Anyone who can boil water can make a potato salad. Even someone who can’t fry an egg, or prepare anything more complicated than a kachumber has a recipe for a potato salad. It’s one of those rare classic dishes which no one feels scared at attempting and which it’s almost impossible to muck up. It’s so popular that every buffet table has to have at least one potato salad.
Into this sea of potato salads I cast my offering; a salad, not unlike most others in its simplicity However, the cream, a sprinkling of bacon and the touch of Tabasco and chilli make it richer and add a little more zing on the palate. Nonetheless it’s very home-style and with ingredients that are easily accessible at most neighbourhood stores.
The first time I made it was a few years ago when I had organised a small Christmas Ham party. I had finally managed to get my hands on about a kilo of Farm Products famous smoked ham. All we ate that night was ham, salad and some crusty bread. Turned out to be a pretty good party!
While it’s perfect for a nice lazy beer brunch, I’d think it would go quite well for a children’s party or even for a barbecue lunch. However, it does not travel well unless you can carry it in an ice-box.
400 gm potatoes, preferably baby potatoes
1½ tbsp celery sticks, minced
1½ tbsp white onion, grated or minced fine
100 gm of mixed cold cuts of your choice, (chopped ham, different sausages sliced)
1 rasher bacon, fried crisp
1 boiled egg, chopped
a few drops of Tabasco sauce
3 tbsp mayonnaise
½ tbsp cream
a pinch of pepper and chilli powder
salt to taste
For the dressing
2 tbsp olive oil/ salad dressing oil
½ tbsp white vinegar
a large pinch of mustard
¼ tsp caster sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the garnish
a few whole celery leaves and a few cut into thin strips
a few bacon bits
Wash and scrub the potatoes well to remove any dirt. Boil, with the skins, in lightly salted water till tender, but not soft and overcooked.
Drain and while still hot cut into half or if using big potatoes into bite-sized bites (about 1-inch x 1-inch).
Mix together the dressing ingredients. Toss the potatoes in the dressing till well coated. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
About half an hour before serving mix the mayo with the salt, pepper, Tabasco, cream and chilli powder. Add the ham and sausage, bacon, eggs, celery and onion.
Stir in the mayo mixture and mix well.
Keep in the refrigerator to chill.
Serve cold garnished with the celery leaves and bacon bits.