Fantastic Tomato and Avocado Salsa

A great recipe for a fantastic, delicious and fresh salsa.

Works well as a side with any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish, or as a snack with some tortilla chips. For a list of my Mexican recipes please check out my Blog contents

The important thing with this dish is to use fresh, ripe, good quality ingredients to get the very best flavour. If you like it spicy, simply add some sliced or diced chilli.

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Serves 2-4 as a side dish

Ingredients and Method

4 large round ripe tomatoes – diced

1 medium size red onion – diced

1 large ripe avocado – diced

Juice of 1 and half limes

Generous handful of fresh coriander leaf and stalk – roughly chop

Generous amount of fresh ground black pepper

Sea salt – to taste, approx. 1/4 tsp

Sprinkle of brown sugar – to bring out flavours, approx.. 1/4 tsp

1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

Method: simply mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, adjust salt and sugar to taste, cover and leave at room temperature for at least 1hr for flavours to develop. Mix well again before serving.

Can be stored in an airtight refrigerated container for 1-2 days if you have any leftover.

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Prawn and Blue Swimming Crab Salad with Korean Chilli dressing

Salad with cold water prawns, chunks of blue swimming crab and a Korean style sesame and chilli dressing.

The summer season is finally here in Edinburgh after a long, cold, dark winter and with it comes salad season. I love nothing more than a good fresh salad on a warm summers day, in fact I have been dreaming about one all winter – there is something about a summer’s day that just says “salad”, or maybe its just me!

With this salad of cold water prawns, blue swimming crab meat, eggs, romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red chilli, yellow bell pepper and red onion, the twist comes with the dressing which transforms the salad to something really special. The dressing is made from sesame seeds, sesame oil, dark soy sauce, honey, vinegar and the essential Korean ingredient – gochujang chilli paste.

I always find it hard to put into words exactly how my food tastes, but one thing I can say for sure is that the dressing transforms an ordinary salad into a truly exotic and fun dish.

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Serves two as main dish or four as a starter

Ingredients and method

The salad

120-150g crab meat – I used blue swimming crab

125-150g cold water prawns – pre cooked, shell and head removed

1 romaine lettuce – wash, dry and roughly shred

4 large round tomatoes – cut into eighths 

10-15 cm cucumber – cut into medium thick slices

4 pre boiled eggs – see method

1 red onion – thinly slice

1 yellow bell pepper –  cut into small pieces or dice

1 large red chilli – thing slice, keep seeds in for spice (optional)

Method: To boil the eggs – bring a medium-sized sauce pan to the boil then carefully add the eggs one at a time into the water, take care not to drop them in too quickly or they will crack (remove and discard if they crack). Reduce heat so pan is gently boiling and cook for 10 minutes.

After this remove eggs and place them in a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking. Once cooled remove from water and set aside. To remove the shells take the egg and tap the egg against the worktop until it starts to crack, turn the egg and continue to tap so that you crack the egg all the way round (imagine a line round egg and follow it). Once you have cracked the egg all the way round the shell you should be able to gently pull the shell and membrane away from the egg.

Assemble the ingredients, layering them in a large salad bowl ready for the dressing.

For the Korean dressing

1 heaped dessert spoon gochujang chilli paste

1 dessert spoon dark soy sauce

1 dessert spoon clear honey

1 dessert spoon vinegar

1 heaped dessert spoon sesame seeds

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Method: Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well until combined. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 45-60 mins, to allow flavours to develop. Before serving mix well again, then drizzle over the salad, then mix well so it coats everything. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

 

 

Spiced Coriander, Lime and Chilli dressing

A spicy and zingy fat free salad dressing, perfect for adding a different flavour to your salad. Made from lime juice, chilli, coriander leaf, sugar, salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander and sweet smoked paprika.

Add a special flavour to your salad….

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Ingredients

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1.5 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 heaped dessert spoons brown sugar

Juice of 4 limes

1 large red chilli – remove stalks and seeds, very finely dice

3 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaf

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar and salt dissolve, cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavours to combine and develop. Drizzle sparingly over the salad of your choice.

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Tomato and Cucumber salad

A simple salad of tomatoes, red onions, romano peppers, herbs, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil

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Ingredients

3 plum tomatoes – sliced

2 small red onions – sliced

10cm cucumber – sliced

1 red romano pepper – diced

10 fresh basil leafs – bruised, chopped

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle of good quality olive oil

Method: layer the tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and romano peppers in a flat serving plate or casserole dish. Season with a little salt and pepper then add the herbs. Finish by drizzling a little olive oil over the salad, this will help bring out the flavours. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving, during this time the flavours will intensify.

