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Like many of us over these past 15 months, Cynthia Bailey has spent a lot of time in her kitchen. There’s a good chance, however, that the Real Housewives of Atlanta star’s stovetop has seen more action than most. “My kitchen is where it all goes down and everything happens,” the 53-year-old model, entrepreneur, and actor says. “It's where we socialize.” And, um, also where she gets busy. “I think we’ve even had sex in there,” she says with a laugh. “Yep, that kitchen has been fully used in every way!”
Bailey married Fox Sports host Mike Hill last fall—on 10/10/20, as fans of the reality show well know. Since then, she has been working to maintain a balance between her career and personal life. “I have been working on my businesses, like my wine cellar, and I’ve been focused on my marriage,” she says. “Getting married is part one, and being married is part two.”
She continues, “You can’t get married and be like, ‘Alright, babe, we’re married and now I’m off on a book tour!’ This is not my first rodeo; it’s my second marriage, and it better be my last. I’m going to do everything in my power to really figure out that happy spot between my career, life, marriage, and my kids.”
One thing that seems to make everyone happy in the Bailey household is her “comfort-food, self-proclaimed amazing” potato salad, which she’s been making for years. “I basically took my mom’s recipe and removed the things I didn’t like and perfected it,” says the Alabama native. “It just reminds me of childhood and takes me back home every time I eat it.”
While potato salad might seem simple to some, Bailey says this recipe can change anyone’s opinion. “Here’s the thing: You can’t eat everybody’s potato salad, because everybody don’t make good potato salad,” she explains. “I am officially the potato salad maker in my family and my group of friends. If I’m bringing a dish, I’m going to bring my potato salad. I’ll put it up against anybody.”
So with that said, we got the official potato salad maker to share her recipe as part of Glamour’s ongoing series, That Thing I Always Cook. “It’s a feel-good recipe that you just have to love because it makes you happy,” she says. Bon appétit!
Cynthia Bailey’s Potato Salad (Serves 6)
6–8 small red or white potatoes
½–⅔ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped bread-and-butter pickles
1–2 pimientos (optional)
1–2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard, to taste
3 hard-boiled brown organic eggs (optional)
Peel and boil the potatoes until they’re fork tender (you can leave them unpeeled if you prefer); let them cool, then cut them up to a size you like, and put them in a large bowl.
Finely chop up at least half of an onion, if not a little bit more, and add it to the bowl. I prefer red onion, but you can use the onion of your choice. It’s to taste. I don’t cook the onion ahead of time, but you can. You can sauté them in olive oil to get that strong onion taste down.
Chop the bread-and-butter pickles, and add. I like my potato salad to have a sweet taste, so I do at least a half a cup, but you can do more or less to your taste. I’m really heavy-handed with them. They have to be chopped up; you can’t cheat and do sweet relish or regular pickled relish. You gotta get the bread-and-butter sweet pickles and chop ’em up on your cutting board. That is key.
Pimientos are optional as well for a little red color. Sometimes I’ll just chop a few of those up and mix those in there.
Add the mayo. The secret is in the mayo. I only use Hellmann’s or, if I’m in the South, they have a mayonnaise from a Black-founded company called Duke’s. It is the best.
Add the mustard to taste. I really love the old grain-style mustard with the big mustard seeds inside there. I use a couple of tablespoons of that to taste. I don’t like it too mustardy, but I like the way it makes it look. It also gives it that little tangy taste. I don’t want the dish too mayonnaise-tasting, so the mustard kind of gives it a tartar taste. I would say use two tablespoons, or to your own taste, for the mustard.
Chop three hard-boiled eggs and add. I use organic. When I finely chop them up, I keep the yolks as well. But know that the eggs are optional. Sometimes I make the potato salad with them, sometimes I don’t.
Mix. The dish is best served cold, or room temperature. Definitely not warm. I usually cover it with plastic wrap, and I’ll leave it in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before I serve it.
Pair with Cynthia’s cocktail recipe, below.
Cynthia Bailey’s Red, White, and Blue Slush Cocktail Recipe
Bailey has partnered with Seagram’s Escapes for an initiative that supports Black-owned businesses. Below, find her recipe for a Fourth of July Red, White, and Blue Slush.
6 cups ice
3 oz. vodka
1 bottle (11.2 oz) each Seagram’s Escapes Italian Ice in cherry, lemon, and blue raspberry
For each layer, combine in a blender two cups of ice, 1 oz. vodka, and 1 cup of either the red, white, or blue Seagram’s Escapes Italian Ice—one layer for each color! Blend each layer separately until smooth. Store slush mixtures separately in the freezer until you’re ready to build the cocktails. Divide evenly between 4 glasses, stacking red, white, and blue layers, and enjoy!
For more recipes as part of Glamour’s That Thing I Always Cook, click here.
Originally Appeared on Glamour