the peels were gone to remove any bits of peeling that was still on the vegetable.

Ready to be Cleaned

Source

Ready With Both Large and Small Potatoes

After scrubbing the smaller potatoes I began to slice them on my cutting board. It wasn't the easiest task in the world, but not impossible either. I wasn't worried about making the pieces uniform. If a person is going for that look an actual slicer might work better.

I didn't want to clean mine or remember how to put it together, so I chose to cut them by hand. It didn't take an extremely long time, although it was a bit more time consuming than I anticipated. Certainly, more involvement is needed than making macaroni salad, which we make all the time.


Cleaned Potatoes Ready to be Sliced

Source

Red-Skinned Potatoes with Skins Intact

This first batch I probably made a bit smaller than was necessary.
This first batch I probably made a bit smaller than was necessary. | Source

Slicing the Potatoes Before Cooking

First I began by slicing and cubing the potatoes before cooking as my customer said he does. I did keep my eye out for anything that needed to be trimmed off. Although I didn't have to worry about burning my hands or fingers since I was slicing them prior to cooking them, it was still a bit difficult because the pieces kept sliding around on the cutting board.

After I cut all the smaller potatoes and kept the skins on them, I then began to peel all the larger potatoes. When I was done I then sliced all of them in the same manner.

I was tired after standing all day at work, so I decided to cook up what I had and do the remaining amount the way that most people make them by cooking them first and then cutting them.

I sliced all the ones up that were on the cutting board, put them into my stock-pot, filled it with hot water, put it onto the stove to wait for it to boil and took a break at my computer for a short time. I knew that it wouldn't take very long for them to cook since I cut them so small. I didn't want it to turn to mush.

Which Method of Preparation Do You Prefer?

Do You Slice Your Potatoes Before Cooking or After?

See results

Cooking Red-Skinned Potatoes

First batch of red-skinned potatoes in stock-pot, ready to cook (once I add water– that is).
First batch of red-skinned potatoes in stock-pot, ready to cook (once I add water– that is). | Source

Check Cooking Potatoes Often for Done-ness

If you ever decide to slice your potatoes before cooking them you can cut them a bit larger than I did and than what is shown in these pictures. Also, you want to make sure you check the progress of them cooking often enough. I didn't think of writing down how long it took, so sorry for that. If I make it this way again, I will be sure to do so and edit this hub with that information, or if any of you give this a try you can let me know.

Once they can be pierced with a fork but before they fall apart when doing so, (you may want to test a piece by putting it into your mouth after blowing away some of the heat), you can take them off the burner and begin to rinse them with cold water.

I rarely use a strainer to drain water out of pans. I generally just use the lids and I've been doing it this way for so long that I am quite good at it, but I wouldn't recommend it when using a stock-pot as I accidentally dropped some of my potatoes down the sink.


Cooking Potatoes First, Then Slicing Them

Since I already planned on cooking some potatoes up the old-fashioned way, the way that most people expect them to be done I decided that I needed to do some extra to replace what I just lost. This is why it took most of the five pound bag, otherwise, I wouldn't have needed quite so many. Cooking time for these would be what it is for cooking hot potatoes for supper.

I peeled the larger potatoes and scrubbed the smaller ones just as I did earlier, but this time I cut the larger potatoes in half or sometimes fourths if they were larger yet, and I pierced with a fork the small potatoes, like I would if cooking potatoes for mashing.

Once they were cooked, I rinsed them with cold water and this time I got out the strainer to make sure all the extra water was gone. I then soaked them in cold water so I could begin to cut them. I will say that the second batch of potatoes looked rather lumpy after I cut them. But, once everything is all mixed in the bowl you really can't tell the difference between the two.

I was trying to get them completed and into the refrigerator before my husband returned from work, so I forgot to take more pictures of the finished product of cutting them after cooking.

Once they cooled down for a while, we worked together to cut the celery and onion and slice up the eggs to mix with the miracle whip salad dressing (our preference). Because I had help, I forgot to write down and measure the ingredients.

