This is a must for the summer celebrations and picnics. You will not resort to purchased potato salad again after you taste this. It is chunky, smoky, bright and tangy. I started with the family standard and added a few key ingredients.
Because we live in the land of gorgeous smoky meats and extraordinary pork, I have added wonderful bacon. In order to cook the bacon, try what the big hotels and restaurants do. Start with a very hot oven, a baking sheet and a grill rack. In 25-40 minutes, (depending on how crisp you like your bacon), you will have slices that are crisp and brown, but uncurled. You will have no greasy splatters to clean up and, if you like, you can pour the bacon fat into a can or dish to save for other cooking. My brother in law pops his popcorn in it.
I have chosen to use very spicy garlicky kosher dill pickles. If you do your own canning, these pickles will add a delicious personal touch. Commercially prepared pickles that are kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery are the crispest.
You will find that a few hours in the refrigerator will meld the flavors. Make sure that you do not allow this to sit out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
4 large russet potatoes
½ yellow onion, diced
2 kosher dill pickles, diced
3 stalks of celery with leaves, diced
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
½ teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
¼ cup yellow mustard
¾ cup mayonnaise
In a large pot, boil the potatoes in enough water to cover with a dash of salt added. Do not peel the potatoes first; just rinse them and chuck them in the pot. When the potatoes are just tender, take the pot off the fire. Drain the hot water and cover with cold water until the potatoes are cool enough to touch. The peel will slip off the potatoes now with only slight pressure. When you have peeled each one, chop it into bite-sized pieces and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add the onion, pickles, celery and spices.
In a small bowl, mix together the mustard and the mayo. Pour the mixture over all the other ingredients. Add the crumbled bacon and toss gently. Garnish with slices of hard-boiled egg if you like. Cover and store the potato salad in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours until the flavors have melded or until you are ready to go on that picnic.