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Potato salad secrets?

I have a friend who makes THE best potato salad-and I have tasted a lot of potato salads in my day. It is amazing! Anyway, she wont give the recipe as it contains a secret ingredient but says she will confirm it (the secret ingredient) if guessed. I've been shy about guessing beyond the usual stuff and I need your help!!
PS this might sound odd, but I recently tried a potato salad from a deli that I swear had a slight flavor of liverwurst. This seemed to be a flavor combo that could work but I have been unable to find any recipes that include it-I've looked everywhere! Anyone heard of a potato salad recipe that uses liverwurst in the dressing???

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  1. There is no such thing as a secret in the kitchen! What are the known ingredients in the potato salad?

    1. what does your friend's potato salad taste like that makes it taste different to you from others?

      1 Reply
      1. re: mariacarmen

        It's so hard to say..it's extra creamy and savory... I just can't put my finger on it!

      2. I am a potato salad "snob", lol! I spent a long time adapting recipes to make it to near perfection (again lol). But it's still true and my potato salad is my most frequently requested item to bring to family/friend summer events.
        And for me, a great potato salad is like a symphony... it has many different elements. Good ingredients, fine dicing those ingredients and slowly simmering the potatoes.

        The ingreidents that I think makes it over the top? Bacon, sauteed and chopped finely. Hard boiled eggs and a good mustard to mix in with the mayonnaise.

        Here's my recipe:

        5 pounds of baby red bliss potatoes.
        6-8 eggs
        5 large stalks of celery, finely chopped
        1/2 large red onion, small diced
        6 slices of bacon, slowly cooked and chopped
        1& 1/4 cup of good mayonnaise
        1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
        1 T. kosher salt
        1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

        Place potatoes in bottom of a large dutch oven. Place the eggs on top of the potatoes, gently. Fill pan until the water covers everything by an inch.

        Bring water to a boil, and turn down to a low simmer immediately. Set timer on 15 minutes and remove eggs and set aside. Take a very thin paring knife and slide into the largest potato. It should slide through without any hesitation, to be completely done. Keep heat on low and check potatoes every few minutes. When a knife slides through the potatoes easily, drain and set aside to cool.

        Chop celery, onion, eggs and bacon and add to a large bowl.
        Finely dice the potatoes when they are cool enough to handle.
        Place potatoes in the bowl with the veggies, bacon and eggs.
        Add salt and pepper and stir. In a separate bowl, mix mayo and mustard. Pour over potato salad and gently fold everything in until
        it's incorporated.

        Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight.

        After a few hours, check potato salad for too little mayo mix. If a little dry, then add a couple of tablespoons of mayo and a bit of mustard. Adjust salt and pepper also.


        I also cube my potatoes very small and watch them like a hawk while boiling.

        12 Replies
        1. re: mcel215

          Sounds very good - I think you hit it with "eggs, mustard and mayo" as essentials. Though as a matter of personal preference, I've always find red potatoes to be too firm (and russets not firm enough). I go with Yukon's, mostly.

          I do like some of the other suggestions for pickle juice and I always add celery seed.

          1. re: sbp

            Thanks sbp. I use either baby red bliss or or yukon gold potatoes. I haven't run into a problem with the red being too firm though. I think it's because I cut them into 1/2" cubes perhaps.
            My mother used to put vinegar in hers, didn't care or it. To me it left an after taste. The celery seed sounds like a great idea too. Thanks.


            1. re: sbp

              sbp - I agree with the celery seed!! I use quite a lot and then let it sit for a whlle to flavor the dressing. Also, I like to add some pressed garllic (not too much though) and some green onion. I always use Best Foods mayo and lots of hard boiled eggs. I LOVE potato salad!!!

            2. re: mcel215

              I'm not a huge fan of red potatoes and typically wont eat them unless they are roasted. But, I am going to try your recipe, that sounds really good!

              1. re: eksophia

                Thanks, eksophia... I hope you like it.

              2. re: mcel215

                I have one tiny suggestion for your great-looking recipe. When I want crispy bacon bits, I cut the raw bacon into small pieces before cooking it. It cooks very quickly and becomes much more crisp more easily than when cooking big pieces and then crumbling them.

                Making your recipe tomorrow!

                1. re: sandylc

                  I haven't tried to cut the bacon up beforehand, I'll give it a try. Thanks sandy.

                  1. re: mcel215

                    Using kitchen shears to cut bacon is easier than a knife.

                    1. re: melpy

                      Yes - I should have mentioned that, too...thanks1

                      1. re: melpy

                        Nice to know, I would have never thought of it. I usually cut mine while it's still frozen.

                  2. re: mcel215

                    Thanks Mcel215. My search for the perfect potato salad may end here with your recipe :). This might be a dummy question, but how do you slow cook bacon? And I don't have a Dutch oven so how should I cook my potatoes to achieve the desired texture?

                    1. re: pearlyriver

                      I cook my bacon in a non stick skillet. I lay the cold slices of bacon in one layer and turn the pan on medium low. I turn it after a few minutes and just keep an eye on it. It will start to turn brown quickly, so I make sure I turn the stove on low after a few minutes. When the bacon is medium brown with just a little fat showing, I remove itand lay it on a paper towel.

                      And pearly, I never had a DO until recent years. But I always cooked/boiled potatoes. I just used a large pot, big enough for my potatoes to make one layer on the bottom of the pot. If you don't have a large enough pot to do this, stacking the potatoes in a medium pan works fine. One of the things I mentioned in my post is that cooking the potatoes is essential to a good potato salad (my opinion). So after I bring the potatoes to a boil, I turn the heat on low. After 15 minutes, I take a very thin knife and gently slide it into one of the largest potatoes in the pot. Repeat every 5 minutes or so, keeping your pot on low. When the knife slides in the center of a large potato easily, your potatoes are ready. Gently pour the potatoes into a colander and let cool a bit before dicing them.

                      And thank you for the compliment. :)


                  3. My mother's secret ingredient was "pickle juice" from a jar of dill or polski orgorki pickles. I find it makes a real difference to the mayonaise based, traditional dressing.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: vanderb

                      I go with the juice from bread & butter pickles, matter of taste, and add a good amount of coursely chopped stuffed green olives in with the standard stuff.