Red-Skinned Potato Salad, Completed

Source

Mixture of Skinned and Peeled Red-Skinned Potatoes

As you can see there is a mixture of skinned and peeled red-skinned potatoes. You can't tell which ones were sliced before cooking and which were sliced after cooking and when it's all mixed together and on your plate there are no distinguishing features either.

If I choose to make potato salad again, I think I would cook them and then slice them. I believe it was less time-consuming.

We did discover that it tastes like it's missing something. Possibly we could have put in a few more eggs, or celery or onions. My husband thinks it's missing a spice, like maybe oregano. I've never heard of oregano in potato salad, but I suppose anything is possible. My sister-in-law makes it; I will have to ask her later this summer what she puts into hers.

Picture of the Ingredients

Ingredients

  • Less than a 5lb bag Red-skinned potatoes, Diced
  • Six -quantity optional Hard-boiled eggs, Sliced small
  • 1 Cup or more Celery, Diced
  • 1/2 Cup or so onion, diced
  • Start with 1/2 cup and add as needed Mayo or Miracle Whip Salad dressing

What Was Missing With the Finished Product?

When we first ate my potato salad made without looking or using a recipe, we felt that it was missing something. If I make it again, and I very well might as I still have some potatoes left I will probably add several more eggs, celery and onions along with some seasoning.

When I told friends what I made and how it tasted, many offered their additions. Some said to add some pickle juice, but to lessen the amount of mayo when doing so. Also, enough mustard or white vinegar to give it a kick will help. The mustard will also give it a bit of color.

How much of each ingredient each cook uses would be dependent upon the size of the crowd eating it or the size of the bowl holding the finished salad.

Making Potato Salad with Cucumber

Once I came across this version of potato salad, I decided I wanted to give this a try also since we enjoy eating a lot of cucumbers. I made a smaller amount of potatoes so I didn't use a whole cucumber, but about 3/4ths of one. I also used celery, regular onion which I have on hand. I put in six eggs, a small bit of vinegar and mustard, but no sugar.

I do like it, it is very tasty this way. Thanks to Sylvia Ellie for the hub and suggestions.

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    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Margie Lynn 12 months ago from Beautiful Texas Hill Country

      Marsha Musselman1 I love making potato salad with red potatoes! I am like your husband, I do not like peels. I bake mine in skin or boil on stovetop whole. I then peel them when they are cool enough to handle! Your way is probably quicker, but I just hate peeling them! Hehe! Take care!

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image
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      Marsha Musselman 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thanks Denise, I have made it again and added the same type of mustard, more onions, eggs and celery. I also included cucumbers as some have said they enjoy it that way.

      Another person said that if it isn't eaten the same day the cuke's will cause it to be runny, but we didn't have a problem with it. Thanks for the votes.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I enjoyed your detailed account of making potato salad for the first time, Marsha. I love eating homemade potato salad, however, I have to be really in the mood to make it because it's time consuming. I've added mustard, (yellow, not dry), salt and pepper, chopped celery, dill or dill relish, mayo, eggs. If I use redskins, I leave the skins on-adds color, fiber and is quicker. If I use Idaho, or Yukon gold, I peel them. Best to you if you try it again. UP/U/I

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image
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      Marsha Musselman 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Stephanie, I didn't realize the comment above with suggestions was from you, an off-site writer. Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. :)

    • profile image

      StephanieGS 4 years ago

      Testing

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image
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      Marsha Musselman 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thanks Ssellie and savvydating for your comments. I know there are a wide range of ideas for making potato salad. In our grocery store, where I work, they began selling what's called deviled egg salad. I guess they've used a lot more eggs than most people do. I've not tried it yet, so I don't know how different it might be.

      It does almost look mashed, but I found that once all the ingredients are mixed together it's hard to tell how big each piece of potato is.

      I've heard since writing this that some people use pickle juice, but when they do they use less mayo/miracle whip. Others use dill weed-the condiment version, and enough mustard to give it a tang but not so much that a person can taste the mustard.

      So, when I make it again, I will use one of those ideas too and then update my recipe.

