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No-Mayo Creamy Potato Salad

No Mayo Creamy Potato Salad

I love mayonnaise on my sandwiches, but I always shy away from putting heaps of it in salads. This is a no-mayo potato salad recipe, leveraging hard-boiled eggs and olive oil as a mayo replacement. Picnic-style potato salad (aka best served cold) can be prone to dryness, so sour cream is added for creaminess, though plain yogurt would work just as well. The capers add little pops of salt which is addicting. Dill and shredded spinach is added for extra flavor, though any dark green leaf vegetable — kale, mustard greens, collard greens, etc. — would work just as well. Just mix it all together after the potatoes have cooled off.

Potato Salad

1½ pounds small potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
1 cup spinach, sliced thinly
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon dill, minced
1 tablespoon minced shallots
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Boil the eggs. Place eggs in a small saucepan and fill with water until the eggs are covered by an inch. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; when water is at a rolling boil turn the heat off, keeping the lid on. Let sit for 12 minutes. Fill a bowl with ice and water, and move the eggs to the ice bath. Let sit for a couple minutes then remove shell. Chop the eggs and place in a salad bowl.

2. Cook the potatoes. Fill a large saucepan with several inches of water and bring to a boil. Scrub the potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and partially cover. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a sheet pan to cool, then add to the salad bowl with eggs.

3. Mix the salad. Add the sliced spinach, sour cream, olive oil, capers, minced dill, minced shallots, salt and pepper to the potatoes and chopped egg. Stir gently until all of the ingredients are well combined.

4. Store and serve. You can serve this right away or, even better, make it ahead and store up to several days ahead so it is completely chilled.

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The Golden Egg

I’ve got a new obsession, and it is perfecting the soft-cooked egg. Recipes that are accompanied with pictures of bright sunny yolks beckon me… All varieties of dishes, topped off with soft-cooked eggs. You’ve got your noodle bowls, breakfasts, tagines, etc. They require a knack for timing. Too little time, and you have undercooked eggs with runny whites. Too long, and the yolk will harden. The goal is to get the whites cooked but the silky yolk to spill out golden decadence when you break into it.

This is the number one trick I’ve learned: use the timer. A loud one.

I wasn’t raised with soft-cooked eggs. In fact, I only ate scrambled eggs up until a couple years ago. I was so picky that as a youth, I only ate scrambled eggs prepared by my Tata or Baba! (Much to the irritation of every adult who ever served me eggs.) Though, that is another story. It is only recently I delved into soft-cooked eggs.

I am coming to realize soft-cooked eggs all serve different purposes. Soft-boiled eggs are great, but kind of tricky to get the shell peeled off quickly. So they are best when presentation is important. But for meals where the goal is to smash the egg into the rest of the dish, the poached egg is the better bet. They are quicker to the finish line. Soft-baked eggs are best when you need a little more time to get everything else ready, and they are wonderful for dipping toast (or, ahem, toasted brioche). Same with the sunny-side up egg. You want something pretty on the plate to dip toast in.

Fresh eggs are important, too. Really, nothing beats a farm-fresh eggs. I love when they are all different colors, from different chicken breeds. With a fresh egg, you are going to have a sunnier yolk and a firmer white. Not to mention the shell. I find “cheap” eggs tend to have flimsy shells (which really weirds me out). For me, eggs are one food where I will gladly pony up an extra $1.50 to support hens who are cared for.

Soft-Boiled Eggs

Soft-Boiled Eggs

Goal: Perfectly shaped egg, runny yolk

Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

Goal: Smooth, coagulated whites (not drifting in the water), runny yolk

Soft-Baked Eggs

Soft-Baked Eggs

Goal: Whites set, runny yolk

Sunny-Side Up Eggs

Sunny-side Up Eggs

Goal: Whites set, no brown edges, runny yolk

For a thorough guide to the hard-boiled egg, we found a great post from Olivia at MyKingCook.com.

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