Prawn Russian Salad

Prawn Russian Salad

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Russian Salad, although has a Russian origin, has to be the most popular tapa in Spain; I am not kidding, every tapas bar will have one version or other of this classic. In Salamanca, where I am from, is served on top of a type of cracker, and we call the whole thing “paloma” what literally means dove; the name refers to the “cracker” where the Russian salad is served on, that is basically… wait for it, a strip of dried pork skin that when deep-fried swells and becomes concave, serving not only as an edible bowl, but adding and irresistible crunch in every bite… and resembles a dove… I guess. Since it is almost impossible to source this “cuero” (that is the name of this cracker, it means leather… of course) outside Salamanca, I have used little prawn crackers instead, which do the trick nicely, let alone they are a lot easier to handle, as the paloma itself has almost the size of an open hand. Here is a photo I have borrowed from http://ladypekas.com/ensaladilla-cuero-paloma/ it is about the only picture of this “cuero” in the net, he he

Cueros

Courtesy of Lady Pekas

In most tapas bars, the prawn is substituted for surimi, but I prefer prawn, as the surimi we get in New Zealand is… mmm not great… by all means if you can source a good quality surimi, use it instead of the prawn. I have lightened the load a little by adding some yogurt to the ailoli, the sauce works perfectly with this salad, and with pretty much everything else, as a matter of fact

All in all, this prawn Russian salad is picnic, party & BBQ perfect in every way! Another little piece of Spain you are going to looove!

Buen provecho!!

Prawn Russian Salad

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Prawn Russian Salad

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Prawn Russian Salad

Yield: 4 - 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 700g (1 + 1/2 lb) waxy potatoes, washed
  • 1 medium carrot (10g - 3oz) peeled & diced
  • 125g (4 oz) frozen baby peas
  • 2 free range eggs, hard boiled & shelled
  • 2 x 185g (6 oz) cans tuna in oil, drained
  • 250g (8 oz) peeled, cooked prawns
  • 100g (3 oz) green olives stuffed with red pepper, rinsed & drained
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
  • prawn crackers to serve, optional
  • Yogurt Aioli
  • 1/3 cup aioli
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt

Directions

  1. Place potatoes in a big saucepan, cover with cold water. Cook over medium heat until soft when pricked with a toothpick. Drain and let cool
  2. Boil carrots & peas for a few minutes until just cooked. Drain and place in a big bowl
  3. Chop eggs, slice olives and place everything in the bowl with the veggies
  4. Peel cooled potatoes and dice, place in the bowl. Add drained tuna & prawns. Dress with salt, vinegar and oil. Toss everything carefully. Set aside
  5. In a small bowl, mix aioli and yogurt. Add to the bowl, mix gently with a spatula, cover with cling film and chill until ready to serve
  6. Try serving the salad on top of prawn crackers or with some crusty bread
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/prawn-russian-salad/

Chickpea, Spinach and Bratwurst Hotpot

Chickpea, Spinach and Bratwurst Hotpot

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Chickpeas are a real staple food in Spain, especially in winter. We do have our famous “Cocido Madrileño” that consists of chickpeas and then chorizo, black pudding, pork belly… you name it, and some veggies too mmm needless to say, not for the fainted hearted ha ha, very nice though. And then we do have a lighter version, called “Potaje” that it is more a free style type of recipe, traditionally made with chickpeas, egg, spinach and salted cod… but let’s face it… there is about 0.5% of the world population that knows what salted cod is… So this version with smoked Bratwurst is just perfect, loaded with protein and vegetables, super-tasty and light too, although is sooo comforting that will leave you wanting to finish the rest of the pot on your own.

I have used canned chickpeas for this recipe, although in Spain you would get a funny look if you say so… but they are just so convenient… not every brand I have tried is good I must say… here in New Zealand in my opinion Delmaine’s are the best; remember to rinsed them thoroughly to lighten the salt content. Wait until the end to season your hotpot, as the sausages can be a little salty too, so you might not even need to add any salt at all.

This Chickpea, spinach and Bratwurst hotpot is truly a 30 minute recipe that requires minimum effort; the perfect after-work-quick-dinner-fix!

Chickpea Hotpot

Ingredients

Chickpea, Spinach and Bratwurst Hotpo

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Chickpea Hotpot

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Chickpea, Spinach and Bratwurst Hotpot

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 big ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 x 390g (13 oz) cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 2 Bratwurst sausages (around 80g - 3 oz each)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 120g (4 oz) baby spinach (or the same amount of thawed chopped frozen spinach)
  • 2 free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a big non-stick casserole pan over medium heat. Cook onion for 4 minutes. Add garlic, cook for 1 extra minute
  2. Add chopped tomato and bay leaf to the pan, cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add paprika, chickpeas and bratwurst sausages. Combine
  3. Pour in stock. Cook for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf
  4. Take out about 1/4 cup of chickpeas with some broth, process until smooth. Return mixture to the pan. Add spinach, cook for 1 minute
  5. Take sausages out. Slice & reserve
  6. Pour in beaten egg slowly while stirring. Check seasoning
  7. Serve hotpot in warmed bowls, topped sliced sausages
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/chickpea-spinach-bratwurst-hotpot/