Many years ago I met a beautiful woman from Colombia (no, not Sofia Vergara) named Catalina. We struck up a friendship and before I knew it Carlos and I were having dinner with her and her husband. The food was excellent and I remember all too well the potato salad that Catalina served. I was brought up in a house where potato salad was mayonnaise, boiled egg and maybe some scallions. Catalinas potato salad opened my eyes to a whole new world of potato salad, literally and figuratively.
Now when you think of potato salad, you think of summer picnics in the USA, not of a side dish in Guatemala. But while we were in Guatemala in February we had gone to a friend’s house where we were served Pepian and potato salad along with ceviche I have written about in an earlier post. The photo above is not the best since I was trying to take it inconspicuously since I was sitting in the middle of the room while eating. I was somewhat shocked and pleased and I realized that it wasn’t just Americans who ate potato salad. There is probably some form of it in almost every culture, Central and South America included. The one I had in Guatemala was very similar to Catalinas, it just didnt have hot dogs in it. Hot dogs!? Yes, hot dogs. Catalinas potato salad had hot dogs in it (anything with hot dogs is fine by me) along with Hellmann’s mayonnaise, cilantro and thawed frozen green peas and carrots.
If I remember correctly the potato salad I had in Guatemala was potatoes, mayonnaise and green beans and carrots. Or at least that’s what it looks like in the picture I took. So I decided to track down Catalinas recipe which has been a staple in our house since I had gotten the recipe out of her years ago. This may not be a Colombian recipe, but it is made by a Colombian…..And yes when I specify Hellmann’s mayonnaise, trust me and use it, it does make a difference. I did try and make this potato salad with another brand once and it was not nearly as good…..Hellmann’s does make a difference and no I am not getting anything from Hellmann’s to promote their product.
Recipe: Catalinas Colombian Potato Salad
Summary: The cilantro in this recipe really brightens up what is usually a heavy picnic dish.
- 2-3 pounds of yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 lime, cut in half
- Salt and pepper
- 3 hot dogs
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 1/2 cup chopped packed cilantro
- 1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
- Cut potatoes into 1 inch chunks, add to a pot and cover with cold water.
- Stir in salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, until a potato chunk easily slides off a knife when pierced.
- Drain potatoes and place back in the pot.
- Squeeze the juice of the lime over the potatoes and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cut hot dogs in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and add to the potatoes.
- Add vegetables, cilantro and gently fold in the mayonnaise until evenly mixed.
- This potato salad is great served either warm or chilled.
Potatoes may be peeled, it’s all about personal preference. Although lime was not in the original recipe I like to add the juice to the still warm potatoes as it gives the salad and extra flavor boost.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12