Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Signature Dish

So you’re invited to a barbeque, a party, or–heaven forbid–a baby shower, some sort of social gathering that involves food. You need to bring a dish. What do you bring? What is your signature dish?

Mine is potato salad; specifically, Mom’s Potato Salad. I have been making Mom’s Potato Salad ever since I left the nest. There are a few other dishes that have my name on them...posolé, spinach balls, 7MSN margaritas. But nothing says “me” like Mom’s Potato Salad – my signature dish. Folks see me comin’ and they’re sayin’ to themselves, “hope she brought that potato salad.”

The 18 little red potatoes are on the stove as I type, cooking themselves to not-too-soft-not-too-hard perfection. The dozen eggs are hard-boiling in the pot next to them. In the morning, I’ll peel and chop the eggs, dice the potatoes (skins on), add some celery, some finely chopped red onion, and a few tablespoons of mustard seed that are soaking overnight in vinegar. I’ll toss the salad with some mayonnaise and salt and lots and lots of black pepper. And for my own little twist, I’ll add some fresh, roasted green chile.

Mom and Dad called is Thursday, after all. Mom was making potato salad, too. At barbeques in Florida and New Mexico tomorrow, you might overhear people sayin’, “hope she brought that potato salad.” It’s our signature dish. What’s yours?

p.s. Mom’s birthday is Monday, and so is my sister’s (but she buys her potato salad at Whole Foods). Happy birthday, Mom and Kathy!


  1. I don't have a signature dish, I've never been asked to bring anything (yet). But if I were asked I'd definetly bring my Butterscotch Banana Pudding (I posted the recipe on my blog today as a matter of fact).

  2. Since I'm not a cook, I'll share Betty's most common dish to take somewhere. It's a cheesy, pineapple dish. It's pineapple tidbits, covered with cheese and cracker crumbs that have been sauteed in butter and a little sugar. It is good as both a side dish and can even be a dessert if needed.

    Happy 4th, neighbor.


  3. Your potato salad sounds delicious, I make a pretty mean potato salad too. One of the other dishes I make is a pasta salad:
    Box of tri-color rotini
    2 cans black olives cut in half
    1 bar provolone cheese(cut in pieces)
    1 bottle of Italian salad dressing of your choice
    Cook,rinse and cool pasta, add all ingredients together and mix with dressing and Wala, an easy cold salad that most everyone likes. You can add other things to it also, I like add a jar of drained and rinsed sun-dried tomatoes or cut up pepperoni. The possibilities are endless. Try it sometime! It's good as a quick lunch on a hot day.

  4. LOL!!! I am making the same thing this morning! I don't like to cook, but the most requested things that I make are potato salad and hamburgers. Your potato salad sounds DIVINE. I bet the chilies add the perfect amount of zest. Hopefully the weather down your way will hold up for you. Up here, it doesn't look so promising :(
    Have a great 4th!

  5. Oh Linda, my signature dish would be- Cheerios! ;) Just kidding. I don't cook. Really. Well, I am getting better. I made those onion rings off PW's site and they turned out darn good. I would LOVE to learn to make deviled eggs or egg-salad. Oh, I can make a pretty good cupcake. My secret is to use the boxed mix then add applesauce instead of oil. I really prefer baking over cooking.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe, maybe I will be brave and try it sometime. Happy holiday!

  6. Happy 4th Southern Neighbour.

    I don't have a 'dish'. In fact, I break out in hives whenever I'm asked to bring anything foody to an event.

    I do have a fabulous mushroom risotto that I'll make for special people I invite in for a meal - it's pretty labour intensive, but YUMMY.

  7. Mmmmmm-mmmmmmm. Can't beat Mom's potato salad, made my mom herself! Just finished our Florida BBQ with chicken/corn on the cob, apple pie and ice cream -- with mom/dad and friends from out of town. GREAT! Though I must admit your addition of roasted green chiles sounds great, Linda. My recipe contribution? Opened a great bottle of Australian Shiraz. Thanks for the birthday greeting -- off for diving and counting fish in Key Largo to celebrate. Yeah!

  8. My signature dishes change from year to year and season to season. For warmer seasons, it used to be homemade hazelnut ice cream with raspberries on the side.

    The past few years it is fresh berry trifle.

    For the months we have home grown tomatoes and fresh basil, it's pasta with a no-cook sauce of brie and tomatoes and basil, tossed with garlic and olive oil. The heat of the pasta melts the brie. It's yummy if you like brie!

    In colder months it alternates between chickpea/sweet potato curry and homemade hummus.

    Your potato salad made me drool, and I suspect I will try to make it in the next week or so to satisfy the craving!

  9. My mom taught me potato salad too, and it's mostly just like yours. Lots of egg, and celery and onion. I use honey mustard rather than the seed, and green pepper. Maybe next time I'll try bring some hot pepers along on the side for the brave to try. I guess my signature if Salmon salad: cooked salmon, pasta of some sort, onion, grn pepper, cucumber, galic powder,some table top spice blend, lots of egg, mayo, cherry tomatoe halved on the top.

  10. Can I just bring Sangria and chips and salsa? hahah!!

    Noone has ever asked me for any of my dishes, so I don't know if I'd consider anything I bring as a 'signature dish'.

    But during the winter I typically bring Posole with tortillas to gatherings.
    And since we raise chickens, I usually bring egg salad sandwiches or deviled eggs to summer gatherings.

    My husband would say that my signature dishes at home involve East Indian Cooking...oh, and fajitas. haha

    Happy 4th!

    Did you get hit by that mega holiday rain storm yesterday, Linda?
    Up here, the size of the drops were like grapes!!!!

  11. Yummers. I had no idea those who read this blog were such gourmets! Billie, don't be surprised if we ALL show up at your place for dinner.

    Pony Girl, the way to a cowboy's heart is still through his stomach. You might want to rethink those Cheerios...I'm just sayin'...

  12. Twinville, there isn't a cook alive who doesn't appreciate fresh eggs - you don't even have to cook 'em. When I had the Dixie Chicks, I would love to give a dozen fresh eggs as a hostess gift. Dixie #1 was an auracana (sp?) who laid those gorgeous turquoise eggs, and Dixie #2 and Dixie #3 were Barred Rocks (or something like that) and laid brown eggs. So I'd mix them up in the carton, wrap a ribbon around it, and call it done. I miss my chicks...

  13. Well, that's good news. When that road gets done being graded, you let me know, and Val and I will pack up the horses and I'll gather some of my freshest, just laid dozen, wrap them up all pretty-like and we'll hit the road to the 7MSN!
    Shall I bring some Sangria and chips and salsa, too???