What spoils a potato salad?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by quetex, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. quetex

    quetex

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    Have some friends that want me to cater a small  office party of 50 people, they love my wifes potato salad and are requesting it on the menu, bbq btw. Not everyone will eat at the same time due to different lunch breaks. I have heard that potato salad must stay cold or it will turn bad, is this true and if so what makes it go bad? We usually use eggs in it and mayo so wondering of its one o these two that is the  problem.

    thanks in adbvance

    QueTex
     
  2. durangojo

    durangojo

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    yes while it's true that time and temperature will affect anything with eggs and mayo, i thinks it's okay out for an hour or 2..personally i don't like to eat potato salad too ice cold as you can't taste the flavors as well.  two things you could do since they are eating at different times is to put the potato salad in 2 bowls serve one and refrigerate the 2nd ....change them out after an hour or so or re-refrigerate the one out....other option is to put the serving bowl in a pan or bigger bowl with ice..

    joey
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  3. quetex

    quetex

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    Thanks for the reply, good idea. Still curious though what actually makes people think its so bad warm, I dont like it too cold either.
     
  4. michaelga

    michaelga

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    To be honest nothing is so terrible about the potato salad, it's almost always the fault of being prepared incorrectly. (cross contamination usually with chicken - keeping things really cold limits the potential harm of this type of cross contamination)

    Modern store bought mayo has a fair bit of acidity and will actually be just fine at room temperature for quite a long time.

    Acid (vinegar) preserves food much better when in the warm zone than the cold zone.  

    It is this reason why you can 'ferment' foods and then store them - fermentation produces a weak acid (usually lactic acid) that keeps the food safe while it pickles and then you stop the process by placing them in the fridge.

     It's this same reason why a jar of pickled eggs can sit on the back shelf of the bar at room temp for many months, but if you place it in the fridge the eggs will start to turn and get stinky after only a few weeks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  5. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Raw onion will tend to make it go bad faster.

       Todays commercial Mayo actually helps it last a bit longer because of the acid in it.  Best thing when you put out the bowl of salad place it in a laqerger bowl or pan filled with crushed ice if possible. You can do this with many things.
     
  6. durangojo

    durangojo

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    quetex,

    i think the fear stems from back in the days when mayonnaise was homemade with raw eggs.  raw eggs= salmonella. nowadays as others here have said mayonnaise is made with pasturized eggs so the potential for sallmonella from the mayonnaise at least is pretty slim...there are other things however that may be suspect...the potatoes themselves even. i think that it's always better to start with all your ingredients being cold....don't mix just boiled potatoes with cold mayo then add warm boiled eggs...cool everything down first, even the mayo before mixing.

    just curious, has anyone ever eaten one of those pickled eggs from the huge glass jars in bars? i shudder at the thought....and why are they so pink? seems like its more than just red wine vinegar.

    joey
     
  7. michaelga

    michaelga

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    It's beet juice - lots of people are very frugal and recycle the vinegar from pickled beets by making pickled eggs.

    Some variations add canned beets and their juices to the vinegar to tame the acidity down when making pickled eggs.

    And yes i've eaten them from that big o'l jar matter of fact I have a couple of jars always on the go - one half done and one being eaten.

    They are very versatile and quick also - egg salad sandwiches are the best, scotch eggs, deviled eggs and various pasta sauces, anything you'd use a hard-boiled egg for really.

    (i actually don't add beets - i like my eggs white)

    If you use a pressure cooker to make the eggs they virtually peel themselves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  8. durangojo

    durangojo

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    pink egg salad and pink deviled eggs? hmmmm... they'd be awesome at a breast cancer fundraiser.... maybe you're onto something there chef!.... i'll take the beets and leave the eggs though......can't take long to cook in a pressure cooker....how long? and they don't explode? does it stink up your house? i had one explode on me years back and i've been a bit leery of them ever since....i'm sure they have safer models though these days.....you know,i could be wrong but i just don't think that most women in general like pressure cookers for some reason...think it's a trust issue or maybe because simply we can't see what's going on inside... someone needs to invent a female friendly one, whatever that would be. hmmm....who knows, maybe we don't really want to see or know what's going on inside that pot either!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

    joey
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  9. quetex

    quetex

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    LOL, I've seen those eggs in a jar for many years and have never been brave enough to try them nor the pigs feet in a similar jar.
     
  10. blairbo baggins

    blairbo baggins

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    Warm is better imo the flavor shines through.

    Try adding lemon juice or pickle juice which will help preserve as well as add a nice tang!
     
  11. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    I had a comment, and after reading through I realize that my comment was kind of off-topic, but I will say it anyway. I got some potato salad from a grocery store deli recently, and it was sweet. Ew. What will they add sugar to next? Grrrr.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  12. aprons

    aprons

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    I always thought it was the mayo that went bad if it's too warm.  We had a picnic once and left the potato salad outside in the summer and several of us didn't feel too well after that:-(
     
     
  13. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    I have read more than once or five times, that it's a myth that mayonnaise spoils easily. Other ingredients will spoil first, and most mayo will actually help delay spoilage because of the vinegar in it, from what I have read. I'm not considering myself an authority, but this is the argument I have seen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  14. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    The reasoning behind mixing the potatos and the dressing while still warm is.......cold potato won't absorb any (or very little) of the dressing.

    Learned this from my mom, so no flaming here.
     
  15. lagom

    lagom

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    Have you considered doing a warm potato salad? Sliced potatos mixed warm with a flavorfull herb vinigrette and topped at servering time with s&p, halved vine ripe cherry tomatos,thin sliced white onion, minced chives and fresh rocket. Serve it around 120F and watch it fly off the table. Sometimes a different twist is nice. Then again maybe I don't know you clinetal and I'm way off base but it does take the mayo and egg question off the table. Or serve it with deviled eggs right beside it that you keep in the fridge till service time.
     
  16. quetex

    quetex

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    That sounds delish Lagom.
     
  17. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    I've had warm potato salad before, though not like that. It was really good! I had more of a traditional American potato salad warm: red potatoes still warm from cooking, mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, celery including some of its leaves for sure, a little red onion, and I don't remember what all else I made it with, maybe some chives, maybe some dried herbs. I tasted it warm because I was impatient, and it was really tasty! Now when I make it, I'll have some of it warm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012