                      1. re: vanderb

                        Sounds good- I use vinegar. After the potatoes are cooked, I drain them, then pour vinegar over them, cover and let sit for a few minutes before I peel them. I also think that making the salad, and adding your dressing of choice is best done while the potatoes are still hot- or at least warm.

                        1. re: macca

                          I totally agree with the vinegar onto warm potatoes. My mom's secret is to pour the warm potatoes into a bowl that has some vinegar, oil and chopped garlic, toss those and let it sit a while. Then dress with a bit of mayo, and whatever else your heart desires. The vinegar really makes the potatoes savory without making the whole thing taste of vinegar

                        2. re: vanderb

                          +1 on pickle juice making so many salads delicious. I like using pickle juice in my tuna salad. It moistens the tuna and cuts down on the mayo calories.

                          1. re: monavano

                            thanks for the tip on tuna salad, I'm going to try that

                            1. re: laliz

                              I use sweet and dill pickles with their juice, and throw in the juice of capers or cornichons if the mood strikes ;-)

                            2. re: monavano

                              I will say yes to the pickle juice in tuna salad for sandwiches too.

                              I wonder why I thought everyone did that?

                              But then there are the David Rosengarten's who believes in tuna&mayo on grocery store white sliced bread, so.........to each his or her own

                              1. re: monavano

                                I've never used pickle juice but I've noticed a ton of people are suggesting it. It really makes sense! Adds a bit of tart, garlic, dill, and saltiness all in one! ...Now I want pickles, lol!

                              2. re: vanderb

                                +1 for pickle juice. A friend's grandmother told me about this and it really makes a difference. Dill pickles, and just a splash.

                                1. re: vanderb

                                  Same here. On the rare occasion that I have no pickles or pickle juice, some dill pickle relish works nicely as well.

                                  I also like chopped fresh dill and whole grain mustard in my potato salad, and use a smidge of sour cream withe the mayo.

                                  1. re: vanderb

                                    "My mother's secret ingredient was "pickle juice" from a jar of dill or polski orgorki pickles. I find it makes a real difference to the mayonaise based, traditional dressing."

                                    Amen to that, Vanderb! I like using juice from dill pickles, and I also like a lot of fresh dill chopped up in it.

                                  2. some of my off tradition add ins have included: the juice of an onion, celery salt, cider vinegar and light cream. Ours always includes one grated boiled egg and the usual suspects. What type of potato does your friend use? Any herbs (fresh or dried) in hers?

                                    1. potato salad is one of those things that I don't think about when making. it's like my body turns in the direction of the ingredients I need to retrieve. they are usually always the same ingredients. I'd say they're typical:


                                      mucho mayo [because mayonnaise to me is a food group] :)))





                                      hard boiled eggs

                                      sweet pickle juice from either whole sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish

                                      crumbled bacon

                                      a little half and half to loosen it up [thanks MIL]


                                      because antilope provides such wonderful and informative links to recipes, here's on she/he provided that happens to mention potato salad.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                        +1 I hear that about mayo as a food group. The one thing that turns me off in ANY salad prep (ham, potato, tuna, chicken) is the absence of crunch. Gotta have it. This is a nice balance.

                                        1. re: pinehurst

                                          thanks Pinehurst

                                          those are the staples of my potato salad but as my husband will tell you, the ingredients can differ, depending on my mood, not usually my stash of ingredients as I have everything in this kitchen you could come up with, including 4 colors of caviar just in case.... :)

                                          I'm not opposed to thinly slicing black or/and green olives or gorgeous red radishes and adding to the crunch factor of the potato salad. I've even woven very carmelized onions and tiny small cuts of fresh green bell pepper into my salad or gone way off and done the German potato salad with vinegar and oil and mayo plus thinnest ever sliced green and purple cabbage, crunch and flavor, so good.

                                      2. Is it a sweetish salad, or tart? Strong mustard in the dressing or just mayo? Honestly, could it be Miracle Whip? I'm a hater, but have been known to use a little in PS.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: shanagain

                                          shanagain, I use a very small amount of hot dog mustard [the really yellow stuff, Frenches]. now if my husband gets in the kitchen all bets are off because if I turn my back on the makings of the salad, he'll walk over, take a bite and add either more mustard or crazier than that, horseradish for heat and punch. he loves horseradish in just about anything.

                                          also, you mentioned Miracle Whip, as a young girl spending lots of time in Hawaiian Islands, we always bought Miracle Whip, bologna and a loaf of bread. I used to think I could eat a sandwich of any Miracle Whip sans the bologna. But having bought it once or twice over the last several years, I could be wrong but to me and my mouth, they've changed the recipe a lot. I could be wrong but it's awful, apologies to the manufacturer, but to me it's now awful.........

                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            I think I remember reading that as we get older our tastebuds don't receive "sweet" as favorably, moving toward savory/bitter/salty as the preferred sensation. And to me, Miracle Whip is predominantly sweet with a slight tangy aftertaste, where mayo has more tang, with sweet only showing up in less expensive "store" brands.

                                            And I make mine as you do, with just a bit of yellow mustard. Although the best I've ever made used some leftover kitchen-sink vinaigrette tossed in as well, and can (sadly) never be duplicated - there's just no telling what was in that vinaigrette. (All I remember is lemongrass paste and jarred chow-chow.)

                                            1. re: shanagain

                                              What an interesting comment. I used to love Miracle Whip and now much prefer Hellman's in both tuna salad and potato salad.

                                              1. re: shanagain

                                                shanagain, are you implying I'm old? :)

                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                  I'd sooner discuss my gallbladder sludge! (Implying, in the process, you may not be, but I sure am.)

                                            2. re: shanagain

                                              It is more of a creamy, plainish, white salad with nothing visually obvious...I have guessed everything I can think of! Hrmph.

                                            3. All mayo is not alike. My mom always used Hellman's and everyone thought she made the best potato salad. I think she just used Hellman's, onions, celery, salt and pepper. Nothing fancy but a good mayo makes the salad.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Jpan99

                                                I did a side by side mayonnaise test, not kidding, really did. Had purchased Hellman's back east and brought it home, got Best Foods from the market here and opened both jars. Took a spoonful out of both, tasted, felt, smelled and called the # on the back of one of the jars. Got a lady Nancy, as the customer service person and she put me on hold and did some research. You see I'd always been told and thought that Best Foods was same as Hellman's except different name, west of the Rockies. Guess what it's not the same, Hellman's has a decidedly whipped texture when side by side to Best Foods.

