In honor of the 4th of July, we’re making a batch of creamy Texas-style potato salad.

My personality, when tasked with creating meals, goes something like this: Is there a way we can make this more difficult? Because let’s do that. I don’t mean to complicate things. It’s just – why buy pre-packaged potato salad when you can spend your morning boiling potatoes and flipping out because there’s no dill in the house?

— Sloane Crosley

This really isn’t that difficult unless you decide to be authentic (see note below).  I don’t know if they still make it this way in Texas, but it’s how we do it here: Lots of mustard, a little sweet relish and dill pickle juice, and chopped hard-cooked eggs added at the last.

Chopped celery on a cutting board in front of mayo, sweet relish, and pimentosPotatoes, celery, and red onion in a metal bowl

Mama used Miracle Whip for the dressing but it’s too sweet for me. I use half sour cream, half mayo instead, something I learned cooking at the Bay View Inn in Petoskey, Michigan. It makes it creamier and adds just a little sour to balance the sweetness of the pickle relish. If you like more sour, use the green olives instead of just pimentos.

potato salad

Note: To be truly authentic, boil Russet potatoes whole in their skins, then peel with your fingers while still very hot. You can hold them with a paper towel but you’ll still burn your fingers.

Recipe

6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced fine
1 tablespoon red or yellow onion, diced fine
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon juice from the dill pickle jar
1 4-oz. jar diced pimentos, drained OR a similar amount of chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
lots of ground black pepper
3/4 cup real mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
mustard to taste – I start with a couple of tablespoons
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut in large pieces

Cook the potatoes in salted water to cover until they’re tender. Drain thoroughly and let sit a few minutes to dry and cool a little.

Meanwhile, chop the celery and onions and add it to the pot of drained potatoes. The heat from the potatoes will steam and tenderize the celery and onion so they’re not quite so crunchy. Add the relish, pickle juice, pimentoes and/or olives, and black pepper, and toss. Squirt on the mustard and add the mayo and sour cream. Stir until mixed and check the seasonings, adding more mustard, salt, and pepper as needed, remembering that the flavors will fade when the salad is chilled. When you’re happy with the seasoning, gently fold in the eggs. Chill immediately, serve cold.

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