"One Lump, or Two?"

Monday, September 7, 2015

Macaroni Salad

   With summer coming to an end, the final cookouts of are being planned... Hamburgers, BBQ, chicken skewers - Some may think that the stars of these gatherings are what meat(s) get put on the grill, but to me? It's all about the sides!
   That's why I wanted to post one of my absolute favorite family recipes, specifically one my mother and aunt are best known for... Macaroni salad; served warm or cold, either way it's delightful.
You will need:
  • 1 lb Box of Small Elbow Noodles
  • Water
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Baby Dill Pickles
  • Pickle Juice
  • 2 Medium Sized Tomatoes
  • Mayonnaise
  • Black Pepper
Step One:
  • Fill a decently sized, preferably non-stick, pot with about four cups of water.
  • Use 2-2.5 teaspoons of coarse sea salt to make your boiling water as salty as the sea!
(Salting your water not only helps your pasta to not stick together, but also is the only opportunity you'll have to flavor your noodles.)
  • Once your water is boiling, pour the entire 1lb box of small Elbow noodles in; if you buy a cheaper brand of pasta, you'll have to stay with the noodles as they boil to ensure they don't stick to the pot.
  • Let pasta boil until al dente (firm, yet tender), because the pasta will continue to cook within its own steam when out of the water... Do not pour cold water over your noodles to stop them from cooking; sauce won't stick to/soak into your noodles if you do.
A little tip: An old wives tale says "If you try to boil hot water, it takes longer." This is actually false! You can cut half your cooking time by starting out with hot water.

Step Two:
  • Dice 3-4 baby Dill pickles, medium to fine... They are more dense, and you can avoid big seeds.
  • We use 2 medium sized tomatoes from our garden, that's why this is a summer staple! Market/store bought tomatoes are fine as well, but only use tomatoes grown in the summer... De-seeding the tomatoes is optional, but we usually do to avoid any mealiness.
(This is a key ingredient! The tomato's acid mixes perfectly with the mayonnaise and pickles; brightening the dish with natural sweetness.)
  • Take 1 cup of mayonnaise and add the diced pickles and tomatoes to it - Mix well.
  • Add pickle juice to-taste; we use about 2 tablespoons... The juice thins out the mayonnaise and prevents needing to add any salt to the dish.
  • Once noodles have been strained, fold the mixture into the noodles while they're still warm so that they soak up a bit of the mixture.
  • Finish up with black pepper to-taste, and pop the finished product into the fridge to cool (or enjoy warm)!
I hope your family loves this yummy side dish as much as mine does!
Comment below if you enjoy this recipe, and tell me all about your final gatherings of summer.
xoxo Elle
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  1. This sounds delicious, love macaroni!

    Sarah x

    1. Try it! I seriously have to ask my mother to take the bowl away from me while we make it so I don't eat it all before it is even finished! lol :) xo