CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Cold Macaroni Salad

Picnic season is in full swing in the Midwest with the dog days of summer and its hot and sultry weather blanketing the area. And there’s nothing better to serve friends and family on those steamy days than a cold salad to go with what’s cooking on the barbecue grill.

There are many good cold salad recipes floating around the internet and in old church cookbooks, but my favorite always has been one that contains just macaroni, hard-cooked eggs, peas, a little onion and celery and the standard mayonnaise/mustard mixture. Of course, there is always room for a little tweaking.

The following recipe has all of the aforementioned ingredients, but the addition of sweet pickle relish puts it over the top in my opinion.

While this salad won’t cool you off on a 90-degree day like a dip in the pool, it will go a long ways to making your next cookout or picnic a little more bearable.

Cold Macaroni Salad
2 cups elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup frozen peas cooked and cooled
2 to 4 hard-cooked eggs chopped
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
Cook macaroni following directions on the package. Drain and rinse in colander and drain well. Cool to at least room temperature, or in the fridge. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine celery, onion, relish, eggs, salt and peas. Stir in cooked macaroni. Stir in mustard and mayonnaise and blend thoroughly. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before serving.
Notes: Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days. If salad seems dry, add a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise to moisten.
Yield: Serves 8.

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