Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

Because, after 63 years of life on this planet and nearly 15 in the Bay area, I was actually naïve enough to believe the weatherman when he said we were in for a week of hot summer weather and because I can't face hot stoves, ovens or even barbecues when it's really hot, I started cooking in the early morning cool to get a few hot-day meals ahead.

I had cold chicken the first night from my cheater chick and prepared a nice shrimp salad for the second day. Here's what I made, anticipating Day Three of a heat wave.

Salmon laid gently into barely-boiling water with lemon for a few minutes, then cooled in the fridge. Molly Wizenberg's Dad's shockingly addictive potato salad. Curry-flavored deviled eggs and a little cup of cornichons and radishes.

Of course, on Day One-and-One-Half, the fog rolled back in through the gate and there was no more need for warm weather foods. That's what I get for believing the weatherman. However, it's still summer and the ingredients are still wonderful, so what the heck. Even if I'm wearing a sweater to dinner with the fuzzy flip-flops my sister sent me when she heard about our cold summer, it's still a nice meal. Especially that amazing potato salad.

Burg's Potato Salad (with all due respect to Molly's Dad, Burg, this should be called Crack Potato Salad, it's that addictive) from A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg

1-3/4 pounds red waxy potatoes, scrubbed (I used the small ones so they cook faster)
4 large eggs
8 scallions (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

For the dressing:

3/4 cup of mayonnaise, preferably Hellman's/Best Foods, or homemade
4 Tablespoons bottled Ranch dressing, preferably Hidden Valley brand
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1 to 2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)

Molly gives a more exacting preparation method than I used and hers is surely much better for it, but I'm an impatient sort of person, so I skipped a couple of steps. Here's what I do; if you want the real story, buy her marvelous book, "A Homemade Life." You'll be glad you did.

But, for the lazy woman's version:

Cover the spuds and the eggs with about 1" of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat so the boiling continues but isn't furious. Test after about 15 minutes; if the spuds are easily pierced with a knife, they are ready. Drain and cool. I put the eggs under cold water to cool them faster. Once the eggs are cool, peel them under cold running water, chop coarsely and put them in a bowl large enough to hold all the finished salad. When the spuds are cool, chop them into 1/2" pieces and add them to the eggs.

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Ranch dressing, dill and salt. Add the scallions and pour the dressing over the potatoes and eggs, stirring to coat thoroughly. Taste and add more salt if you need it. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Yields about 6-8 servings.

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Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I doubt you let it go to waste, though. Looks great; you are really plating up those plates.
And if worse came to worst, you could reheat the salmon. Salad, always room temp. Berries, too. Win win win.

Saturday, August 28, 2010  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

Potatoes best veg ever! And O for a little cup of cornichons!
In ever-so-slightly related news, I ordered a couple of caper bushes this morning!

Saturday, August 28, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, I've been enjoying "composing" the plates this summer.

Ms Mouse, amen on the potatoes and kudos on the caper bushes. Do you plan to pickle the caper crop?

Sunday, August 29, 2010  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

I think I'll have to wait a year but since I ordered 2 I'll pickle some and salt the others!
I'll be self sufficient! Well, for capers anyhoos!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Ms Mouse, Caper Independence Forever!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010  
Blogger Kitt said...

That whole plate looks like a really lovely meal. I missed your earlier post about Molly. It's funny; her post about leeks in vinaigrette was just before this one in my reader. I enjoy her blog. Yours, too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010  

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