Potato Salad

I used to think that I hated potato salad, but the truth is, I just didn’t have enough information.  What I hate is cheap mayonnaise and undated gherkins mixed up with potatoes.  (I have to take a stand on  mayo–for me it’s Hellman’s or make your own, and while I’m on the soap box–mayo, just like sour cream is no place to save a calorie.  If you want to cut the fat, mix one part whole milk yogurt with one part real mayo.  You have to think of your happiness–the taste alone, not to mention the chemicals in a prefab low fat version can make a person vicious.)
It doesn’t have to be that way: You could make a potato salad with homemade pesto and string beans, or with flakes of fresh tuna, red onion, nicoise olives, tomatoes, olive oil and lemon, or GO FWENCH!!!  and make it with an onion confit.  The thing about onions is, they’re cheap–and if you put some time into them, and share a little of the red wine from last night with them, then they can carry that potato salad from a “no thank you, please” to a “pass the plate and leave it over here on this side of the table” opportunity.

Peel a two pounds of yukon potatoes and bring them to a boil in cold, salted water.  I give the water a splash of olive oil as well.  Turn the heat to a simmer, and cook them with a cover until just fork tender.  Remove from the water and season with salt, pepper, and a tiny drizzle of olive oil or butter.    Meanwhile, in a saute pan, melt a few tablespoons of butter.  Add 4 yellow onions, that you slice as thinly as possible.  Cook them over a medium heat with a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme and a juniper berry if you have one, but NO salt, until caramelized.  Give them a sprinkle of sugar, and cook for another two minutes.  As soon as they are gorgeous and browned, add the salt, a splash of red wine vinegar, and a splash of red wine.  Stir it gently and cook to reduce the liquid.  Continue cooking over a low heat, uncovered for about an hour, adding a pour of red wine, every 5 minutes or so, or as needed when the liquid evaporates, until you have added 1 cup of wine.  You want the onions to be completely softened, with no resistance when you take a bite.  If you need to keep cooking them, just add a little water to keep them from drying out.  Taste for salt and give them a grind of black pepper.  Combine them with the potatoes.  Serve with sausages on the grill and spinach with garlic.  Scrub the grill and throw peaches on for dessert with CWEM FWESH and sugared, grilled baguette.

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