Recipe: Smokey poached salmon and potato salad

This is another recipe featuring one of the wonderful sustainable Saltverk Icelandic sea salts. Once again, I relied on the internet to tell me which foods are common in Iceland and put a bunch of them together in dish that is easy to make, healthy and delicious.

If you have never poached fish before, I encourage to give it a try. The trick is to use a flavourful sauce or dressing to make the fish shine.

I used Spud Lite potatoes for this recipe for a slighter lower carb meal, but you can use whichever potatoes you can get your hands on.

Smokey poached salmon and potato salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Salad

  • 400-450g skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8-10 black peppercorns
  • 5-8 chives
  • 4 small or 2 medium potatoes (I used baby Spud Lite)
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 handfuls mixed greens
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Saltverk birch smoked sea salt
  • ground pepper, to taste

Dressing


To serve

  • Fresh dill or chives, chopped

Directions

  1. In a pot or deep saucepan, pour enough water to cover salmon fillets. Add bay leaves, peppercorns and chives, cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Once water is boiling, turn off heat, add salmon fillets and cover. Set timer to 15 minutes.
  3. Peel and cube potatoes. Boil or steam until fully cooked (10-15 minutes).
  4. Make the dressing by whisking all ingredients or shaking them in a jar until fully emulsified.
  5. Serve greens and cabbage on a plate. Top with warm potatoes and salmon, drizzle dressing and finish with Saltverk birch smoked sea salt, pepper and chopped dill or chives.

Recipe: Christmas sides

If you feel like trying different sides this Christmas, give these a go. They make an appearance every single year at my family table on Christmas Eve dinner but I don’t think they are very popular on this side of the world (particularly our take on Russian-style salad!).

This year I dry-brined a small turkey following Serious Eats’ Quick and Dirty Guide to Brining Chicken or Turkey. I seasoned it with a Peruvian-style marinade featuring ají panca, garlic, vinegar, spices and brown ale.

The recipes below pair well with turkey, pork and chicken. Enjoy!

Christmas sides

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

    Applesauce
  • 5 apples (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Russian-style salad
  • 2 medium beetroots
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 medium carrots
  • kernels from 1 corn cob
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 avocado
  • 4-5 tbsp mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
  • salt, to taste
  • lettuce, to serve

Directions

  1. Peel, core and cube apples. Place in a pot with the water and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  2. While the apples are cooking, peel, cube and steam beetroot, potatoes and carrots.
  3. When the vegetables are almost ready, add corn kernels and peas and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Mix vegetables in a bowl and let cool down.
  5. When the apples are soft and mushy transfer to a food processor or blender, add ground cloves and process to your desired consistency.
  6. When the vegetables are cold, add peeled and cubed avocado and mayonnaise, season with salt, mix well and serve on a lettuce leave.

Recipe: Ensalada de palmitos y palta (hearts of palm and avocado salad)

I make variations of this salad every time I cook a Peruvian-themed meal. What makes it Peruvian? The avocado, palmitos, botija olives and the fact that is seasoned with lime juice and olive oil. Serve as a side for pretty much anything.

Ensalada de palmitos y palta (hearts of palm and avocado salad)
Yield: 4-6 servings as a side dish

Ensalada de palmitos y palta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of lettuce, leaves torn
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 3 radishes, sliced
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 palmitos (hearts of palm), sliced
  • 10 black olives (preferably botija)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Prep ingredients and place in a salad bowl.
  2. Season with lime juice, olive oil and salt.

Recipe: Huevo a la rusa (Russian-style egg salad)

Despite its name, this dish is a Peruvian classic. So much so that I’ve been told it’s called “huevos a la peruana” (Peruvian-style eggs) in Chile. It is basically a spin-off of the traditional Russian Olivier salad, with the addition of eggs and golf sauce. It’s always served as an entrée, usually in “menú” (affordable set menu) eateries.

Huevo a la rusa (Russian-style egg salad)
Yield: 3 servings

Huevo a la rusa

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cup peas
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup (preferably homemade)
  • lettuce leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Boil or steam the eggs to your liking (I steam mine for 10 minutes). Cool down with tap water. Peel, halve and reserve.
  2. Peel, cube and steam potatoes and carrots.
  3. Blanch or steam peas.
  4. Once vegetables have cooled down, mix them with 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise.
  5. Mix the other tablespoon of mayonnaise with the ketchup.
  6. Arrange lettuce leaves on 3 plates, place vegetable mix on top. Top with one halved egg and the mayo/ketchup sauce.

Recipe: Egg & olive salad

More egg salad madness! This variation includes olive oil mayonnaise and olives, a combo that is very familiar for Peruvians. If this variation doesn’t appeal to you, try the egg & cucumber or egg pesto recipes.

Egg & olive salad
Yield: 1 serving

Egg & olive salad

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs + 3 hard-boiled yolks (or 3 hard-boiled eggs)
  • 6 pitted black olives (I used kalamata)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise (I used this recipe)
  • pepper
  • parsley to garnish

Directions

  1. Chop the eggs and olives.
  2. Mix all the ingredients, season with pepper.
  3. Garnish with parsley.

Recipe: Pork chops and Pardo's-style salad

Pork chops are pork chops, no explanation required. I don’t have them often because I usually buy cheaper cuts for slow cooking but I had a sudden craving for chops that I couldn’t ignore. Mum used to serve them with rice and applesauce and, if I remember correctly, she would throw in a bit of Peruvian Russian-style salad (beetroot, potato, green beans, peas, apple, avocado, mayo) in the rare occasions she remembered we should eat vegetables, too. I was planning on making the same exact “Russian” salad to go with my chops but laziness struck and I ended with a version closer to one of the salads served in a famous Peruvian rotisserie chicken restaurant (Pardo’s Chicken).

I bought my chops from Melanda Park who fortunately have returned to Eveleigh Markets after a long absence. Please don’t go away again, guys.

Pork chops and Pardo’s-style salad
Yield: 4 servings

Pork chops and Pardo's-style salad

Ingredients

  • 4 pork chops

Salad

  • 2 small beetroots
  • 2 small carrots
  • a handful of green beans
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 apple
  • lettuce
  • homemade mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Peel and cut beetroot and carrots in thick batons (sort of like potato chips). Steam them separately, let cool down.
  2. Trim and steam green beans, let cool down
  3. Slice apples and avocado.
  4. Tear or chop lettuce.
  5. Heat up your grill and barbecue your pork chops.
  6. Serve the veggies lined up on top of the lettuce with a big dollop of mayo on top, alongside the chops. Season and dig in.