                                                1. re: Jpan99

                                                  I think you have nailed it. My mother always got great compliments on her potato salad and her potato salad was made as you described it with, of course, the addition of diced, cooked potatos and chooped, hard cooked eggs.

                                                2. I don't know any fancy secret, but I always make a vinaigrette dressing/stay away from Mayo and I always serve Potato salad warm. Additions may include chopped and rendered double smoked Bacon, chopped Pickles, raw Onions, Water cress, perhaps even Nasturtium flowers in Summer. The dressing may include a touch of Mustard.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: RUK

                                                    i love mayo, but my favorite potato salad prep is non-mayo based too.... red-skinned potatoes, skin-on, a grassy extra virgin olive oil, tons of chopped fresh thyme, minced shallots, salt & pepper. served warm or room temperature.

                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                      And thyme is an excellent idea...hmm...I may guess that one

                                                    2. re: RUK

                                                      Watercress and nasturtium sounds absolutely lovely! I'm going to try it, thank you! :)

                                                    3. I always enjoy "Polish" potato salad. I use the usual ingredients; mayo, eggs, onions etc., but also add a can of peas and carrots. (Warming them and letting them cool before adding them to the salad.)

                                                      A friend on the other hand uses; eggs, mayo, vegetable oil, vinegar and chopped dill pickles. Both salads are quite tasty!

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Kellz

                                                        Oh our DIL would love you for bringing that Polish potato salad up. They have it every year at Wigilia > it is delicious.....

                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                          It's great any time of the year! A little added dill is nice too!

                                                          1. re: Kellz

                                                            we stood side by side in her kitchen 2 years ago and she had her list of things to bring to her folks house for Wigilia. so she put me to work on the potato salad, it was precision cutting as she watched me like a hawk. agree, any time of year it is good but I'll stick to the kind I've been brought up eating.

                                                      2. No celery- but I use celery seed..... (secret ingredient you taste?) then:
                                                        Just *a bit* of mustard. I want to actually taste the potato.
                                                        Best Foods mayo and lots of eggs for creamy smoothness.
                                                        Finely diced onions.
                                                        Farman's Genuine Dill pickles ONLY (they are rather soft).
                                                        Pickle juice.

                                                        I don't like my potato salad to crunch :) I like it smooth and creamy.

                                                        Sometimes I change it up and top it with bacon or shredded cheddar cheese, chopped chives, sprinkle with smokey paprika, etc. I would rather have it topped with these things rather than stirred into it.

                                                        1. The absolute best potato salad is made with the leftover (highly seasoned) potatoes from a crawfish boil! YUM!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: twyst

                                                            I recently came across a recipe (a NOL cookbook) which cooked the potatoes in crab boil.
                                                            I'm going to try that next time I make potato salad!

                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                              Oh my gosh, yum! Forget the potato salad, now I want crab! Lol!

                                                          2. My "secret" ingredients are finely diced caramelized onion (rather than raw), lots of good crispy bacon, and chives to garnish.

                                                            1. What kind of friend doesn't share a recipe? Is she trying to win cooking competitions or get a patent on the potato salad ;) Anyway....I think pickle juice is the key and chopped up hard boiled eggs.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: mary0201

                                                                Lol, I think she is simply trying to drive me crazy! :P While I don't think pickle juice is the secret, I am going to add it to my list of guesses and going to try it myself-thank you!

                                                                1. re: mary0201

                                                                  Some people hold onto their recipes like gold. I'm reminded of one that was handed down with PURPOSELY inserted mistakes so it never came out like theirs did.

                                                                  1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                    How long have humans been cooking and eating on planet earth? The idea that there is some magic secret that only X knows is preposterous. Years ago a friend said he had the secret recipe for the perfect scrambled eggs. Wouldn't reveal it. I said there is no such thing as a secret in the kitchen. Then later "his secret" was revealed on The Sopranos of all places. The dash of sour cream in the breakfast eggs Ralphie made just before Tony whacked him.

                                                                    1. re: scoopG

                                                                      njmarshall......................YEP! :)))
                                                                      but I would neh-----------ver do that

                                                                2. Use hot chow chow instead of the sweet pickle, but also add some dill pickle relish. Use Blue Plate mayo. Mustard should be half yellow, half brown, but don't use stone ground. Watch the balance of mayo/mustard ratio carefully. Make sure the potatoes are not in cubes by the time you get through. I like mine in almost a rough mash. Eggs, Vidalia onion, salt, pepper, and a few dashes of Crystal hot sauce if you like some spice in your life. :)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. I like a tart potato salad.
                                                                    My secret is to sprinkle vinegar, salt and pepper onto hot cubed potatoes.
                                                                    Allow to cool before dressing and finishing off the salad.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: dave_c

                                                                      Tarragon vinegar makes a nice flavor addition, I always use vinegar on the hot spuds as well!

                                                                      1. re: mothrpoet

                                                                        Great tip you guys! Yum! Thank you!

                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                        I go through periods where I try to sneak celery seed into every-other-thing I make. I concur, it adds a big punch of flavor that you can't quite figure out unless you're an addict, I think.

                                                                      2. a capful of cider vinegar

                                                                        1. I like to dress my potatoes while still a touch warm and I roast my potatoes first for best flavour and texture. As mentioned by others, either a bit of pickle juice or apple cider vinegar goes into mine. I also like to add a few slightly crushed mustard seeds along with the usual mayo, celery, etc. Lots of chives, no onions (unless they are caramelized).

                                                                          1. Potato salad - so personal, yet so universal! I love it and make it in its many lovely forms. Every time I prepare potato salad it's unique unto ingedients available or appealing at the moment, like gumbo or meatloaf. You know it's right when it's right. It takes an hour to make, kinda time consuming for a BBQ side dish quickly consumed at a party, but made for personal consumption lasts a few days for breakfast, lunch & dinner, yum. Though I dislike eating the same thing two days in a row, ever, I make a special exception for summer-prepared potato salad. It's just too good to ever let sit. (Oh, & liverwurst in it? Maybe pate? Never attempted, yet yum.)

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Vitameatavegamin Girl

                                                                              Totally! So, you don't think I'm crazy for the liverwurst or pate idea? It was unexpected but the more I tasted and thought about it it seemed to make sense!

