Saturday 22 May 2010
Dylan Jones: 'I think I’m on safe ground when I say that I make the best potato salad in the world'
I gave up on celebrity cook books a long time ago, probably around the time that former Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker brought out 80 Nutritious and Calorie-counted Recipes (available still on Amazon – 41 used copies from £0.01). To be honest, just about the only celebrity recipe I've ever taken seriously is Randy Newman's "Primitive cheese sandwich". "Ingredients: three slices of English cheddar cheese, and two slices of white bread. Place cheese between bread slices, stacking carefully. I like to accompany the sandwich with a simple muscatel or, for a more formal luncheon, with a brisk shot or two of rye."
In fact, I now cook so much, and have developed so many recipes, that I think I could easily produce my own cook book (although when I say "developed" I actually mean "copied from other people with the occasional individual flourish thrown in for good measure, and to avoid any nasty copyright issues").
And the third recipe in my cook book would be my potato salad – which is possibly the best potato salad in the world.
Now, I'm not one to brag. Not too much, anyway, and rarely in print. But I think I am on fairly safe ground when I say that I make the best potato salad it is possible to eat. I long ago realised that most good cooking is just good common sense, and that it is a lot less difficult than many make out. So it is with my potato salad, and my recipe is very simple. You just boil your unpeeled potatoes as usual, then turn off the heat and let them cool. Next you take some Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise (it is completely unnecessary to make your own), and add the following: sliced radish, gherkins and celery, along with chopped garlic, onion and walnuts. You then finely chop some fresh mint and tarragon, and then – and then! – turn on the iPod dock. Find something suitably melodramatic – "Fanfare for the Common Man" say – and announce to the assembled throng (and what's the point of cooking unless you have an assembled throng?) that you're about to add your secret ingredient. Which in my case is wasabi. Ta-dah!
Now, what about that cook book?
Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'
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