At home, we just call it macaroni salad. But if you’re used to the macaroni salad you find at the grocery deli, calling it macaroni salad would be way off the mark and just plain old wrong! I have been known to eat store-bought mac salad (on a rare occasion) if its served to me or I’m desperate, but the heavy use of mayonnaise/salad dressing is not among my favorite group of flavors. Which brings me to…Confetti Macaroni Salad!
Growing up, our family made macaroni salad from scratch. The distinctive flavor of the home-made salad dressing is something that I actually crave. It is heavier than a store-bought salad dressing, but really yummy. Its got that sweet and sour taste that comes with vinegar and sugar, but the mustard makes it delicious! I resist the urge to make it all the time because the current residents of our house are my pickiest eaters and unless I get visitors, I find myself eating it all myself…wait! What’s wrong with that!
Confetti Macaroni Salad
1 lb. box of Ditalini (salad macaroni), cooked al dente; rinse and drain
1/2 of a red bell pepper and 1/2 of a green bell pepper, top and seeds removed, and diced – cut a few thin slices from the remaining halves of both for garnishing
1/2 of an red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 lb. sliced American cheese, cut into about 1/2″ squares, with the slices somewhat separated
9 hard boiled eggs, peeled – dice 8 of the eggs and slice one to save for the top
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons dry mustard, rounded
2 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons white flour, rounded
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
2/3 cup butter, cut into slices
Combine the water and vinegar in a heavy-bottomed pot; heat over medium heat. Sift the dry ingredients together; add the eggs to dry mixture and mix well. Add 6 spoons (soup or smaller serving size) of the hot mixture to the egg/flour mixture; mix well. Slowly add the cold mixture to the vinegar/water mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Continue stirring, making sure to get all around the edges of the pot. Once the mixture starts to boil, set the timer for 3 minutes. KEEP STIRRING! Sounds like trouble, but not really. You do not want this to stick to the bottom of the pan and scorch. When the timer goes off, add the butter and continue stirring until melted; remove from heat and let cool.
Assemble all the ingredients EXCEPT the salad dressing; mix well. NOW add the salad dressing and mix well. Put it in a serving bowl and garnish with the bell pepper slices and the sliced eggs. Best when served well chilled…unless you’re me and then you can’t wait for it to be well chilled before you have a bowl full. Makes a great side dish for summer barbecues!
Can I just say how happy I am that I know there’s still some of this down in my frig right now? Happy me!