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Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Bubble & squeak with a simple Greek-style salad

Erika and I wanted to watch the tennis last night so didn’t spend too much time either thinking about or making dinner. In the end we ran into the kitchen at the start of the third set and were back not too many minutes later, just as it started to get interesting.

Whilst I made some bubble and squeak with leftover cabbage and mash from Sunday night, Erika prepared a simple salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, feta and croutons which she dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oregano. We had the bubble and squeak and salad alongside a hard boiled egg, some sliced mature cheddar and plenty of crackers and rice cakes.

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Warm New Potato and Peppered Mackerel Salad

I have overindulged recently. We didn’t post much at the weekend because we ate out for most of our meals, and I went out to lunch yesterday too. I’m also a keen cyclist but have fallen off the wagon somewhat, so tonight I chose to go for a cycle and have a light meal for dinner.

With a quick circuit of Richmond Park complete I came home and set to work. This recipe serves one generously (Erika is out tonight) so add a bit more if you are cooking for 2 or alternatively serve with some warm crusty bread. Also, it’s important to serve whilst the potatoes are still warm as it brings out their wonderful flavour.

Warm New Potato and Peppered Mackerel Salad
Prep time: 10mins
Cooking time: 15mins

4 medium-sized new potatoes
1 large fillet peppered smoked mackerel, skinned and flaked
1 medium-sized tomato, sliced
about 5cm cucumber, diced
couple of spring onions, sliced
handful baby spinach (watercress will do)
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Firstly wash then slice the potatoes, then cook in boiling water for about 10 minutes until they are done. I sliced mine to the thickness of perhaps two one-pound coins. Drain and set aside.

Next make the dressing. Mix 3 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar then add some salt and pepper. Mix well. Whilst the potatoes are cooling, prepare the salad and put in a bowl. Add the sliced potato whilst it is still warm then pour over the dressing and stir through. Add the flaked mackerel before serving.

This tasted really good, although I messed up the dressing as I added too much balsamic vinegar. It’s also a light, summery dish and mackerel is a great source of omega 3.

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tortellini, baby spinach and cherry tomato salad

We have a friend coming tomorrow to stay with us for a few days and the flat has been looking like a bit of a disaster recently. Rob was out this evening and I got home at about 7pm knowing that I had a good couple of hours of cleaning ahead of me. Two hours of tidying, vacuuming and scrubbing later and the last thing I wanted to do was cook a proper dinner!

Tortellini really does offer a remarkably quick and easy dinner option but, unlike the ready meals that may be an obvious choice, it also tastes fantastic and I’ve often chosen it even when I’ve all the time in the world!

Tonight’s dinner took no more than 5 minutes to prepare. While the kettle boiled, I chopped up some baby spinach and halved some cherry tomatoes. I then brought the water back to the boil in a pan and added a pack of spinach and ricotta tortellini (no matter what else I try, I always come back to spinach and ricotta, mmm!). A minute later, I drained the pasta and then drizzled it with olive oil. Half went into tupperware for tomorrow’s lunch and the other half was mixed up with the spinach and tomatoes. Once plated up, all it needed was a few grinds of pepper and it was ready to devour! Delicious!

I always used to make a tomato sauce to go with tortellini, but just using the olive oil really makes you appreciate the flavours of the filling so much more (plus it makes it that much quicker!).

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Griddled jerk chicken with mango salad and steamed rice

We’ve had jerk chicken a couple of times, most memorably at The Mayor’s Thames Festival a couple of years ago (along with some delicious, blackened, barbequed corn), but tonight decided to try and make it ourselves. We used a recipe for Grilled Jerk Chicken, but in hindsight I’m not sure that was the ideal recipe as Wikipedia tells me that jerk involves a dry-rub whereas this recipe uses a marinade.

We made the marinade as instructed (although with 25% less chilli) and then griddled the chicken which we served with steamed rice and a mango salad (fresh mango, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and some fresh mint). It was okay and nice to have something different, but the chicken wasn’t anything particularly special – despite all the ingredients, there seemed to be very little flavour when it was actually cooked. We’ll have to hunt out a new recipe (suggestions welcome!)

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Thursday evening’s dinner (I know, this is a slightly belated write up!) saw me attempt a recipe I’d been drawn to from a stunning photo on Tastespotting, an Indonesian Chicken Salad from Kayotic Kitchen and I would urge you to go and look at Kay’s wonderful photos of this dish rather than just my sorry attempt!

Indonesian Chicken Salad

I have to admit, I hadn’t properly read this recipe through before starting (I was far too distracted by the photography) and ended up getting myself into a bit of a fluster as a result. I flattened the chicken which Rob then griddled for me whilst I boiled some Jersey Royals and prepared the rest of the salad ingredients (p.s. I used tinned pineapple!). Because of our bad timing, we ended up having to run the potatoes under cold water to ensure they’d cool down in time to prevent us eating far too late! I also went wrong with the dressing, leaving out both ginger and lime. I added the ginger at the end, but somehow our lime had gone missing so we had to make do with a little lemon juice. I definitely didn’t get something right with the dressing as it was still very thick and sticky, making it really difficult to distribute through the salad which resulted in lumps of dressing in some places, none in others, and lots of mauled salad ingredients!

Taste-wise, I really enjoyed it at first, but then went off it about halfway through my portion – I couldn’t tell you why though. However, the recipe makes enough for four so I felt inclined to take some to work on Friday for lunch and then I really did enjoy it. Perhaps it was the stress of getting things wrong in preparation that took away from the flavour that first evening.

I think we will try this one again, it’s certainly a very different combination of ingredients and flavours to what we’d usually put together and makes for a very summery dish (although with all that peanut butter, I doubt it’s particularly light!).

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We’ve been trying to organise our online recipes. I have a Recipe Binder on the Good Food website, but that’s only useful for recipes on the site, Rob and I have both been bookmarking but such things tend to get disorganised and forgotten about. So the solution? We’ve created a Grubs Up account over at Delicious (the bookmarking site rather than the foodie magazine!) where we intend to save all the lovely recipes we come across. For new recipes, we have a “not-tried” tag, and that’s where the inspiration for tonight’s dinner came from.

Tandoori chicken skewers with pea shoot, cucumber & red onion salad, and chapattis

The original Chicken Tikka Skewers recipe calls for a marinade of natural yoghurt and hot curry paste, which we substituted for tandoori paste that we already had (hence our rather pinker skewers!). We also left out the coriander leaves from the salad; a cardinal sin for some, but I can’t stand the stuff and will avoid noticeable amounts of it at all costs! Other than that, we followed the recipe to the word, trying pea shoots (nice and fresh with a delicate sugar-snap flavour) and chapattis for the first time.

And the verdict? Absolutely delicious, very light and a definite one to have again – would also make a perfect cold lunch (unfortunately we only considered this when it was too late to buy extra chicken!).

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