So it was hard for me to believe but I had never made potato salad before. In 33 years of life this had never been a problem but all of the sudden I was asked to do so. “No big deal” I thought, I don’t want to toot my own horn but I have a high confidence in the kitchen and have no issue with just jumping right into something new.
So I did what I normally do when I don’t know what I am doing. I consulted the internet. Potato salad recipes are everywhere so it took a bit of clicking around but I finally settled on a particular recipe I found here at http://iowagirleats.com. I am very glad that I did, it certainly was the best presented that I could find online and the photos (like the one I poached above) were just mouth watering.
To make a long story short, the Potato Salad turned out great, to everyone’s delight. The real story here though, I didn’t stick to the recipe. I mentioned all of this just to make a point. Recipes are guidelines. The real flavor comes from experimentation. As my first time making potato salad I probably would of been better served just sticking to the recipe because it does take a bit of familiarity with a recipe to confidently do so but I didn’t have everything I needed on site and frankly I didn’t want to bother going to the store.
So what did I change up. A few things… I didn’t have canola oil so I went with peanut oil. Not exactly earth shattering. I love to use peanut oil whenever a oil is called for in a recipe. I realize this can cause some problems when the allergies of the intended eaters may not be known but this was for family so I was happy to make this exchange for no reason other than this is what I keep on hand.
Now for the big ones. The recipe calls for a tablespoon of lemon juice for the dressing. No lemon juice… Well I planned on adding some dill pickles to it. So I went with some pickle flavored vodka.
One more minor change. No paprika in the house so I went for some powdered ginger.
I have to say, I was really happy with the way it turned out. I wish I would of taken some photos because this truly was a glorious dish. Anyhow, the moral of the story is don’t be afraid to experiment with recipes. You never know just how good something may turn out.