The Stock Pot: Sensational Sides – All-American Macaroni Salad
If macaroni salad were a client, I’d tell it that it needed some serious P.R. because, let’s face it, most people have such low expectations of the stuff. I know I’ve had my fair share of overcooked and overdressed macaroni salad that frankly underwhelmed despite all the add-ins that seemed to do nothing more than distract the eye from its mediocrity. The idea of a cool salad on a warm day is enough to stage an intervention and take this American classic from being a wallflower at the barbecue or picnic to rubbing elbows with the burgers and hot dogs front and center.
Time for a taste-lift!
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons sweet and spicy pickle juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- one pound box elbow macaroni
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup diced spicy pickles
- one (2-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, well-drained
- ½ pound diced ham
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, pickle juice, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and celery seed. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions in salted water. Drain and rinse well under cool water; drain again.
- Place the macaroni in a large bowl; add the onion, celery, peas, carrots, pickles, pimentos, ham and dill. Add in the dressing and toss well to combine. Refrigerate for two hours before serving.
Planning: The macaroni salad will keep for several days well covered in the refrigerator. Stir in a splash of more pickle juice right before serving for extra zip.
Product Purity: So many brands of pickles and pickle relish are made with high fructose corn syrup. I adore Boar’s Head Sweet Pickles with Horseradish.
Presentation: Here’s a fun idea for packing up and serving the salad – try a cookie tin. They come in lots of patterns and colors for a pretty presentation.
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