Potato salad: how many pounds of potatoes for 35 people?!
There will be a lot of other food, so everyone will probably just have a good spoonful of potato salad. I've seen recipes that call for 3 pounds for 8 servings - that would mean I'd have to cook 9 pounds of potatoes. Does that sound right?
Gotta disagree! I just make 5 lbs for 8 people (we were having ribs, slaw and cornbread as well) and I had virtually no left overs. Clearly, it depends on HOW many other things you are having, but my entertaining philosophy is that I'd rather have too much than too little. I'd go with the original amount.
U. S. Armed Forces Recipes - 2003
Yield 100 servings - Portion 2/3 cup
18 lbs (3 gal - 1 1/8 qts) Potatoes, fresh, peeled, cubed
16 3/4 lbs (2 gal) Water
2 1/2 oz (1/4 cup - 1/3 tbsp) Salt
1 lbs (2 7/8 cup) Onions, fresh, chopped
1 oz (1 tbsp) Salt
1/8 oz (1/3 tsp) Pepper, black, ground
5 5/8 oz ( 1/2 cup - 2 2/3 tbsp) Vinegar, distilled
2 3/8 lbs (2 qts - 1 cup) Celery, fresh, chopped
2 lbs (18 eggs) Egg, hard cooked, chopped
1 1/8 lbs (2 cup) Pickle Relish, sweet
8 1/2 oz ( 1 1/4 cup) Pimiento, canned, drained, chopped
4 lbs (2 qts) Salad Dressing, Mayonnaise Type
1 oz (1/4 cup) Parsley, fresh, bunch, chopped
1/2 oz (2 tbsp) Paprika, ground
1. Cover potatoes with water; bring to a boil; add salt; cover. Cook until tender.
2. Drain well. Cool slightly.
3. Combine onions, salad oil or olive oil, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Add potatoes. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour.
4. Combine celery, eggs, relish, pimientos, and Salad Dressing; add to potato mixture.
5. Mix lightly but thoroughly to coat potatoes with Salad Dressing mixture.
6. Garnish with parsley and paprika.
7. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve. CCP: Holf for service at 41 F. or lower.
Source: Salads, Salad Dressings, and Relishes No.M 040 00
U. S. Armed Forces Recipe Service
USDA Recipes for Schools - 2007.
50 servings - Portion 2/3 cup
9 lbs 5 oz Potatoes, as purchased
1 lb 2 oz (1 qt - 1/4 cup) Fresh celery, chopped
7 1/2 oz (1 1/4 cups) Fresh onions, finely chopped
6 oz (2/3 cup) Sweet pickle relish, undrained
12 each Fresh large eggs, hard-cooked, chopped (optional)
1 lb 10 oz (3 cups) Lowfat Mayonnaise OR Reduced calorie salad dressing
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp Ground black pepper or white pepper
1 Tbsp Dry mustard
1. Steam potatoes at 5 - 6 pounds pressure for 30-45 minutes, or
boil for 30-40 minutes. Cool, peel, and dice into 1/2" cubes.
2. Add all other ingredients. Mix lightly until well blended.
Spread 5 lb 9 oz (approzimately 1 gal - 1/2 cup) into eah shallow pan
(12" x 20" x 2 1/2") to a product depth of 2" or less.
For 50 servings use 2 pans.
3. CCP. Cool to 41 F or lower within 4 hours.
4. Portion with No. 6 scoop (2/3 cup).
Source: USDA Recipes for Schools - 2007.
Obviously it depends on what else you're having, what your recipe is and who your audience is, but a reasonable rule of thumb is half cup/person, which works out to about 6.5 lbs of potatoes for my recipe. BTW, this also assumes at least two other sides (typically brunswick stew & cole slaw),
I made a smallish batch on Sunday night for Monday's supper, 3 whole russets of just under 1 lb. each. Cooked, peeled and cubed the potatoes, added 4 hard-cooked eggs and half a very large onion, chopped. S&P, of course, and then mayonnaise and some sour cream just to bind; this is our old family recipe, from which I seldom waver. This made between five and six cups of salad. We had it with our ribs and some coleslaw, I had some again for lunch, and we will finish it either tonight or tomorrow. That's a total of five servings.
I've had that military potato salad, and even though it's far from wonderful any mess sergeant who counted on doling out only half a cup per man would have run out long before everyone was served. 2/3 is a LITTLE better, but I always assume a cup+. That's if nobody wants seconds …