Classic Macaroni Salad
If you’re making barbecue, grilling or smoking anything for a Super Bowl or a playoff spread, few things compliment meats made over a fire like an old fashioned macaroni salad. The mustard picks up the smoke, you get a nice bite of crunch from the celery, and the scallions and peppers help cut the creaminess of the pasta salad.
Most macaroni salads call for much more mayonnaise, but I have found a single cup is the right amount to soak into the macaroni noodle without everything turning to an overwhelming gooey mess. If you happen to keep celery seeds around for Bloody Marys, be sure to include them in your dressing. Brightens the whole salad.
You will need:
Dash of salt for boiling water, plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt for dressing
2 1/2 cups macaroni (about 10 ounces)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar (may substitute white vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Dash of celery seeds for the dressing (optional)
1 cup diced celery (about two large stalks)
1/2 cup sliced green onions, including the white section (about 2-3 scallions)
2 tablespoons drained and chopped roasted red peppers (about 1 whole roasted pepper) or pimentoes
In a large pot, boil lightly salted water for the macaroni. Cook to al dente per macaroni package directions. Once done, drain and thoroughly shake out all of the excess water and allow to cool for a minutes.
While the macaroni is cooking, mix together in a large bowl the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, kosher salt and cracked pepper.
Once the macaroni has cooled enough as not to cook the dressing, mix in the pasta noodles. Fold in the diced celery, green onions, and peppers until combined. Top with smoked paprika and refrigerate for at least two to three hours, or even overnight.
Serves 6-8 as a side.
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