gastropod wednesday


We are organising a barbeque for our houseguests and selves (and a few others) tomorrow night.
Here’s the menu:

  • Fish and Herb Salad
  • Orange and Spinach Salad
  • Kumara Salad
  • ‘Mexican’ Potato Salad

and assorted meats, including these possibles:

  • chicken-on-sticks (thigh meat marinated in coriander, garlic, lemon, etc)
  • chicken wings (in soy, ginger, etc)
  • quail (possibly a la Maggie)
  • Nino and Joe’s sausages
  • possibly ribs

As you can see from my lack of decisiveness on the meat front, the salads are the main focus.
Here are the recipes I’ll use:

Fish and Herb Salad
300g smoked cod
3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup cooked and cooled jasmin rice
1/2 cup chopped fresh Vietnamese mint
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
8 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

Dressing:
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander root
2cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped lemon grass (white part only)
3 tbsp chopped fresh Thai basil
1 avocado, chopped
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut oil

1. place the cod in a large frying pan and cover with water. Add the lime juice and simmer for 15minutes, or until the fish flakes when tested with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool slightly before breaking into bite-sized pieces.
2. Brown the coconut. The recipe reccommends doing this in the oven, but I dry-fry it. Discard if it burns.
3. Place the fish, coconut, rice, Vietnamese mint, mint, coriander and kaffir lime leaves in a large bowl and mix to combine.
4. To make dressing: place the coriander root, ginger, chilli, lemon grass and basil in a food processor and process until combined. Add the avocado, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and peanut oil and process until creamy. I find that just smooshing it in a bowl is enough. Or you could use a barmix.
5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

This salad is AMAZING. But it doesn’t keep, so eat it all on the day – it’s very ordinary cold.
(this recipe is from this useful book).

Kumara Salad
1kg cubed orange sweet potato (kumara)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tsp
1/2 tsp yellow asafetida poweder
3/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp seeded, finely chopped green chilli
2 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely shredded coconut
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, powdered
1 tbsp sesame seeds, preferably unhulled, dry-roasted and powdered
2 tbsp fresh coriander leavs for garnish.

1. Boil sweet potato until tender but not overcooked. Remove, drain and keep warm.
2. Pour 2 tsp olive oil in a wok or large pan over moderate heat. When hot, add the yellow asafetida powder, stir briefly, then remove the pan from teh heat. Allow the oil to cool a little, then add the garam masala, cayenne and chilli. Mix well, then add the lime juice, salt and the rest of the olive oil. Fold in the potato and stir gently to coat with the spices. Add the coconut, peanut powder and toasted sesame seed powder and stir gently to combine.
3. Allow the sald to cool and the flavours to mingle, then serve with a garnish of fresh coriander leaves.
I don’t bother powdering the peanuts and seeds, I just smash them a lot with the mortar and pestle.
This is a tasty salad that I make when we do Indian feast. It’s especially nice as a sweeter accompaniment (ditching the chili) with hot curries.

(This recipe came from this great veggie cookbook which you can pick up all over the place – I got mine in Community Aid Abroad. I don’t think they sell it at the ABC/SBS shop any more).

Mexican Orange Salad
6 oranges peeled and all white pith removed, sliced crosswise
2 red onions, sliced
90g/3oz toasted almonds, chopped
2 medium fresh chillis, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh coriander
4tbsp fresh mint leaves
1/4 bunch/125g/4oz English spinach, leaves shredded

Place oranges, onions, almonds, chillies, coriander leaves and mint in a bowl, toss to combine and stand for 30 minutes. Line a serving platter with spinach then pile salad on top.
This salad is really nice and fresh. I find it’s a good idea to keep the juice which spills when you slice the oranges. I can’t remember if I add a basic vinegrette (sp?), but I doubt it. I usually ditch the chilli if I’m doing the following potato salad as well.

(This recipe is from this book which I picked up somewhere cheaply. It has some really neat recipes in it, including some fairly detailed descriptions of bean dish preparation. It doesn’t, though, have a recipe for tortillas and other breads from scratch :( We are fond of Mexican type foods in our house)

Potatoes in Chilli Vinegar
2 kg baby new potatoes, halved
Dressing:
2 red onions, sliced
3 jalapeno chillis, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp capers, drained
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
4 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

1. Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and put in a serving bowl.
2. To make dressing, place onions, jalapeno and red chillis, garlic, sugar, capers, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, vinegar and water in a bowl and mix to combine. Pour dressing over warm potatoes, toss to combine and stand at room temperature for 2 hours before serving.
This potato salad rocks. We are a bit over creamy spud salads (though I do make a good one with kalamata olives and ham and a mayo/yoghurt dressing), and this one is really nice – really fresh and sassy. I have found, though, that timid guests who don’t eat chilli very often find it a bit scary – it’s pretty bitey for noobs. It’s important to let the warm potatoes sit in the dressing for a while at room temperature – they suck up the flavours.

(same souce as above).

I’ll see if we can get some preparation photos as we go along, but it’ll depend on whether or not The Squeeze is around and interested. You can see some of the dishes we cooked last year for the Bandidos party here.

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