Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cheddar Cheese Potato Salad - Recipe to serve 70

Well, not really 70, but this is the recipe I made for the rehearsal dinner served at the wedding of the century. The recipe I use calls for 5 pounds of potatoes.  Tripling everything gave me a delicious 15 pounds of potatoes... Plenty to serve to our crowd of 70 people.

Although to be honest, it was a bit scary to watch the bridal party go through the line.  you see, Bryce (the groom) is a baseball boy.  Grew up playing ball and earned a scholarship for his entire run of college.  Most of his groomsmen and assorted friends at the dinner were baseball boys.

My, can they pack it away... This is a photo of this guys "seconds".  You should have seen his first plate.

Here's the bride and groom on their first run through.  After learning to cook for mostly middle aged people who wander into my back yard (funny words, middle aged... That's assuming I live to be 105, but let's say middle aged... And I digress).

After learning to cook for folks my age, it was a bit scary to watch the first 20 kids take a big chunk of the food meant to feed 70.

But, the old folks came through for me and they obligingly took half what the baseball boys took.

We had plenty...

So, what did I learn with my first important catering job...

Cook what you know will be winners...

Like this potato salad recipe...

I have a couple of secrets in my potato salad that makes this special.  Neither are so over powering that you immediately know what they are.  But, the little subtle aftertaste of both make this recipe my very favorite in the whole world (and I learned to eat in church basements, I have seen my fair share of potluck dinners).

My two secrets, Cheese and a tsp of Raspberry Chipotle BBQ paste!

5 Pounds Red Skinned Potatoes, 3/4" diced, unpeeled (healthier, adds texture and appearance)
8 ounces 
Cheddar Cheese (buy the brick, not the pre-grated)
4 hard cooked 
Eggs, chopped
1 medium size finely chopped 
Vidallia Sweet Onion
4 TB fresh 
Chives, minced, divided half in the taters, half as garnish
2 TB 
Salad Sprinkle, McCormick brand, divided half in the taters, half as garnish
1 TB fresh ground Black Pepper
0 TB Ground sea salt (yes, ZERO salt, there is plenty in the Salad Sprinkle)
3 TB Pourable 
Yellow Mustard
2 cups 
1 tsp 
Raspberry Chipotle BBQ paste.  The paste is a concentrate.  1 tsp is plenty to season 5 pounds of potatoes.  But, a tsp of a spicy BBQ sauce could be substituted

Cook the potatoes til just done, cool immediately. Combine all the other ingredients into your kitchenaid mixer and mix on low for about three minutes. Once the potatoes are completely cooled, mix in about 1/4 of the potatoes and 1/4 of the goo in a serving bowl. Then add about 1/2 the remaining potatoes and goo, mix that layer, then the final layer. Cool in the refrigerator for at least three hours prior to serving, preferably over night.

And when cooking for baseball boys and their buddies, just make three batches!

The weather for the wedding was perfect!  Highs in the 70's, no humidity, beautiful blue sky...

And yes, that is a team of fine Missouri Mules that took the bride and groom from the church.



  1. Dear Dave, I agree cook what you know for a crowd. I am sure the potato salad was a hit. It sounds like something I would enjoy. I am glad that you had fun and I am sure the bride and groom loved your addition and help. Have a blessed and great day. Catherine

  2. I always find myself sweating bullets when I cook for a crowd, even when I KNOW I've made more than enough! That potato salad sounds fabulous. I love all of your extra special touches!

  3. That's some serious potato salad! :o)

  4. 0 tbsp salt? Oh crud I don't think I have that much on hand ;)

    Cooking for a crowd of young guys is definitely an "x" factor for portion sizing. My nephew is also a scholarship baseball player and he and his friends can empty a fridge like a pack of piranha.