                                                                              1. re: eksophia

                                                                                lol - there are recipes with chopped Spam added to potato salad, too.

                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                  Ha ha! I suppose! Gosh...that sounds a little wrong, but pretty darn good! :D

                                                                            2. Describe the potato salad. Was it the regular yellow one? German? something else?

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: wyogal

                                                                                A plain looking white one...I've guessed all the usual suspects and I'm just not sure!

                                                                                1. re: eksophia

                                                                                  so, potatoes, eggs? eggs whites? onion? celery? other than "white" what was in it that you've identified so far?

                                                                                  1. re: wyogal

                                                                                    I wont see her until Monday, but I've got my guess list and will take down any other items she will give me as freebies!

                                                                                  2. re: eksophia

                                                                                    I re-read your original post and I'm sense there are actually two issues...taste and creaminess. I admit, I never heard of adding liverwurst to the dressing, but if it's an earthy, hard-to-put-your finger on it taste, it may be a couple of anchovies mashed up and dissolved. As to creaminess, maybe sour cream or plain yoghurt along with the mayo. Also, a bit of the water the potatoes were cooked in may have been reduced to strengthen the starch content. That's my two cents.

                                                                                    1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                      This reminds me that I have been using fish sauce (from Thai cooking) in my dressing for potato salad and it gives it that great rich and salty flavor that is hard to pinpoint. It's basically fermented anchovy juice . . .

                                                                                      1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                        I also replace about a third of the Best Foods mayo with full fat Greek yogurt from Trader Joe's . . .

                                                                                        1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                          we're on the same page. I thought the same thing before reading this post by you.
                                                                                          if liverwurst was used it could be in a small portion and cooked with something else almost deleting any color of the wurst. but if it wasn't used anchovies are often snuck in
                                                                                          without anyone knowing what that flavor is. maybe a Greek yogurt or creme fraiche or creama.

                                                                                          I'm almost wondering if we're all being duped here :;-/

                                                                                    2. My mom always used McCormick's Salad Supreme. So I do too. I know it is a short cut these days, but hey, my family likes it and that is what counts. (we also use chopped dill pickles)

                                                                                      1. I like it tart and crunchy...red potatoes, mayo (we usually make our own mayo, but for tater salad we use Hellman's), yellow mustard, (at this point my spouse adds a small amount of sugar), plenty of minced onion and celery, minced Del Dixie hamburger slices plus Juice from aforesaid pickles, celery seed, and, if I am making it, a little Srirracha. Once I added julienned hard salami, and it was good enough to do again.

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                          My secret ingredient is green olive brine, not pickle juice. Olive brine is delicious. Its adds a flavored salty taste (potatoes need salt to accent their flavor) and dilutes the mayonaise so the salad is less fatty/greasy. I also add or garnish with thinly sliced olives. I like celery for the crunch but despise hard boiled eggs.

                                                                                          Also I use perfectly cooked red potatoes.not too hard, not too soft. Smaller is better than large because they cook more evenly. I peel them after boiling and don't worry about getting every last speck of peel off. I add olive oil and red wine vinegar to the warm potatoes, then dress lightly later with a mayonaise/olive brine/dry mustard/paprika mixture. Easy on the dry mustard.

                                                                                          1. re: Rhee

                                                                                            That sounds wonderful, plus, finally, a GOOD use for olive juice. (it doesn't belong in a martini!).

                                                                                            1. re: Rhee

                                                                                              I really like the idea of cutting the fatty part of the mayo while adding natural flavor and saltiness, thanks for the tip!!

                                                                                            2. re: tim irvine

                                                                                              Tim, what are the hamburger slices? I'm intrigued! I tried a potato salad not too long ago that I could've sworn had a hint of braunschweiger flavor but thought I might have been crazy for thinking there would be red meat involved... Maybe not?

                                                                                              1. re: eksophia

                                                                                                Hamburger slices are dill pickles sliced to use on hamburgers.

                                                                                            3. I spent a year in Liberia West Africa, and Potato Salad is a party food there too! To my surprise these wonderful ladies added no celery (not to be found in Liberia), but did add, onions a can of mixed veggies and fried hot dog pieces! It was a very tasty Potato Salad, and made this homesick girl very happy. At home in America I add crispy bacon, sliced green onions, celery, yellow mustard, mayo, vinegar and salt and pepper.

                                                                                              1. Babs mentioned sour cream. I know one family that uses it as the secret ingredient in potato salad.

                                                                                                The bacon and green onions that my wife adds to hers really transform the dish, but they're so obvious to sight, feel and taste they could never be secret.

                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: AreBe

                                                                                                  I picked up the mayo-sour cream combo when I was in Estonia and use it all the time now. Sometimes, for special events I make the potato salad my host family made when I was in Estonia, which included very finely diced tart apples, celery, hard boiled eggs and dill pickles with the potatoes.

                                                                                                  An insanely delicious variation is rosolje, which is a salted herring, potato and beet salad. That also quite often includes the finely diced apples and sometimes includes diced ham or bologna-type sausage. The beet juice stains it a vivid pink, so it is an eye-catching dish in addition to being tasty.

                                                                                                  1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                    How interesting - I lived in Puerto Rico for a brief period. My one and only encounter with a potato salad with apple was there. IIRC it was made much as you describe. It was tasty, but I guess I prefer the varieties I grew up with more. It isn't a dish I make frequently enough to vary recipes to that extent.

                                                                                                    The rosolje sounds delicious. I love beets and herring and will have to try this!

                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                      It was funny, shortly after I go home from Estonia, I made the Estonian salad with apple for a get-together. Everyone raved about it, but couldn't place what ingredient provided the crunchy texture. Some people guessed raw Vidalia. They were amazed to find out that it was apple. :)

                                                                                                      Do try rosolje sometime if you like herring. It's lovely. There is a Finnish variety which is similar, called rosolli, which, as I recall, generally omits the herring and leaves the focus on the veggies. Sometimes it uses a vinaigrette instead of a creamy dressing, and is just as delicious.

                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                        Risolje is absolutely my favourite version of potato salad. Anyone interested in eating should try it. The apple and herring along with the beets really make it pretty awesome.

                                                                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                          I've started a rosolje thread:


                                                                                                          Please share recipes and variations there - can't wait to try some!

                                                                                                        2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                          Oh my gosh! The rosolje sounds delicious and I love the addition of apples to potato salad-I'm sure it's not the ingredient I'm looking for but I'm sure going to try it!

