I am making 30 lbs. of potato salad for a graduation party. Can I cook the potatoes and eggs three days in advance and not mix other ingredients until the 3rd day, would that be Okay?
Cooking potatoes and then combining the ingredients for the potato salad the same day as the graduation party is a good idea, just remember to check the seasoning and dressing before serving and add more if needed as the potatoes will absorb some of this while sitting.
Three days may be too long for the cooked potatoes to be stored in the refrigerator as exposure to air can make the potatoes turn dark. Adding concentrated lemon juice or white wine vinegar to the water before the final draining and storage helps. The acidity goes a long way towards keeping the potatoes from discoloring. Pickle juice can do the same thing.
Uneven potato sizes will affect the doneness, Large chunks may be underdone when smaller pieces are overcooked so cut into similar sizes.
Tip: Simmer the potatoes in salted water, starting with cold.
Helpful hint: Once the potatoes are done and can easily be pierced with a knife or mushed with a fork, drain and place back into the pan, cover with chilled water mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice to cool. Drain again, place the potatoes in a container and cover to avoid exposure to air, refrigerate.
For recipes and other tips visit All Things Potato Salads.