We have our timeless favorites at Pancake House and they’re not pancakes—Spanish omelet for my husband and son (maybe a man-thing?), pan-fried chicken for me. But I agree with them on the side dish to go with our orders: potato salad. Pancake House’s version is simple and no-frill, served on a bed of lettuce, topped with a slice of hard-cooked egg and garnished with cubes of red jello. Sometimes a full order (3 scoops) of potato salad is all I’d have and I’d be satisfied.
This has become quite a comfort food for me that it—along with fresh fruit salad—was all I ate three times a day for three days after I had a throat biopsy last February. This is my new go-to potato salad, it is easier to make than my dynamite potato salad from Hellman, using fewer ingredients that are staples in everyone’s pantry.
Here’s my copycat version of Pancake House’s potato salad, re-created from my taste-bud archives.
Potato Salad a la Pancake House
- 4 large potatoes skins on, scrubbed clean
- 7 eggs
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1½ tsp. celery salt
- ¼ cup chopped red onion or shallots
- 1 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan; fill with water to cover potatoes by a couple of inches. Add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add the eggs, and cover the pan. Cook the eggs for 12 minutes, then remove, and plunge in a bowl of cold water. Continue cooking potatoes for 8 to 10 minutes more, until they are fork tender.
- Peel eggs. Coarsely chop 6 of the eggs. Slice the remaining egg into rounds or wedges for garnish.
- Remove potatoes from pan. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, but still warm, remove the skins—you may leave the skins on if you prefer a rustic salad. Cut potatoes into ½- or ¼ -inch cubes.
- Whisk mayonnaise and celery salt in a bowl until smooth. Add onion and pickles; mix well. Add potatoes and eggs; toss gently to coat well. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Garnish with sliced hard-cooked egg.
- Serve with fried chicken or Spanish omelet. Potato salad is also the perfect side to barbecues, roasts, bratwursts or hot dogs, hamburgers, and cold sandwiches. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 or 4 days.