Smoked Potato SaladSteven Raichlen
No barbecue is complete without potato salad. Here’s my take on what may be the most soulful potato salad you’ve ever tasted.
Smoked Potato Salad
- Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- Method: Hot-smoking
- Equipment: Alder or any hardwood (enough for 1½ hours of smoking)
- 2 pounds boiling potatoes (preferably organic), scrubbed with a stiff brush
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellmann’s or Best Foods) or smoked mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or more to taste
- 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 scallions, trimmed, white parts minced, green parts thinly sliced crosswise
- 8 pitted green olives or pimiento-stuffed olives, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped
- 8 cornichons (tiny tart French pickles) or 1 dill pickle, coarsely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon drained capers, or to taste
- Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón), for sprinkling
Step 1: Cut any larger potatoes in half or quarters; leave small ones whole. The idea is for all the pieces to be bite size, about 1 inch across. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in an aluminum foil pan. Stir in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 275°F. Add wood as specified by the manufacturer.
Step 3: Place the potatoes in the smoker and smoke until tender (a bamboo skewer will pierce the spuds easily), 1 to 1½ hours, or as needed. Stir a couple of times so the potatoes brown evenly. Remove the potatoes and let cool slightly (they should be warm).
Step 4: While the potatoes smoke, make the dressing: Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar in a large bowl and whisk to mix. Whisk in the chopped eggs, dill, scallions, olives, pickles, and capers. Cover and refrigerate until the potatoes are ready.
Step 5: Stir the warm potatoes into the dressing. Correct the seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste; the salad should be highly seasoned. You can serve the potato salad warm or chilled (cover and refrigerate, or quick-chill the salad over a bowl of ice). Transfer to a serving bowl and dust with smoked paprika before serving.