You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 04, 2016, 12:23:31 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Macaroni Salad - Advice and Help Needed  (Read 148 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Macaroni Salad - Advice and Help Needed
« on: October 03, 2016, 09:11:40 AM »
I'm pretty picky when it comes to things like potato and macaroni salads and it just seems like it's almost impossible to find any reasonably-priced ones that aren't rendered completely unpalatable by the addition of some kind of nauseating ingredient that makes what should be salty and savory into something sweet. I know it's usually sweet pickle relish (of all the things to make sweet, pickles? REALLY?!) but it really does just absolutely ruin any kind of creamy pasta salad or potato salad for me.

I came across this amazing sweet-free pasta salad at a grocery store deli and I tried replicating it at home but I'm afraid I loused it up and I'm desperate to make it correctly. So what I need is some advice and answers to specific questions because those recipe websites I've been using suck and don't get into specifics about what I need to know. Anyone game for helping a brother out?

The pasta salad in question is an Asiago Pasta Salad, wherein the recognizable ingredients are thinly sliced black and green (kalamata?) olives, some square-shaped red things (I'm under the impression they're either pieces of sundried tomato or possible very flat pimentos like you'd find inside of a green olive) which probably wouldn't be that difficult to find but I looked for them in the store and that crap can get pricey. I'm not optimistic but if there's a relatively cheap way to get them or an adequate sort of substitute, I'm all ears. There were slivers of purple onions in it too but I'm find substituting whatever type of onions I have on hand, I'm a big fan of them in general.

What I could not identify was the dressing used. It wasn't thick like mayonnaise at all so I'm not sure if I need some kind of creamy Italian dressing. I did use mayonnaise this time (needed a lot of it for nearly 2 pounds of pasta) and a couple of shakes of basil and parsley leaves from those little bottles in the pantry, but I don't think that did anything to help the flavor. I also threw in an 8 oz tub of shredded Asiago cheese and stirred it in but it didn't melt like I had hoped (I guess the pasta had cooled down too much by then) so there's still visible slivers of it rather than having blended in with the mayonnaise which I had assumed was the case with the kind I found at the store. So I'm wondering if there's an Asiago cheese blend dressing they might have used. Anyone aware of this product or its non-existence? Or if you could just recommend whatever type of herbs or spices I can add to plain mayonnaise or dressing to make it more palatable (preferably stuff I can just shake from a can rather than preparing). I know Oregano is a popular one but I haven't got any, though it is on my list.

I guess that's the main thing, just looking for decently-priced gourmet-ish items and an appropriate type of creamy dressing for my dream pasta salad I can make at home and not pay through the nose for a little pudding cup full of the stuff that I'd have to go all the way across town to the store that sells it for.

Offline Thorne

Re: Macaroni Salad - Advice and Help Needed
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 07:20:39 PM »
What I would try, before I went chasing ingredients, is to read the ingredient list on the container. Then, find a recipe that includes most of those ingredients, and start with the closest recipe you can find. If you find one that's pretty close, make it more or less according to the directions, but omit any sugar or sweet pickle it calls for.
Or put a call out around here via the Herald or so; while I don't personally do pasta salad, I'm willing to bet there are people who do. ^^;

Your little red things may be minced red pepper, by the way; that isn't an uncommon sort of thing to find in a salad.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: Macaroni Salad - Advice and Help Needed
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 10:38:52 PM »
What I would try, before I went chasing ingredients, is to read the ingredient list on the container. Then, find a recipe that includes most of those ingredients, and start with the closest recipe you can find. If you find one that's pretty close, make it more or less according to the directions, but omit any sugar or sweet pickle it calls for.
Or put a call out around here via the Herald or so; while I don't personally do pasta salad, I'm willing to bet there are people who do. ^^;

Your little red things may be minced red pepper, by the way; that isn't an uncommon sort of thing to find in a salad.

If they still put out pre-packaged containers, that would have all the ingredients on it. But last time I went, they didn't have any like that and when you ask the person at the counter for it, the thing they give you doesn't have the list, just the name of what it is and the price tag barcode.

I know some recipes call for vinegar (my bag drooped on the way home and got stuck in my bike spokes and the vinegar bottle top broke off and the whole thing leaked all over all the stuff I bought with it) and sugar but I'm not sure if the sugar is necessary at all (maybe as a thickening agent?) or if it's needed to counteract the taste of vinegar or whatever. I'd prefer it not have any sweetness at all but if it needs it, I will give it a shot. I also think I probably should have thrown the brine from the can of olives into it, the kind I made turned out pretty dry. Is there anything I need to do to keep it from getting all dried out or is it just down to what kind of ingredients are used to begin with?

Offline Aiden

Re: Macaroni Salad - Advice and Help Needed
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 12:02:27 AM »
Instead of asking for ingredients, what about asking who the maker is?

I doubt they are making their salads in house, a majority of deli type places have them shipped. Find the maker and just buy it wholesale, I'm assuming you can pick it up at a local restaurant depot type place.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: Macaroni Salad - Advice and Help Needed
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 10:35:19 AM »
But it's a deli inside of a chain grocery store, with their own bakery in-store, so I don't think their deli is that type.

Offline Lilias

Re: Macaroni Salad - Advice and Help Needed
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2016, 05:45:43 AM »
If you're set on the asiago bit, I've found a couple of recipes that could work for you (one with dressing, one without).

http://www.mamasfamilycooking.com/p5098-asiago-pasta-salad-mamas-copy-cat-recipe--recipe
http://www.food.com/recipe/asiago-pasta-salad-394225

If you're open to different kinds of pasta salads, this is a good place to start experimenting: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/easy/g1516/pasta-salads-mixes/

Generally, I've found that GH recipes work exceptionally well with minimal, if any, tweaking, so I recommend them to beginner or less dedicated cooks.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: Macaroni Salad - Advice and Help Needed
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2016, 09:30:18 AM »
If you're set on the asiago bit, I've found a couple of recipes that could work for you (one with dressing, one without).

http://www.mamasfamilycooking.com/p5098-asiago-pasta-salad-mamas-copy-cat-recipe--recipe
http://www.food.com/recipe/asiago-pasta-salad-394225

If you're open to different kinds of pasta salads, this is a good place to start experimenting: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/easy/g1516/pasta-salads-mixes/

Generally, I've found that GH recipes work exceptionally well with minimal, if any, tweaking, so I recommend them to beginner or less dedicated cooks.

Thank you, I'll give those a shot.