Super Bowl Sunday arrived before I'd adequately pondered my Super Bowl Party contribution. It had to go well with barbecue and fried turkey. It had to be easy to make in mass quantities. And, it had to be easily portable.
Then it hit me. Super Bowl Sunday occurs during Carnival season, which means crawfish season is just around the corner. (Thank ya, Jesus!) And, crawfish season means crawfish boils. Crawfish boils mean boiled potatoes. Finally, crawfish-boil potatoes kick ass in potato salad.
Like Larry Williams said, "BAM! Right turn on green!" I was off to the store and back in the kitchen in a flash.
Potato salad, like gumbo, can be what you want it to be. All you need is potatoes and some sort of "dressing." The key to the recipe below is the spicy boiled potatoes. Start there and improvise your way to the finish line.
Mardi Gras Potato Salad
- 4 pounds new potatoes
- 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
- 3 pieces of bacon, extra crispy & crumbled
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp tarragon, measure first and then grind
- 1 heaping tsp dry mustard
- 1 cup Cajun Gourmet
- Crawfish boil seasoning
Fill a large pot about halfway (enough to cover the potatoes with at least an inch of water); DO NOT add the potatoes yet. Add the Cajun Gourmet seasoning (see spice note below).
Fill a sauce pan with enough water to cover the eggs. Add a tablespoon of salt. Remove the eggs from the fridge to let them achieve room temperature. Once the water is boiling, carefully place the eggs in the pot and cover. Turn off the burner and let the eggs sit for at least 10 minutes (longer if you're using ostrich eggs).
Rinse the potatoes (peel them if you like; I don't like) and quarter them; place them into a colander. Give the entire batch a final toss and rinse (slayer). Add them to the spices after the water is at a rolling boil. Boil for five to seven minutes (depending on the size) and then let them soak. Be careful: The longer they soak, the spicier they get. They will also start to turn into mashed potatoes if you're not careful. Ten minutes of soak time is the minimum you should allow.
While the eggs and potatoes are boiling, fry up the bacon until it is extra crispy and drain it on a brown paper bag (try that with your recycled, nylon hipster grocery bags, greenies). DO NOT eat the bacon! Crumble it. Save the grease for your grits and eggs in the morning.
The eggs should be close to finished now. Pull them from the pot and immerse them in a cool bath. Peel the eggs and de-yolk them. Dice the yolks.
Combine the diced yolks, sour cream, mayo, salt, pepper, tarragon and dry mustard in a small mixing bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until the dressing is smooth.
Add a third of the potatoes to the serving bowl. Pour in a little dressing and add some bacon, diced celery and diced cucumber. Repeat twice. Stir until the potato salad is well mixed.
Cover and chill for an hour prior to serving. (You could serve it straight away, but time gives the spices a chance to permeate the mixture).
SPICE NOTE: I prefer using a combination of liquid crab boil, cayenne, salt and a few other odds and ends. That said, the Cajun Gourmet spice seasoned the potatoes enough to provide some kick without devastating folks who can't handle spicy food.
P.S. Do not substitute Tony Chachere's; it is a different blend that will salt your taste buds silly at that quantity. Go with something specific for seasoning boiled seafood or roll your own with the aforementioned spices.
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