Turkey and Potato Salad

In the turkey lumpia entry, I mentioned that half of the turkey meat I was able to salvage went into a potato salad. This is it. Not only was I able to save the turkey meat, but I was also able to finally use the fat-free Kraft mayonnaise that no one wanted to spread on sandwiches. I had this salad for lunch last Tuesday. Of course, there was more than enough for my lunch and everyone was able to enjoy it later in the day after the kids arrived from school and their dad, from work.

When making potato salad, the best way to cook the potatoes is to add salt to the water. Scrub the potatoes first under the tap before placing them in the cooking pan and adding water. The potatoes should be fully submerged in water. A wide cooking pan is best so that the potatoes are in a single layer. To test for doneness, insert a sharp pointed knife at the thickest part of the largest potato. There should be a little resistance at the center. If the potato splits open when the knife goes in, it is overcooked. Depending on the size of the potatoes, they’re usually cooked within 20 to 30 minutes.

Peel the potatoes after they are cooked, not before. Unlike when making mashed potatoes when you have to peel them as soon as they can be handled (because you need to mash the potatoes while still hot), with potato salad, you have to let the potatoes cool first before peeling and cutting them into cubes. That way, the potato cubes will retain their shape after tossing them with the dressing and the rest of the ingredients.

After peeling, cut them into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the shredded (or chopped) turkey meat, about 3 tsp. of chopped carrots (blanch in boiling water for a minute before chopping if you prefer), and 3 tbsps. of finely sliced celery, and about 2 tbsps. of pickle relish. About 3/4 cup of crushed pineapples would be good too but drain well before adding to the rest of the ingredients.

Since you have cooked the potatoes in salted water, you don’t need to add too much salt at this point. Start by not adding any salt at all, just some ground white pepper and a teaspoon or so of white sugar. The sugar may not be necessary if you’re using pineapples. Toss everything with enough mayo to moisten all the ingredients. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill for at least an hour. This will allow the potatoes and the turkey to absorb the mayo. Chances are you will need to add more mayo after an hour. This is also the best time to taste the salad to determine if you need to add more salt sugar pepper, or all of them. So, adjust the seasonings, add more mayo, toss well, re-cover, and chill until ready to serve.