Truth time: I haven't ever purchased a cookbook. A few I have received as gifts but I have never purchased one for myself. I may have a dozen cookbooks sitting in my kitchen but I don't use any of them. Beyond the initial cover to cover reading and saving of potential recipes that I may make I don't see much use for them. I don't revisit them. Let me clarify, I am this way with traditional books as well. I don't collect them and I find them to be clutter-y. I'm weird about books, please don't throw rocks at me!
I love cookbooks! But something tells me that no matter what I say now I will be unable to redeem myself. Maybe we can't be friends. Maybe we just don't see eye to eye on cookbooks. I understand.
Best American Sidedishes by Cook's Illustrated Magazine could be an exception. If you are a cookbook kind of person, the kind that likes to own them, this is one that I highly recommend. It has tons and tons of really great recipes that certainly expanded the way I think about side dishes.
Summer time calls for a very tradtional potato salad at times. Nothing fancy, just the basics; potato, egg, mayo, celery. Cook's Illustrated got this one right but even so I couldn't leave well enough alone. The tweaks are mild and few and very much still the original recipe. Enjoy!
American Potato Salad
2 lbs red potatoes (18 small or 6 medium), scrubbed but not peeled
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt and ground pepper
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 Tbs minced red onion
1/4 cup dill pickles, minced (feel free to use sweet pickles)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp dijon mustard
Cover the potatoes with 1 inch water in a a stockpot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a medium and simmer. Stirring once or twice to ensure even cooking, until the potatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and cut into 3/4 inch cubes while still warm.
Place the warm potato cubes in a large bowl. Add the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss gently. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.
When the potatoes are cool, toss with the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 20 minutes