Why? Why indeed!
There are a lot of things that can be made using sous vide. That doesn’t mean they SHOULD be made using it. It’s not like good potato salad is some sort of Holy Grail, quested but never fully achieved. Most delis have decent potato salad, even the store bought stuff isn’t bad, usually. If it isn’t broke, why fix it? That truism always seems to get used just before something small happens that changes things in a big way. Take the humble microwave, the red headed step child of cooking. We didn’t really NEED the microwave, and purists still turn their noses up at its use. On the other hand, they are literally everywhere.
So, yes, we don’t NEED sous vide to make potato salad. But sous vide potato salad could be what it takes to get that sous vide light bulb in somebody’s head to go on. To finally crystallize their pondering of what to do with the IC that they got gifted for their last Father’s day or birthday. To answer the question that was never asked.
Not to be outdone
This potato salad recipe DOES offer a sort of alternative convenience to the typically multitask chore of which potato salad is comprised. The old fashioned boiled potatoes for salad don’t always come out the same, even if you always prepare them the same. Sous vide corrects that. When I made sous vide potato salad the first time, I noticed that I didn’t have to wander around from device to device and from station to station in my kitchen. Working out of a chair, I notice such things. So, I decided to share.
- Potatoes, Russet, 1 lb. That’s usually one large baking potato from the store.
- Red potatoes work, too, but you’ll prolly need more than one. Like I said. A pound.
- Onion, 1 each. About 12 oz.
- Celery stalks, 12 oz.
- Eggs, 2 ea., in the shell.
- Capers or pickle relish, 2 tablespoons, sweet or dill, optional, all three, however you feel.
- S+P, to taste.
- White vinegar, to taste. Sometimes I put it in, sometimes I don’t.
- one recipe Mustard Sauce, OR Mayonnaise and a little mustard; just have a jar of each handy so you can use as much or as little as you need.
- Chopped parsley. As much as you can gather.
- Parsley is so important to potato salad, I will stipulate that it’s okay to use dried if you want.
- That’s a major breakthrough for me.
Fill your vessel with 120F tap water, and set your device on 183F.
While you’re waiting for the water to heat:
- Put the potato in a Ziploc bag, don’t seal it yet.
- Put the onion in a Ziploc bag, don’t seal it yet, either.
- Put the celery in a Ziploc bag, don’t seal it yet.
- Put the eggs in a Ziploc bag, do not seal. Yet.
The water should still not be hot yet, so:
- Lower the bag with the potato into the water and let the pressure force out most of the air.
- Seal and drop, it should sink.
- This technique is demonstrated HERE, using chicken.
- Do the same thing with the onion. It should also sink.
- Even if it doesn’t, no big deal, it’s only an onion. Not hazardous.
- Do the same thing with the celery.
- This is a little bit more difficult, so I hang the bag with the celery in it over the edge of the vessel.
- As the water gets hot, it helps force out the air, and the celery will actually start to sink, allowing you to squeeze out the rest of the air.
- You can cheat and put a little water in the bag with the celery.
- We’re not going to worry too much about the lost nutrients, this is America.
- Put a little water in the bag with the eggs, seal it, and it, too will sink.
- If you’re making the Mustard Sauce, you can drop it in the tank too.
- By now, the water is probably pretty hot, just keep an eye on it and when it hits 183F, set your timer for one hour.
NOTE: If you’re making the Mustard Sauce yourself, you should pull it after half an hour, but it won’t hurt it to go the full interval.
Now we shock!
- Pull everything out of the tank and shock it cold, to 70F, in ice water.
- We’re not gonna make hot potato salad here, and even if we were, this isn’t how you make it.
- Once everything is cooled off, put it in the refrigerator, because we’re not gonna make the potato salad until tomorrow.
- Unless you’re like me, and you started everything at 4am.
- Most people don’t do that.
- Remove the potato from the bag, peel it, and slice it thin.
- Sous vide potatoes like this are really easy to slice, they don’t stick to the knife, you will see.
- Peel the celery by grabbing at one end with a paring knife and pulling.
- This gets rid of the strings.
- Don’t be alarmed, that’s the way it’s supposed to look, all wrinkled like a shrunken head.
- Peel it and cut it up.
- Peel the eggs and cut them up (not shown, I think you get the idea).
- Put all the stuff together, and add JUST enough mayonnaise (and a little mustard) to bind them together.
- Usually it’s about a cup, but the amount of mayonnaise is important, and different people like different amounts.
I like it when it looks like this.
We talk about stuff like this HERE
And we have succinct recipes that are easier to print HERE