                                                                                                        3. re: AreBe

                                                                                                          I'm adding the sour cream to my guess list as well... Thanks!

                                                                                                        4. I was raised a Miracle Whip kid and I can tell you I won't have any in my house! lol Potato salads vary for all the many reasons noted by previous posters. Regardless of what you put into your PS, I think one of the best PS secrets is to first add all the chopped ingredients and mixing them up a bit. I remove the egg yolks and chop up the whites finely and add them to the chopped ingredients. I then mash the egg yolks in a smaller bowl to get them good and fine, then add my mayo, mustard seasonings and mix them to incorporate all the spices and seasonings. I then add the mayo mixture to the chopped ingredients and it seems to get the seasonings more evenly distributed. Other than making it with Miracle Whip (grin) I've almost never had a potato salad I didn't like!

                                                                                                          1. My not-so-secret is from the good old Joy of Cooking-- stir still-warm cubed potatoes with a basic vinaigrette before adding mayo and standard goodies. The salad takes much less mayo this way, is plenty creamy, and gets lots of compliments and questions. "This is excellent-- what do you do?"

                                                                                                            The next step is going to be that pickle juice idea-- sounds great!

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                My pleasure! I'm always surprised (and pleased!) at what a difference this makes. And now that I think about it, the vinegar in the dressing might supply some of the pickle juice magic that others talk about. Hmmm....

                                                                                                            1. My mom did make a good potato salad and she always said to use plenty of salt and plenty of onions. She also like sour pickle juice in her potato salad. I am sure she used Miracle Whip. One of my children adored her potato salad. I had to try and write out the recipe because of that. Her ingredients were pretty basic: potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, mayo, mustard, pickle juice.

                                                                                                              I love reading all the delicious variations in this thread.

                                                                                                              1. Liquefy your onions via food processor -- you won't regret it.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: brownbuff

                                                                                                                  I love chunks of onion, but I like the idea of liquifying some of them to really bring out the flavor! Awesome, thank you!!

                                                                                                                  1. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                    you may want to consider grating the onions right into the bowl of the PS being made.
                                                                                                                    that way the liquid of the onion all gets in there too and the onions are all but invisible.

                                                                                                                2. just found a brand of pickles called "Wickles" 'cause of their heat kick. Recommend them for PS, plus adding a pour of the juice. Good stuff.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                      I just looked up the Wickles and they look and sound amazing! Sounds like a great PS addition, and something I could easily become obsessed with right out of the jar, lol!

                                                                                                                    2. My potato salad includes older potatoes (not new potatoes), hard boiled egg, fresh chopped dill, green onions, green pepper, celery, Bick's baby dill pickles, white vinegar, pickle juice, sweet paprika and Hellman's mayo.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: prima

                                                                                                                        A couple people have mentioned green onions or chives and while I'm thinking it's not the "secret" I'm looking for I am definitely going to try it in lieu of regular ol' onions!

                                                                                                                      2. I'm one of those folks who doesn't really get all that excited about potato salads. I've been fed too many mayo-heavy or overly vinegary disasters.

                                                                                                                        That said, a good friend of mine brought a potato salad that I could not. stop. eating. I haven't made it myself, but once it gets even warmer & we have our first back porch party, I will. Or have him make it again :-)

                                                                                                                        Here's the recipe:


                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                          That looks great, and would make a nice change-up to the repertoire. :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            That looks amazing. Thanks for the link.

                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                              Thanks for the link, that looks and sounds really really good!!

                                                                                                                            2. To me, good potato salad shouldn't be thick with mayo and should use unpeeled redskin potatoes. It should also be fairly simple.
                                                                                                                              I mix the mayo (always Hellmean's/Best Foods)with a small amount of vinegar, olive oil, a small dollop of sour cream, and the tiniest pinch of sugar. The consistency of the is winds up being roughly like heavy cream.
                                                                                                                              In gets poured over the potato chunks and I add chopped onion and some celery seed to the whole mix with sufficient salt and pepper. Most importantly, it shouldn't inundate the dish. To me, sloppy runny potato salad is just as bad as thick mayonnaise-y potato salad.
                                                                                                                              I always make it the day before I serve it, because it's _always_ better after being in the fridge for a day or more.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                That is a really great tip about the mayo! Thank you, I will try it for sure!

                                                                                                                                1. No secret, but along with other mix-ins these are the *essential* ingredients if it is a mayo-based potato salad:

                                                                                                                                  - Roast potatoes in bacon fat
                                                                                                                                  - Pickle juice
                                                                                                                                  - Cinnamon
                                                                                                                                  - Relish
                                                                                                                                  - Dijon Mustard
                                                                                                                                  - Horseradish powder
                                                                                                                                  - Lime and lime zest
                                                                                                                                  - Minced garlic

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit


                                                                                                                                    That sounds like a nice dish. I'll have to give it a try this summer. Thanks.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                      The cinnamon is really interesting...I will add that to my guess list!

                                                                                                                                    2. My guess and it's only a guess is that while the potatoes are hot, she tosses them with either vinaigrette or sweet pickle juice, depending on the flavor profile she was after. not a whole lot. and she might be making boiled dressing?

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                        The OP has not weighed in since I asked for a list of the known ingredients in the best potato salad ever that the OP tasted. No one yet has mentioned any of the Kingon secret ingredients so I wouldn't exclude them just yet.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                                          I'm sorry, scoopG! I'm new here and had no idea I would have so many replies already! Um, well it's a pretty simple recipe from what I can tell. The usual white potatoes, onion, mayo (not, MW), small amount of prepared yellow mustard, celery seed, s&p...other than I don't know. There's nothing I can tell visually...I don't think I've asked but I'm quite sure it's not pickles or pickle juice. Based on the look of it and the usual suspects I've ruled out it has to be something pretty out of the ordinary-Argh! Thanks for your reply, btw!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                                            O.K., here are some more descriptions of the ingredients...

                                                                                                                                            how about a bit of anchovy?

                                                                                                                                        2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                          What I came in to say I see was already posted a bunch of times but yeah,

                                                                                                                                          I toss the hot potatoes with a mix of dill pickle juice and mustard, not a whole ton but enough to coat and be absorbed as the potatoes cool. This gets flavor in the potatoes rather than them only being flavored by whatever mayo-coating with no flavor to the potato itself.

