Recipe: Mac Salad

by Nate Hereford of Chicken Scratch

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click to enlarge Mac salad.
Mac salad.

When I think of homey family-style recipes, I immediately think about the mac salad that is one of our sides at Chicken Scratch. The salad has longer roots than the restaurant. It has been a staple at our house for years. We make it for potlucks and bring it on camping trips, and it’s a perfect side when grilling. I initially became obsessed with mac salad when I would eat at Hawaiian barbecue joints while living in the Bay Area. After craving it for so long, I decided it would make sense to just make it. Once we did that we couldn’t stop eating it. Enjoy!

1 pound elbow macaroni
4 cups water
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups mayo
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup scallions, sliced thin
1 cup celery, small dice

Bring the water and the first tablespoon of salt to a boil. Cook pasta until very tender. Drain and put in a bowl. Pour apple cider vinegar over the pasta and stir it in. Allow pasta to cool down to room temperature, meanwhile occasionally stirring the apple cider and the pasta.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine mayo, milk, salt, black pepper and brown sugar. Whisk or blend until smooth. Set aside one cup of the dressing.

Prep the vegetables and set aside. Once the pasta is room temperature, add the vegetables and the three cups of dressing (keeping the one extra cup reserved). Wrap and let chill in the fridge for as long as possible — at least an hour, but ideally four hours to overnight.

Once ready to serve, stir in the remaining dressing to finish off. Serve and enjoy!

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