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 4 years ago

      I like the idea of leaving some skins on, and because I'm not much of a cook, I would never have thought of red potatoes. One time, my mother made a potato salad the way it's done in the home of many African Americans. They actually mash the potatoes and put in lots of pepper, but not very much mayonnaise. However, they do add mustard. I don't remember much else, except that it was delicious. I've never liked traditional potato salad a whole lot because most people use too much mayonnaise for my tastes. (I only use mayo for my sandwiches.) Nevertheless, I am inspired to try my own version of the salad with the red potatoes.

      By the way, I liked your original photos along with your step by step approach. You made everything very clear!

    • ssellie profile image

      Sylvia Ellie 4 years ago from Florida

      I make red skin potato salad quite often. Definitely cube before cooking. I leave all the skins on. The red potato has a thin skin so most people don't mind. The trickiest part is the amount of salt you add to your water when boiling your potatoes. Make sure it's enough, because it's just not the same to adjust the salt when mixing all the other ingredients.

      I don't put celery in my potato salad, but I do use cucumbers. Makes it a light, refreshing salad. And, instead of a white onion, I use green onions or scallions. It's mostly for the added color and is also a reason I leave the skin on the potatoes. Good color looks more appetizing.

      The only thing I would never do is use Miracle Whip. Hate the stuff. For us, it's Duke's mayonnaise. But, to each his own.

      If you want to check out my recipe, go to: http://www.yummybudgetmeals.com/potato-salad-with-...

      Happy cooking! And Happy 4th of July.

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image
      Author

      Marsha Musselman 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thanks for commenting, Betty. When you've made yours did you keep the skins on and did you cut them before or after cooking?

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image
      Author

      Marsha Musselman 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thanks Betty and Stephnie for sharing your thoughts and comments.

      Betty, did you always keep the skins on the potatoes, and did you cut before or after boiling them?

      Stephnie, thanks for the ideas of patting dry. I thought about getting out a cutting utensil for making french fries and then I would only have had to trim those up a bit, but I didn't want to clean any more dishes.

      Since I've never made them before, I did wonder about mustard. My husband doesn't like mustard potato salad, but if I only put enough in for the tang and don't get carried away he probably wouldn't notice.

      Do you have any idea on how much that would be if you were serving enough for a party? We make enough to eat over several days.

      Thanks for the suggestions.

    • profile image

      StephnieGS 4 years ago

      This sounds yummy, Marsha! I think that potatoes with thinner skins (like red) should always keep their skins, so I am glad that you went that route! When I cook potatoes, even for mashing, I always cube/cut them first. I don't mind extra prep time if it means less cook time --once the cooking starts, I want it all done ASAP! LOL. ;-)

      You didn't mention it, so I'm going to throw it out there: After washing the potatoes, dry them a bit. It will keep them from sliding on the cutting board --after cutting in half, you can dab again. Especially with a plastic cutting board, I dry while cutting (since they're going to get boiled anyway).

      As for the missing ingredient, my first thought was mustard. I hate mustard, but it adds a special tang to things and a little bit can add that tang without adding mustard flavor. It could also be vinegar or added onion powder. My brain is saying that it was missing some 'tang', though, not a spice, so I could be wrong. Maybe your sister-in-law adds celery greens/leaves?

      All in all, this is very well-written and not only useful, but inspiring. It displays an honest account of stepping out of one's comfort zone and trying something new --What's not to love?

      Thank you for sharing!

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image
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      Marsha Musselman 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thank you for taking a look and for the follow.

    • Bishop55 profile image

      Rebecca 4 years ago from USA

      Very well written and informative! I love redskins! I'm going to have to try this recipe.

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image
      Author

      Marsha Musselman 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thanks for your vote. The skin or peeling on vegetables contains many nutrients that is why it's good to keep the peeling on to eat along with the rest of the item. Certain things may not be great, though.

      I'd have to go through the produce department at the grocery store where I work to come up with a list of fruits and vegetables that are better with the skins/peelings intact.

      I think the reason more people keep the peels on the red-skinned pototoes is that it has a nice look to the finished product, although I don't think regular potatoes would diminish from the look.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Too bad i couldn't get red potatoes here in malaysia. I could get US potatoes and local ones. Really, eating potatoes with the skin? Okay, will try it out. Your salad recipe looks easy and simple. Great to create own salad without looking thru the recipe book. Creativity makes a salad dish taste yummy. Voted up