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Friday, April 20, 2012

the meanest mac salad.

now that the warmer weather is her the bbq's are just rolling in and i am lovin' every minute of it. growing up i could always look forward to my ma's mac salad as part of our family meals, and i have sort of adopted the recipe as my own. since the beginning of time every bbq, picnic, cottage meal or party with friends has included this mac salad. it has become a staple, and some friends know i will be bringing it without even asking. it's quick, easy and super delicious--just how your summer mac salad should be.

how we do: the meanest mac salad
{serves 10 hammered friends.}
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes
chill time: 2 hours (if you can wait that long)
eating time: faster than you could drink a beer. well, maybe.

you will need:
1 x 900 g package of 'scoobi do' pasta
2 tins of flaked white tuna
1 vidalia onion
5 stalks of celery
1 cup of real mayonnaise-miracle whip will not do
2 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons pickle juice (to be discussed) 
salt & pepper
alright, i already know what you're thinking a} what's the deal with the 'scoobi do' pasta? well, it's what my mom has used my entire life, we have tried other pastas, and it never, ever, ever tastes as good. so just use the 'scoobi do' already. b} mayo vs. miracle whip. mangia cakes use miracle whip (no offense to any mangia cakes) and the mayo makes all the difference in the world. extra creamy and more calories, so obviously it's going to taste better, and 3} pickle juice? yes. pickle juice. i usually don't tell people it's in there because they get all weird about it, but this little tip here is what separates my mom's recipe from my recipe, and a good mac salad from a fucking fabulous mac salad; the meanest mac salad. i learned this little tidbit from a few of the girlies i work with and because i'm osbessed with pickles, i had to try it for myself. it adds a bit of tang & saltiness and brings out the flavour of the tuna and celery. you can use this trick for potato salads, pasta salads and pretty much anything in the world.
bring a large pot of water to a boil add kosher salt and a splash of olive oil. the olive oil is optional but we do it so the pasta is silky and doesn't stick together. you will be rinsing the pasta anyways, so the oil will not affect the taste of your mac salad.
while your pasta cooks you can get your celery and onions chopped into small, bite size pieces. i like using 'vidalia' onions because they add the onion flavour without being so strong and stingy like a cooking onion. add as much or as little of the veg as you like. i prefer to have some celery and onion with every bite of pasta, so i use the whole onion and at least 5 stalks of celery.
once the pasta is cooked, get it into a strainer and run cold water through until it's chilled. you don't want to add your veg and sauce to warm pasta, so running cold water over it works like a charm. once the noodles are cool, strain the pasta really well. water gets into the crevasses of the scoobi do, and if you don't strain it well, the mac salad will end up soupy, watery and caca. 
shake that shit until it's no longer dripping.
put your strained pasta in a nice big bowl (i use the one i serve the mac salad out of) and add the celery, onions and tuna. season with some salt and pepper, and mix well. if it's easier to add half the pasta to the bowl at a time, do your thang, you just want it mixed well.

now it's time to make your mac salad sugo. instead of just adding the mayo to your pasta directly, my mom always prepares the sauce or dressing in a small bowl beforehand, this way you can control how much you add, and can get it to a consistency that is creamy and smooth. add your cup of mayo, 2 tablespoons of milk, and  2 tablespoons of pickle juice in a bowl and stir until smooth. at first it will look like chunky cottage cheese, but once you stir it for a minute it smooths out and is the perfect texture to fully cover your noodles. add your sauce to the pasta, season with a little more pepper, and you have the meanest mac salad ever. i promise that everyone will have some and you will most likely have enough for lunch leftovers the next day. enjoy as a side with burgs and dogs, steak and corn on the cob, or any other summer meal you prepare on the bbq. life is good.

7 comments:

  1. Aw yummo! I love 'perfecting' mummy's recipes too and making them hotter! Pickle juice, who'd know?!

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  2. Hi sweet lady! Oh man, I LOVE your blog!!! I found you via Skunkboy Creatures and am SO GLAD that I did! I'm your newest follower. xoxo

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    1. Thank you! Big time! Skunkboy, so good! I am so glad you found me :)

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  3. I just made this ~ it is fantastic! The title is not deceiving! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Oh yay! Glad you loved it! Mmmmm.....now I want Mac Salad.

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