Tag Archives: smoked fish

PICNIC FOOD – Potato salad with smoked fish, asparagus and green beans

Coronavirus Restrictions have eased in Melbourne recently and with it comes the freedom to see friends by having picnics. It sure beats Zoom.

Easy and transportable food include smallgoods, smoked fish, cheeses , good bread, and as always vegetables –  made with  raw or cooked vegetables.I have made the occasional frittata, either with  zucchini or asparagus (in season ) and asparagus with homemade mayonnaise or sautéed with capers. Dips and spreads are also convenient – beetroot is always a favourite. All easy stuff!

What is good about picnics is that the  friends also bring food and a simple picnic turns into a feast. There have been hot quiches and Spanakopita, Pâtés and fresh fruit.

THis is a version of a salad  I used to make many years ago when I lived in Adelaide with  laschinken a dry-cured, cold-smoked pork loin. The butchers in the Barossa Valley where many of the settlers  were German or of German origin. I was also able to purchase it at the Adelaide Market. It is interesting how foods made in the long distant past resurface.

The following is a simple salad I made with smoked fish –  hot smoked, cold smoked, gravlax or fresh cooked fish.

Below, in the photo , you see the ingredients: salad greens (I used endives), cooked green beans and asparagus,  chunks of smoked fish, potatoes, spring onions, homemade mayonnaise, capers and herbs – I used parsley, tarragon and some of the light green tops of celery.

Slice the potatoes, the spring onions and chop the herbs.

Line the salad bowl or container with the green leaves and place the sliced potatoes on top.

Begin by distributing the herbs and spring onions and capers throughout the potato layer(s).

Insert the green beans and asparagus in between the potatoes and on top.  Lightly salt the ingredients (if you wish) and remembering that the mayonnaise and smoked fish both contain salt.

This is what I carried to the picnic. I took the mayonnaise and and the chunks of smoked fish separately .

Dress with the mayonnaise and place the chunks of fish on top when  ready to eat it.

There are many types of fish  that have been smoked and you do not have to use Atlantic Salmon and Ocean Trout.  The most commercially available smoked fish in Australia is from Tasmania and I am not a great fan of fish farmed in sea cages.  Imported farmed Atlantic Salmon and Ocean Trout is available in Australia. For more information on imported product, look for country of origin labelled on the packaging and refer to seafood guides produced in that country.

Rainbow trout is caught in rivers, dams and lakes (land based) and is sustainable.

For other recipes:

Frittata:

ALL ABOUT MAKING FRITTATA and Podcast with Maria Liberati

FRITTATA: SAUSAGE and RICOTTA

ASPARAGI DI BOSCO and FRITTATINA (Wild Asparagus continued, and Frittata)

I

With Mayonnaise:

CHICKEN LAYERED WITH A TUNA AND EGG MAYONNAISE ; A cold Chicken dish

YEARNING FOR VITELLO TONNATO

ITALIAN RUSSIAN SALAD, no beetroot

FRITELLE DI ZUCCHINE (ZUCCHINI FRITTERS with smoked fish)

Versions of  vegetable fritters are found all over The Middle East, Greece and in Southern Italy and I have made different versions of these zucchini to take to different friends’ places on different occasions – they have come in very handy lately as starters with drinks over the silly, festive season. They are simple to make, transportable and you can alter the taste by using different herbs, accompaniments or dipping sauces.

photo-e1401522466503-448x600

I usually add cheese and have used crumbled feta or grated pecorino or for a milder taste, ricotta. I fry my fritters in extra virgin olive oil or a mixture of butter and extra virgin olive oil but you can also bake them: place small moulds on a baking tray covered with baking paper and oiled at 200C for 10-15 minutes.

I topped these with slices of ocean trout (gravlax, cured with sugar, salt, vodka, lemon zest).

The sauce I chose to accompany the fritters was made with 1 cup sour cream and 1 teaspoon of each: French mustard, white wine vinegar, fresh chopped dill (or crushed dill seeds) and a ¼ tsp of sugar.

If not using a dipping sauce or topping them with smoked fish, I like to accompany them with anchovies (either white anchovies or packed in oil). I drain the anchovies well and then marinate them in extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley, grated lemon peel, black pepper and chopped spring onion. These can be made days ahead and kept in the fridge; they are good to eat with fresh bread as well.

500 g small- medium zucchini
salt (not too much) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
extra virgin olive oil for frying
1 spring onion finely chopped
2 tbsp of one herb cut finely: mint, oregano, fennel fronds, parsley, dill, marjoram or coriander
100g of feta or grated pecorino or ricotta (drained if using the tub variety)

4 tablespoons of plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder

Grate the zucchini, add a little salt and leave to drain in a colander for at least 30 minutes. Squeeze out any residual moisture; the quantity will shrink to about half the original.
Combine everything together. The mixture should resemble a smooth batter.
Heat the oil and slide heaped tablespoons of zucchini batter in the hot oil. Flatten them with a spatula but only cook a few per time – turn them only once and drain on paper.
 smoked salmon
A version of this recipe can be found in my second book, Small Fishy Bites.