Thursday, July 5, 2012

Simple Macaroni Salad

Years ago, when I had more money to spend on meals, I started to get lazy.  It was much easier for me to just run down to the deli or supermarket and pick up a side of macaroni or potato salad, for a BBQ.  Then my ex used to work at Columbus Salami - a San Francisco staple! Extra dry salami and a loaf of extra sourdough french bread. A glass of wine and some cheese!  - I mean, that was and still is,  to die for! Anyway, they had a division within the company that also sold Deli food, such as fine cheeses, deli meats, salads and pre-made Italian meals. When we were going to a big pot luck, I'd just order a salad from Nonna's Kitchen and call it a day. They made the best potato salad and macaroni salad. But it was far from cheap!

I can't find it anymore where I live now. And the macaroni and potato salads now are dominated by one or two distributors. Have you ever read the ingredients to  "Mom's old fashioned potato salad"  from these store bought ones in the plastic container? No thank you! My Grandma never made a salad with those ingredients!

I've taken to making my own as much as I can, or if we do buy it, it's for camping and I just don't eat the store stuff. (I've become very picky in my old age)

It's so simple to make. Now remember, I hardly measure anything. So try and follow along and make your own guesstimates as to how much.

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  • I use SALAD Macaroni (I love the way it feels in my mouth)
    Lets use a package of salad macaroni - that would probably be 16 oz. (I buy mine in bulk)
  • I always have on hand in my pantry BEST FOODS Mayo - Several scoops to make it creamy and moist. About 4 or more heaping table spoons.You can add a little milk, or not.
  • Green onions - 4-5 (or more if you like onions) green parts and all
  • Carrot - 1 good sized carrot, shredded or minced real small
  • garlic - fresh is best but I've got by on the dried garlic. What can I say? Use a lot of garlic!!!
  • sliced black olives - The smaller cans
  • salt and pepper - taste. Let them salt it at the table if they like more
  • I also add a dash or two of dried hot red pepper flakes.
  •  EXTRA - omit the olives and add frozen peas. I've chopped up green and red bell peppers.
Cook the macaroni and always remember to cool down the pasta with cold water or you'll have mush!  Assemble it, and keep chilled. If you make it early in the morning you can eat it that evening but like any salad, it's always best if it can stay in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Now that's the way a homemade simple macaroni salad should taste!

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