                                                                                                                                          For the dressing I like the usual mayo mix which for me consists of mayo, bit of mustard, dash of hot sauce, salt, pepper, finely diced celery, grated onion, minced dill pickle and recently added minced olive, minced to the point of almost being tapenade.

                                                                                                                                          It turns out like the usual creamy potato salad with that savory depth of flavor going on. Thinking of it, some anchovy/anchovy paste in there would bring it even further.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                            Ooh, the boiled dressing sounds good...I will add that to my list of questions for her! :)

                                                                                                                                          2. I usually use my great aunts recipe which she got from a NY deli in the 20's which calls for soaking the onions and celery in the vinegar while the potatoes are boiling and pouring over the p's while hot and letting it cool to room temp. BUT if I do make another one I make the Hungarian Potato Salad from Gourmet in the 80's. It calls for no mayo but sour cream and Hungarian sweet paprika. Guess that and I'll bet that's it because most other recipes use the same ingredients over and over again.

                                                                                                                                            1. Oh my gosh, you guys are amazing!! I'm new here and didn't know what to expect as far as replies go.. Thank you all so very much for your responses!! I've got a lot of work ahead of me reading all the replies and, hey, if nothing else I may end up with my own "secret ingredient"! ;)

                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                                                Could the secret ingredient be Worcester Sauce since it has anchoveys in it?

                                                                                                                                                I was in a local store and a woman shocked us all
                                                                                                                                                Her secret turkey was Worchester sauce with onion and garlic powder

                                                                                                                                                1. re: laura10952

                                                                                                                                                  I was wondering about anchovies, too.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                                    @ original topic maker, I say go with whatever variation of suggestions you think sounds good to you, sneak some anchovy paste in there and present that to your friend to make her wonder what YOUR secret ingredient is ;)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jjjr

                                                                                                                                                      Ha ha! That is a great idea!! :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jjjr


                                                                                                                                                        Love that idea!
                                                                                                                                                        How about inviting her SIL over for a party, and last min ask for the recipe to surprise her friend. Slipped lips for recipes always get from SIL and M and MIL.
                                                                                                                                                        Also conversation on a phone, people forget and the lips slip

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                                                    oh yes, and there's some dijon in there too.

                                                                                                                                                  3. My "secret" is roasted potato salad from cooking light. I could never get my potato salad well seasoned enough until it.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                      Yum, roasted potatoes sound like a better start to PS than boiled!

                                                                                                                                                    2. My family makes a very plain potato salad in that is doesn't contain a lot of extras but it is unique and people gobble it down. Boiled potatoes with Hellmans mayo. Not swimming mayo and the cubes are approximately an inch thick. We boil the cubes not whole an they are peeled. Red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, garlic powder and maybe a little onion powder. I know it sounds weird but even people who don't like p salad enjoy this. The mayo coats the potatoes and ends up just binding it all together. Similar to some of the Jewish delis but not sliced and nOT as much of a vinegar taste.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                        I can see why this would be successful

                                                                                                                                                      2. Why does this thread sound like a potato-based "stone soup" discussion????

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                                                                                          I am a little crazy, a few telemarketers called and drove me nuts

                                                                                                                                                          so, why not have a friend call and say taking a survey
                                                                                                                                                          and get it into the questions

                                                                                                                                                        2. What kind of "friend" is this that won't tell you the recipe or the secret ingredient?

                                                                                                                                                          I know someone who claims that she "always leaves out one ingredient" when she gives someone a recipe. IMO, you need friends like these like you need a hole in your head. This person is a PIA about many other things as well, so this is no surprise.

                                                                                                                                                          Plea, beg and then tell this person that withholding a recipe for POTATAO SALAD (for goodness's sake!) is really immature. She is not guarding the secret to Coca-Cola. Is she afraid that you will make the same dish for the next potluck, and then she will have to share the glory, or is she just mental?

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                                                                                            Oh not at all that serious, I think she is being playful at this point! :)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                                                                                              I'm reminded of the Dick Van Dyke episode when Laura asks for Millie's recipe and she leaves out the mustard so that Laura can't duplicate it. At the end she breaks down and admits to being jealous and gives her the correct recipe.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                                                                                                RGC............^^^^^ "or is she just mental?" hahahah

                                                                                                                                                              2. Well, all I have to say is I learned some great tips with this thread. I am going to change up my PS recipes and try some new stuff. Thank you everyone for all the great suggestions.

                                                                                                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                  I know! I'm not convinced I've found "the secret" yet but it has been so fun reading all the great stories and tips! My picnics this summer are going to be a bit different this year!! :D

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                                                                    Did you ever post a list of the known ingredients?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't...I haven't really kept track, unfortunately. All I know is that anything I've guessed so far hasn't been right for that one ingredient. I really should, though. Good point, thank you! :)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                                                                        Any time now... what is the list of known ingredients?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                                                          Gosh, you know, I don't see her every day and I still don't have the list. Don't worry about it, though. I started this thread for fun :)
                                                                                                                                                                          All I can definitively say before I see her again to ask is: white potatoes, mayo, onion, salt and pepper. Literally, that is all I know. I can say that the ingredient I am looking for is not any of these (and some of these may or may not be in her recipe, I don't recall): mustard, eggs, pickles or pickle juice, sage, thyme, anchovies or sardines, celery, celery seed, dill, cumin, sour cream, sugar-granulated or powdered, yogurt, pate, apples-or any other fruit, garlic, vinegar, peas, peppers, green onions, parsley, bacon, pimiento.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                                                                            eksophia: your March 24th post:

                                                                                                                                                                            I wont see her until Monday, but I've got my guess list and will take down any other items she will give me as freebies!

                                                                                                                                                                            Update please!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                                                                              Hey scoopG! I haven't seen her yet today, so the list I posted 2 days ago is the most current update :( If I get a chance I will post tonight or tomorrow, though! I'm thinking I'm going to add buttermilk and horseradish to my guess list, what do you think? Oh, and I can definitely say it's an ingredient as opposed to a method. I saw a few people posted hints about tossing with vinegar while hot, etc so I brought that up.. Nope, ingredient for sure. Hmph. Lol, she is such a stinker! :D

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                                                                                Well, I've been cut off for info for a while. Dang! She says she doesn't want her secret on the internet :( I'm pretty bummed, but I guess I could see feeling the same. The last bit of info I can give you is this: it's not buttermilk or horseradish, and she does use a bit of granulated sugar.
                                                                                                                                                                                It's been fun and even if I can't keep getting info from her I love reading these posts! I'm thinking now I'd like to try a batch with white potatoes and rutabaga or maybe turnips for something a little different.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                                                                    wyogal, yep, I think we've all been duped.
                                                                                                                                                                                    but hey, this thread at least grew some long legs.
                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm still reading and posting and it's way after the fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: eksophia

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the update eksophia.

