Wash and cut potatoes into approximately ¾ to 1-inch pieces, leaving skin intact. Place in a shallow 2 to 3 quart-sized microwavable dish, add ½ cup of water, cover the dish, and microwave on high until potatoes are tender. (About 12 to 13 minutes. Stir after 8 minutes). Drain when bowl is cool enough to touch and set aside.
Melt butter in a small sauté pan, stir in red pepper then lightly sauté onion. Set aside to cool.
Combine cream cheese, salt, vinegar, mustard and ½ cup of water in a blender. (Put liquids in blender jar first for ease of blending.) Blend until smooth.
Add sautéed onion to cream cheese mixture and blend until evenly distributed.
Place cooked potatoes (potatoes may be still warm) in a 3 to 4 quart bowl. Add cream cheese dressing and gently stir until potatoes are well coated. Stir in celery and about 2 tablespoons of chives. Use remainder of chives to garnish the top of the salad.
Recipe does not contain eggs. Cutting potatoes before microwave cooking greatly shortens cooking time. This basic salad can be customized to individual tastes with additions of sliced olives, sweet pickle relish, cherry tomato or hard-boiled eggs.