Korean Cucumber Salad with Sesame Dressing

A cucumber salad with spring onion, red onion, red chilli, herbs and a sesame dressing.

This salad is the perfect accompaniment to any Korean dish, especially for people like me that love Korean food but don’t like kimchi. Adding some tofu, grilled chicken or prawns can transform this side dish into a great starter.

The salad is made from cucumber which is deseeded, peeled and cut into crescents. The cucumber is then dried on absorbent paper to remove any excess water and so it takes up the flavour from the dressing. Sliced red onion, red chilli, spring onions along with a mixture of mint and coriander make up the salad.

The dressing makes the salad come alive – it is made from dark soy, honey, vinegar, sesame seed, sesame oil and the magic ingredient gochujang.

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Serves two as a side dish or starter

Preparation time 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the salad:

15cm length of Cucumber – deseed, peel, cut into crescents

1 red bird eye chilli – thinly slice

4 spring onions – thinly sliced

1 red onion – slice into thin strips

Handful of fresh coriander leaf – roughly chopped

Handful of fresh mint leaf – bruise, thinly slice

Method: Dry the cucumber crescents on absorbent paper for a few minutes. Add the salad to a bowl and mix well with your hands. Set aside.

For the dressing:

1 dessert spoon Gochujang chilli paste

1 dessert spoon Dark soy sauce

1 dessert spoon clear honey

3 teaspoons vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Method: Mix the dressing well in a bowl until combined. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve. When serving drizzle over the salad then mix well with a spoon or your hands. serve and enjoy!

 

 This salad works well with my recipes below:

Korean King Prawn Chilli noodles

Korean beef skewers

Korean crispy Sesame chicken with fried chilli noodles

 

Grilled steak rice salad with spiced coriander dressing

One day I hope to recover enough from my accident to open my own restaurant, this will defiantly be on the menu – its that tasty!

This recipe is extremely healthy as well as being super tasty. A selection of salad ingredients are seasoned then combined with cooked brown rice. The steak is marinated in my signature steak marinade, grilled then rested before being sliced on the diagonal and placed on top of a bed of the rice. A wonderful spiced coriander dressing is then made and drizzled over the top to complete the dish. It sounds simple however the combination of textures and flavours make this dish a real winner.

The best thing about this dish is that it is colourful, fresh, flavourful and satisfying yet it is extremely good for you.

 

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Grilled beef rice salad

This recipe is for two people

20 minutes preparation (plus 2hr marinading time)

25 minutes cooking

Method and ingredients

For steaks:

2 rump or sirloin steaks (thinner cuts work best)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Worcester sauce

Teaspoon salt

Half teaspoon ground black pepper

Put all ingredients in a food bag, tie securely, then massage beef for 1 minute to ensure a good covering. Put in fridge for 90 minutes then remove 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.

To Cook the steaks: cook over a high heat to medium rare, rest then slice on the diagonal into thin strips. Make sure you collect all the juices and drizzle over the final dish.

For the rice:

140g brown rice – cook in lightly salted water, drain then put on a plate to cool

small red onion – diced

40-50g sweetcorn – drain on absorbent paper

1 red Romano pepper – diced

1 beef tomato – core removed, cut into chunks, drain on absorbent paper

10cm cucumber – seeds removed, cut into crescents then half, drain on absorbent paper

1 large avocado – diced (do last to avoid browning)

2 spring onions – thinly sliced on diagonal

1 large hot red chilli – very thinly sliced (as thin as you can!)

Half teaspoon salt

Half teaspoon brown sugar

Quarter teaspoon black pepper

Place all the chopped vegetables in large glass bowl, along with the salt, sugar and black pepper. Use your hands to mix well. Once the rice has cooled, tip in and mix gently.

For the spiced coriander lime dressing:

Half teaspoon ground coriander

Half teaspoon paprika

Three Quarters teaspoon ground cumin

Juice of two limes

Heaped desert spoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaf

Half teaspoon salt

Quarter teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl first add the spices, then lime juice and stir well until combined. Next add the sugar, salt and pepper, stir well until they have dissolved then leave for 5 minutes. Next add the coriander and stir well for 2-3 minutes. Taste test the dressing, add extra seasoning or a little extra sugar if required. Ensure you give it another good stir just before serving.

Assembling final dish: Place a bed of the rice salad mixture on the plate. Place strips of steak on top the drizzle their juices on top. To complete use a spoon to drizzle the dressing over the dish. Serve and enjoy!

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Grilled beef rice salad