Austrian-Style Potato Salad (Cook's Illustrated)
- Ready In:
- 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 4 large)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped fine (about 3/4 cup)
- 6 cornichons (about 2 tablespoons) or 6 baby dill pickles, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- Bring potatoes, broth, water, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and 1 tablespoon vinegar to boil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until potatoes offer no resistance when pierced with paring knife, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to high (so cooking liquid will reduce), and cook 2 minutes.
- Drain potatoes in colander set over large bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Set drained potatoes aside. Pour off and discard all but ½ cup cooking liquid (if ½ cup liquid does not remain, add water to make ½ cup). Whisk remaining tablespoon vinegar, mustard, and oil into cooking liquid.
- 3. Add ½ cup cooked potatoes to bowl with cooking liquid mixture and mash with potato masher or fork until thick sauce forms (mixture will be slightly chunky). Add remaining potatoes, onion, cornichons, and chives, folding gently with rubber spatula to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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For a creamy and light potato salad recipe, do as the Austrians do: Ditch the mayo and look to the soup pot. Simmering the potatoes in a shallow pan with vegetable stock, water, sugar, and salt yielded deeply flavored potatoes. Yukon Golds have just enough starch to contribute creaminess without breaking apart. To finish, the recipe calls for adding mashed potatoes to the dressing, which thicken it perfectly every time. The finished salad should be creamy and loose, with chunks of potato that keep their shape but are very tender. If you can’t find cornichons, chopped kosher dill pickles can be used in their place. To maintain its consistency, don’t refrigerate the salad; it should be served within 4 hours of preparation. The vinegar in the cooking water is key -- it lengthens the window of time between when the potatoes go from perfectly cooked to mushy. Something about pectin in the potato breaking down...