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Monday, September 6, 2010

Czech Potato Salad


We enjoy this traditional salad every Christmas back home in the Czech Republic and It is most definitely irreplaceable dish at nearly everyone's Christmas table. Every family has a bit different recipe, some add boiled ham, eggs, peppers and some don't. But what everybody uses are boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, pickled gherkins and mayonnaise :) and that's the basic! The best potato salad is prepared a day before Christmas Eve so that all the ingredients can "mellow" for a day. We serve it with deep fried carp fish from our lakes and a glass of cool sparkling wine. Different versions of this salad are widely spread across Eastern Europe. When I asked a friend of mine from Latvia if she could recommend a dish that we could cook together, POTATO salad was her answer. It was nearly the same salad that our family has been cooking for many generations, except for one thing, and it was Latvian ham that was added to it. You will find one of many recipes in my comments!

1 comment:

  1. 2 to 3 large carrots
    1 to 2 parsnips
    ½ head celery root
    6 to 8 large white potatoes
    3 medium-size pickles, finely chopped (pickle lovers can double the amount)
    1 can processed peas
    3 hard boiled eggs
    1 red pepper (my czech friend Nikol makes her salad with red pepper and I must admit, it's fantastic)
    Salt and ground black pepper to taste
    1 cup diced boiled ham
    ½ cup vinegar stock from the pickles
    1 to 2 cups mayonnaise, also nice when you mix mayonnaise with 1 cup of sour cream, to taste


    Peel the carrots, parsnips and celery root, and put them in a pot with salted water to cover. Bring to a boil
    and cook for a couple of minutes. The vegetables should be firm but cooked. Leave in the hot water.
    Meanwhile, place the potatoes, unpeeled and uncut, in cold salted water. Bring to a slow boil and cook until just tender.
    Do the same thing with ham (boil in salted water until tender/u can also use thick slices of regular ham).
    Mix the pickles,peas, eggs and the red pepper in a bowl; set aside. Drain the vegetables from the hot water.
    Chop finely and add to the mixture. Peel the hot potatoes, cut into small cubes (ham as well)
    and add (also good when cooled).
    Gently stir all together, season with salt and pepper, and cover.

    In a small bowl, mix the vinegar stock, mayonnaise and sour cream. Pour the mixture over the potato salad.
    Marinate at least 1 hour and up to several days.
    Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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