                                                                                                                                                                                    "She says she doesn't want her secret on the internet."
                                                                                                                                                                                    It's not a secret. There is no secret! She has not "invented" anything new. She's not doing anything with her dish that 10 or 20 or 100 other people around the world don't already know about. Who did she learn the "secret" from? So it's not a secret! While the magic potion might not have appeared on this thread yet, that in itself is means nothing. Try telling her you know the secret then tell her you promised not to reveal it!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm beginning to think it's a wind-up, although a friendly one.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: scoopG


                                                                                                                                                                                        "Try telling her you know the secret then tell her you promised not to reveal it!"
                                                                                                                                                                                        ^^^^ .....because it's someone else's secret and 'they' don't want it out.
                                                                                                                                                                                        what a let down. all the hype for no result.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                          Her friend sounds like not much of a friend.
                                                                                                                                                                                          And a bit loony, too. What the hell is she afraid of???

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                              The Prof-
                                                                                                                                                                                              she's afraid someone in here will turn into the Mrs. Fields of potato salad and become a millionaire.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. My mum made THE best potato salad, and while I'm sure there are others who made it like her, I've yet to see it.

                                                                                                                                                                          Her "secret" ingredient was the addition of ketchup/catsup.

                                                                                                                                                                          After boiling the potatoes (peeled), while still very hot she cut them into large chunks and marinated them in a mixture of mayo, ketchup, mustard, celery seed, vinegar, salt, pepper and a little bit of sugar. Taste as go until you get a ratio that pleases you. Mom's dressing was always a pleasant orange-pink colour, not too light but not too dark.

                                                                                                                                                                          When cool, more of the mayo/ketchup sauce was added to make them creamy, and then she added chopped hard boiled eggs, onion, celery and green bell pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Journey

                                                                                                                                                                            Aha! I'm not sure if this is it, but I like the idea! Thank you, that sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Journey


                                                                                                                                                                              "Her "secret" ingredient was the addition of ketchup/catsup."
                                                                                                                                                                              my husband loves potato salad, I like it, he loves it.
                                                                                                                                                                              but he really perks up with the small addition of ketchup, it doesn't show either, so it is invisible yet that slight sweetness. you've just reminded me why I want to make it for tomorrow's bbq beef meal in the backyard.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. The best potato salad I ever had was made by a wonderful lady in Jamaica. She made her own mayo in a blender with lime juice instead of vinegar, plain vegetable oil, and egg yolks. She also cooked carrots,and fresh eggs with the potatoes. After the ingredients were cooked...kinda still firm, diced large...home made mayo added, salt, pepper, some Grace's hot sauce...let sit...then cubes of chedder cheese (The cheese was from a tin, made in Austrailia)....never tasted better...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Very simple recipe- use idaho/russets, cut into small pieces- boil until semi soft- or can cook in microwave- see your instruction book as times vary

                                                                                                                                                                                  I put potatoes in a colander on a plate over the stove while i'm cooking something in the oven so the potatoes dry out first

                                                                                                                                                                                  for about 6 potatoes worth

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 stalks celery, minced fine ( so people with dental issues can chew it without problems)
                                                                                                                                                                                  1 small onion (not vidalia, too sweet) use white/yellow - minced fine
                                                                                                                                                                                  Add 4 T. Miracle Whip only to start
                                                                                                                                                                                  Sprinkle with celery seeds - no need to add salt or pepper these give a little "kick" - if someone wants to add salt/pepper then can do so for their individual servings- this helps with low/no salt diets since celery itself and the seeds have sodium, try to cut where you can!

                                                                                                                                                                                  If taking to a picnic/get together- can get fancy and slice up some hard-boiled eggs to put on top and sprinkle with paprika for flavor

                                                                                                                                                                                  this is more 'savory' than sweet - no mustard, no pickles, no peppers- your basic "bland" plain potato salad - you can add other things but this is a good basic recipe - it always goes quickly at gatherings even though it doesn't have that yellow "store bought" look!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Found a recipe on-line that advises not to refrigerate spuds before serving, claims their texture suffers. This conflicts with the benefit of flavors, resting and blending by doing a day ahead of time. Opinions?

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: stymie

                                                                                                                                                                                      Potato Salad ALWAYS tastes better the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: stymie

                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't refrigerate raw potatoes. No conflict. Refrigerate potato salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I like the following ideas on this thread:
                                                                                                                                                                                        celery seed - never even considered it
                                                                                                                                                                                        pickle juice
                                                                                                                                                                                        bacon - what doesn't taste better with bacon?

                                                                                                                                                                                        Added thoughts:
                                                                                                                                                                                        I use Del Monte India relish - hard to find in some areas
                                                                                                                                                                                        I used some smoked paprika - turned the salad a little pink but added a smoky taste.
                                                                                                                                                                                        I like to use red onions for color but sweet onions make sense too
                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't use celery because I don't want crunchy things in my potato salad.
                                                                                                                                                                                        With all the fat and starch, the dish screams for heat like cayenne or hot sauce or horse radish

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I don't think this is going to answer your question, but it's the best darn potato salad I've had. Be sure to get a good feta cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Feta Potato Salad
                                                                                                                                                                                          by Corner Kitchen (Asheville, NC) - Chef Joe Scully

                                                                                                                                                                                          5 lbs red bliss potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 lb feta cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                          1&1/2 cups mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                                          1&1/2 cups sour cream
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup chives (fine slices)
                                                                                                                                                                                          salt and pepper to taste

                                                                                                                                                                                          Boil potatoes in seasoned water. Cool completely ( can be left overnight in the refrigerator). Half the potatoes and fourth-inch slice them. Toss in the vinegar. Add all other ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. If you are describing it as very creamy (and perhaps rich?) my off the wall guess would be duck eggs. They are amazingly creamy when hard boiled.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: OliviaBG

                                                                                                                                                                                              Olivia, and if you put them in a blender with sour cream, mayo, buttermilk, the color of the yolks would disappear and the sauce would appear 'white'.
                                                                                                                                                                                              good point about the duck eggs.
                                                                                                                                                                                              but where does one find those?

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Jeopardy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll take Potato Salad for $ 100.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Name a secret potato salad ingredient.

                                                                                                                                                                                              What is pickle juice?

                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                The brine that pickles are in. The wet stuff in the jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Would that be dill pickle juice or bread & butter (sweeter) pickle juice?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope


                                                                                                                                                                                                    or what is pickled jalepeno juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                    or what is giardinaro juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                    or what is liquid smoke

                                                                                                                                                                                                    again, I think someone's funnin with us

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I just read your question again and noticed the PS... about a slight liverwurst flavor in the potato salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The slight liverwurst combination may be from a little ground cloves and allspice. Both of which is part of the quatre-epices that's common in pates (like liverwurst) as a seasoning blend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just a little will go a long way since ground cloves can be overpowering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh gosh a good slice of pate sounds so good right about now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I just had a thought. I briefly looked through the previous 163 replies and someone may have already mentioned this and I missed it, but how about good old "Underwood Deviled Ham"? The stuff that came in the little can wrapped in white paper with the red Devil on it. It has a similar flavor and texture to livewurst. (No, not the same, but similar.) Be sure and let us all know when you find out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ritcheyd

                                                                                                                                                                                                        good guess, I hadn't noticed anyone bringing that up.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        used to love the stuff.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        about letting us know, I think that's a bust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. see if it is Heinz Salad Cream. Yea thats the name of it, not salad dressing its called salad cream. My hubbys mom uses this, and let me tell you , that is the most amazing potato salad I have ever had. It is difficult to find that stuff though.,

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dkasco

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree, a friend of mine that used to live in McAllen Texas stuck it in my work cubby one day with a note saying something like I bet you've not seen this before, it's a staple in Texas where I'm from. I didn't know what to do with it but used it in salad dressing making and a time or two put it into my mashed potatoes for a different slight twist. I was also given a bottle of banana ketchup from a friend from the Phillipines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'm new here and hope I am posting correctly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You all are going to think I'm crazy, but a nice ripe in season tomato diced up in PS is delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          re: Wickles - great in tuna salad and chicken salad. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Here is my ingredient list for potato salad:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Potatoes, boiled, cooled, peeled & diced
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Celery Seed
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dill Weed, dried or fresh, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Onion, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Celery, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Parsley, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Black Olives, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sweet Relish
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dill Pickle slices, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sour cream and/or yogurt
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dijon Mustard

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't like hard boiled eggs but you could add them if you like. I chop the veggies in the food processor and then strain them to remove the excess liquid. Mayo is homemade. I add the mayo, sour cream and/or yogurt sparingly because I like potato salad to be on the dry side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...... I saw the title of this thread "Potato salad secrets" and was immediately reminded of a horrendous four day visit years ago at my ex-sister-in-law's vacation home in the Ozarks. Oh God! LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              She never liked me. It took years after I married into the family for her and her husband to invite me and my now ex, with our kids, to her reputedly wonderful home in the Ozarks, on the big lake. It was a short flight from Chicago and then an awkward three hour drive or so to the home, two families, in one rented vehicle. When we got there, Nellie and her husband made a grocery list, we all shared the cost, and they bought provisions for meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Every night, my brother-in-law had control of the grill and cooked everything to a fare-thee-well. Once, I tried to get the tongs away from him and remove my meat before it died, and he actually struggled with me for the tongs! I lost. Nothing like a bone dry pork chop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              We fished for crappie. I was excited about the fresh fish fry we would have. But NOOOOOOO! My sister-in-law froze all of the fresh fish we caught and pulled out frozen crappie from their freezer. The last summer's catch. Freezer burnt and tasteless. Crappy crappie. I could not believe it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The potato salad. My sister-in-law insisted on making a big potato salad the first day we were there. We had over-cooked, hard as rock pork chops and potato salad for dinner. Nothing else. The next day, she added a cup of mayonnaise to the potato salad and stirred it up. I can picture her as if it were yesterday -- standing at the counter, frowning with determination as she whipped that mayo into the potato salad to stretch it out. Good as new! It was our side dish that day too, with the crappy crappie. The next day, same thing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              How she stretched that potato salad, the thrifty skinflint. I was so hungry. By the last day, the potato salad had grown really long in the tooth. It was nasty; soupy with too much mayonnaise thinning from the juices that the few remaining potatoes and vegetables were releasing, as these things do just before they qualify as rotten. A quick stir with some fresh mayonnaise, though, and it was served!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My sister-in-law was as nasty as that remarkable potato salad. I spent a fair amount of time floating in my tube tied up to the dock and watching the kids fish for more crappie to freeze. From time to time, foamy water and alarming clumps of detritus floated by.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Willa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your scary (but beautifully told) story begs the question, "What's WRONG with people....!!?!?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Willa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thank goodness you made it (partially) out of that family!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I loved reading all these suggestions but I still stand by my old recipe which includes many fewer ingredients:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and boiled in heavily salted water until just done, diced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  finely chopped celery including a little leaf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  finely chopped scallions, both white and green
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  finely chopped parsley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  coarse pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hellman's mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  lemon juice and zest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  no egg, no mustard, no sugar. Tastes strongly of potato, with a little crunch from the vegetables and a little tart from the mayo and lemon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sheiladeedee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And there are no beans in potato salad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh wait, sorry, that was for the chili thread. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Well, this is a pretty old thread, but one thing I didn't see mentioned is Kewpie mayonnaise. It's a Japanese mayo that's a bit sweeter and creamier than standard mayo. Sushi places often use it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Of course, it appears now that we'll never know what the "secret" ingredient is. Honestly, I think not sharing recipes is childish, especially with someone who is a friend. Tell her you'll sign a non-disclosure agreement and give her credit if people compliment you when you make it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gmm


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hope her friend found some humility and told her the ingredient.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. This is my 'secret ingredient.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. "Secret" recipes or ingredients = stupid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One other possibility: I sometimes put a small chunk of sweet onion thru my garlic press. The result is a little hint of background flavor without the in-your-face strength and crunch of raw onion.