why does my potato salad turn watery
Potato salad is a summertime staple in the United States. The tender potatoes blend with creamy mayonnaise and tart vinegar to make a hearty, zesty side dish that few can say no to. Making potato salad isn't as simple as you might believe, however. One wrong step and you could be left with potatoes suspended in a watery mayonnaise base that looks unappetizing and tastes like boiled potato. It is difficult to fix a watery potato salad, but you can take steps as you make the salad to keep the salad rich and creamy. Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and cover them with 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot. Allow the potatoes to boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender enough to pierce with a fork. Drain the potatoes into a colander after you cook them and allow them to cool until they are lukewarm or cooled completely. Potatoes will continue to sweat if you mix them while they are hot, and this can make the mayonnaise watery. Allowing the potatoes to cool will also prevent the potatoes from falling apart when you mix them with the other ingredients.
Drain the pickle relish well. While some of the fluid is desirable because it contributes to the taste of the potato salad, adding too much can make the salad watery. Place the cooled potatoes in a large bowl. Mix the potatoes with 1/2 cup cooked peas, 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions, 2 large chopped hard-boiled eggs, 1/4 cup chopped celery and 1/4 cup drained pickle relish, if you are using them. Mix the ingredients with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tsp. cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tsp. parsley. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the potato salad for at least fours hours. Some recipes need time to set, and the dressing will become thicker and more flavorful as it chills; the potatoes also absorb some of the dressing. 2 lbs. red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup pickle relish, optional 1/2 cup cooked peas, optional 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions, optional 2 large chopped hard-boiled eggs, optional 1/4 cup chopped celery, optional 1 tsp. cider vinegar 1 tsp. parsley Omit or reduce the celery, if the recipe that comes out thin.
Fresh-cut celery can drip water into the salad. Use only as much mayonnaise and vinegar as called for in the recipe. The mayonnaise and vinegar form a dressing that should coat the ingredients and bind them together, but the potatoes and other ingredients shouldn't be suspended in the mayonnaise. If your potato salad is too heavy on the dressing, add more potatoes and other ingredients and mix them together. Well, lindac is basically correct!! I just did my own search and learned a few things - I'm quite surprised. But, I do feel somewhat vindicated - lol, that I also found on these important websites (Calif. Poison Control, Salad Dressings Board, gov't studies, etc. ) the following info in the articles re: mayo, so don't get TOO comfortable using mayo: Food-borne illnesses associated with mayo are probably due to contaminated foods being mixed with it. Many low-acid foods, like chicken, ham, or POTATOES (my caps), are susceptible to the growth of bacteria and are often mixed with mayonnaise, says the Association for Dressings Sauces (ADS).
Despite the microbiological safety of commercial mayonnaise, mixing mayonnaise with contaminated ingredients will not assure the safety of these combined mixtures. Use plenty of ice in the picnic chest to keep foods such as egg salad, potato salad, macaroni salad or any dishes made with mayonnaise or cream cold. Don't leave these foods in the sun. Commercial mayonnaise is a very safe product, as long as itrs in the jar. But, when mixed with other food - such as potatoes, vegetables, fish, or other sandwich fixings, itrs acidity is diluted to the point that it will no longer prevent microbes from growing. So handle all foods that contain mayonnaise with kid gloves - but not just because of the mayo. So, perhaps this provides some further clarification. I'm still going to be extremely cautious whenever serving any food that's not kept cold (or hot as needed) during the serving times.
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