Several years ago I was given a book called Peace, Love, & Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue by Mike (and Amy) Mills. Mike Mills owns several restaurants, grew up around real barbecue, and has won many barbecue championships. I just recently started making things from this book, and let me tell ya, everything has been fabulous!
Take this beautiful potato salad as just one example. In the book, Mike travels around meeting with many other barbecue greats and managed to glean a few recipes along the way. This particular recipe is courtesy of Blair, wife to John T. Edge from Mississippi.
Blair says “John T. and I fell in love over food. After we had our son, I started to think serious thoughts about potato salad. I wanted to cook like a good Mississippi mama and raise our son on certain foods of which he’d one day be proud. He could only say a few words when I came up with this recipe. But in my dream, he would take a bite of potato salad, rip off his bib, hoist his hands into the hallelujah air as if addressing all of humankind, and shout ‘My mama makes the best potato salad in the whole wide world!'”
Well Blair, so far in my book, it is the best potato salad in the whole wide world! The colors alone make for an impressive presentation, but the flavor of this dish is wonderful and I can’t wait to make it again!
- 5 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes
- 6 large eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 jar (4 oz) diced pimentos, drained and topped with about 4 fat drops of Louisiana hot sauce
- 2 tsp celery salt
- ¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup diced sweet pickles (sweet salad cubes if you live in the South)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ cup prepared yellow mustard (don’t go fancy or Creole or grainy)
- 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- Heaping ½ cup chopped red onion
- Heaping ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Finely ground kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Smoked hot paprika for garnish
- Boil the potatoes, skin on, for about 20 minutes or until a sharp knife easily pierces them. Drain the potatoes and peel them with your fingers under running water (as if you were peeling a hard-coked egg). Put the potatoes and eggs into a chilled bowl, then chop. Add the other ingredients except the paprika garnish. Don’t stir, Dive in with your hands, mashing some of the potatoes to bond the intact golden chunks. Taste it for salt and shape into a pretty mound with a spoon or spatula. Dust the top with the smoked paprika. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Serve cold.
This recipe can be found on page 267 of Mike Mills’ Peace, Love, & Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue