Easy Tapas Recipe: Russian Salad

Discovering Tapas

In considering my first experience with this easy tapas recipe. I remember the first time I went to Spain. I had just finished my first year of university and had agreed to travel with friends, two of them Spanish, for a few weeks to the Costa Del Sol. We landed and were immediately whisked by the Spanish families to a back street restaurant where Tapas was the order of the day. Upon arrival we had an ice cold glass of beer as Olives were served to the tables. Then came the first dish, Russian Salad, a masterpiece in Spanish simplicity.

The Beginnings Of A Love Affair

I fell in love instantly, in love with the food, the culture, the people and eating Al Fresco. This boys eyes were opened to a world of food and a way of life that can be summed up in a single sun drenched word ‘Mediterranean’.

If this is the first time you have come across Russian salad, then welcome to a wonderful recipe. Russian salad is a simple, fun dish everyone should try at least once in their lives; then realise that its something they need to try again and again.

East Tapas Recipe
A Glorious Summer Dish

This easy tapas recipe will guide you step by step through the process of arranging and presenting the ingredients to make a magical dish; the wonderfully versatile Ensalada Rusa. 

This dish is a wonderful example of simple, summer food; the kind of meal that can breathe life into a BBQ or dinner party; an easy tapas recipe, for anyone, anywhere.

Russian salad is a wonderful tapas dish and lends itself well to cooking and eating outdoors.  It is also a staple dish in the fun cooking, or fun food category; a Spanish dish with a mediterranean flare.  

In this recipe, Russian salad is accompanied by a spatchcock chicken, beautifully seasoned and served alongside its cool salad counterpart for this recipe.

‘Me Gusto Mucho – I Loved It’

Step-By-Step – Easy Tapas Recipe

For a full recipe, or to check out our other dishes, please visit our website www.absolutefoody.com 

Step-By-Step Video Guide To Making Russian Salad

The Ingredients

Ingredients:

Russian Salad:

3 x Tins of Tuna 

1 x Pack of Sweet Peppers

Breadsticks

9 x New Potatoes 

1 x Large Tub Of Mayonnaise 

2 x Handfuls of Gherkins

6 x Medium Eggs (always free range) 

The above ingredients filled the bowl I had to mix and serve.  

Spatchcock Chicken:

1 x Medium Chicken

1 x Cup of garlic and herb seasoning (was made a few weeks ago out of leftover bits blended and dried).

Easy Tapas Recipe
A Match Made in Heaven – Spatchcock Chicken and Russian Salad

The Method

Put on some music you enjoy, something from your teenage years or something that evokes a sense of fun. Then proceed to gather all of the ingredients with a little spring in your stride.  If you are at a loss then I would put something on thats a Rhumba or Latin flavour to get you in the mood for the meal to come.  

Peel and slice the potatoes into quarters and add them to a pan of salted boiling water.  Make sure you use a pan with enough room for the eggs, to be added later; and enough water. Cook them for 20 minutes and during this time start to slice and dice the ingredients for the mix.

Chop the sweet peppers and the gherkins and add them to a bowl, open the tinned tuna and add the contents to another bowl and drizzle with the olive oil.

Spatchcock Chicken Tactics

If you have time I would move to the spatchcocking of the chicken, although ideally this can be done the night before to allow the seasoning flavours to soak into the skin and meat of the chicken.  

Turn the heat off of the pan and add the eggs covering the pan and leaving for 10 mins to allow the eggs to hard boil.  If you need to add extra water to the pan leave the heat on for 5 minutes and then cover and turn heat off.

Once the potatoes and eggs are cooked, drain the hot water and replace with cold.  Do this a few times if needed, to cool the contents quicker so they can be added to the mix. 

Then peel the eggs, and slice in half ready to be added at the very end of the dish for decorative and flavour effect.

Mix the potatoes in a bowl with three quarters of the peppers and gherkins.  Mix the contents well and then add the tuna.  Add half of a tub of mayo to the mix and gently stir into the contents.  

Add the remaining peppers and gherkins to the mix and then add another few heaped tablespoons of mayo. This part of the recipe depends on the size of the bowl.  The end product should be a nice smooth consistency, full of the beautiful ingredients.  Then add the eggs, with the yolks facing up, press the eggs into the mix so that the colours add to the presentation as well as the flavour.

Serve with crusty bread and a nice glass of chilled white wine.

More Like This

For more recipes like this please visit our home page for other great recipes. Or if, fun outdoor cooking is your thing then click here for another outstanding recipe.

Simple French Cooking At Home – Pork Français

A recipe and easy to follow guide to help you recreate some simple French cooking at home.

This dish is a reflection of the simplicity of French cooking, a step-by-step guide to making a memorable and high quality dish at home. Therefore, whatever your cooking standard, this one pan dish will have your guests purring at your prowess in the kitchen; or outdoors on a beautiful summer evening; purely because cooking should be varied and above all…fun.

This meal is simple French cooking at its best, a one pan dish easily re-created at home, so you spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying.

Last summer, myself and my now wife Jodi, spent a few weeks driving from the North to the South of France.  Purely because we were in search of culinary adventure, for simple French cooking ideas, because we want to create at home and share. This trip was a complete justification for how France handles its food and wine.  Both are a national obsession and its hard to find a sub-standard meal and glass of wine anywhere; not that we tried.

Wonderful French Food

Simple French Cooking at Home
A wonderful dish in the pan ready to serve.

When we arrived in the South of France, late in the evening, weary from hours on the road; we made a bee-line for a beach side restaurant and ordered two of the specials on the little chalk board menu brought to all diners.  This dish was simply called Porc Spècial, or Special Pork; a dish I have reworked slightly given that we are in the English Riviera at the moment.  When cooking, I really want to use local ingredients when cooking because it boosts the local economy and helps producers hugely. In this case, I have replaced white wine for cider and button mushrooms for chestnut.  In honour of this dish, holding a special memory as a first meal of a destination often can, we have named this dish Pork Français.

As the meal was served in an efficiently nonchalant French style, I was blown away by the colours on the plate. Upon eating, I was impressed by array of flavours, the simplicity of the meal and it therefore inspired a search for recipes of the same stature, the same level of taste and simplicity; the very inspiration behind this blog.

Simple French Cooking At home

For a step-by-step video guide, to help you recreate this simple French cooking recipe at home (and for many more recipes), please visit our Absolute Foody You Tube Channel. Or click on the content below to see this meal being made.

A step-by-step guide to making this dish and some simple French cooking at home

Pork Français – The Ingredients for this simple French dish

1 x Large handful of Almonds

2 x Pork Steaks or thick cut Pork Chops

Tip – To make this meal serve 4, double the amount of meat and serve with a side dish

2 x Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 And a 1/2 large Onion(s)

6 x Chestnut mushrooms

2 x Generous knobs of butter (salted)

5 x Cloves of Garlic 

2 x Pink Lady Apples

200ml of Scrumpy Cider (or use what you can get)

150ml Extra thick cream

Simple French Cooking At Home
This is an incredible one pan dish that will have you falling in love with food again; simple French Cooking at home.

Pork Français – The Method

  1. To make this dish dice the onions, garlic, mushrooms and break up the almonds into smaller pieces. 
  2. Toast the almonds on a dry hot pan (medium heat) and toast until brown and fragrant; taking care not to burn.
  3. Remove the almonds from the heat and return the pan to the flame, cranking up to a high heat.
  4. Then add the oil and fry the pork for 4 minutes each side until golden brown and set aside.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add the butter, allow to melt into foaming deliciousness, adding the onions and garlic.
  6. Fry onions and garlic until softened then add the mushrooms, frying for a few minutes until softened.
  7. Then add the cider and bring to the simmer, cranking the heat up if needed. Slice the apples while the cider is heating up.
  8. Add the apples for a few minutes and then gently stir in the cream, enjoying the luxury of the sauce as it starts to thicken and come together.
  9. Add the pork to the pan and season well with pepper and a little salt (low sodium 👍)
  10. Turn the meat and cook in the bubbling sauce for a couple more minutes and bring the bubbling pan to the table and serve.
  11. Serve with fresh crusty bread, use it to mop up the delicious creamy sauce.
  12. Add s side of green vegetables if you want to bulk the meal up – Asparagus goes very well with this dish, use some of the almonds and a little lemon and you will have a great side to serve up.
Simple French Cooking at Home
All you need is a single pan for this simple French style cooking dish.

This is an amazing example of what can be achieved with one pan and some simple ingredients.

Bon Apetit!

More One Pan Dishes

For another one pan dish idea please Click Here for an incredible Paella recipe.

Paella – The Undisputed Champion of One Pan Dishes

The experience of being in Spain, above all, inspired my love of food.

Absolute Foody

I have always been a fan of Spanish cuisine, the staple dishes of which are often built upon good, simple ingredients; but also scalability. The pressing need to feed a large family with what’s in the cupboard, is essentially the basis behind Paella, and many other Mediterranean masterpieces.

When I was in university, I was privileged to have spent a couple of summers in Spain. Living with a family where quality time together, was as highly valued as quality food. I would spend weeks with them and scarcely ate the same meal twice. Food preparation was effortless as magical scents permeated the house. Spending warm summers evenings dining outside is something I want to pass to my family, not just as a lifestyle but as a way of us spending quality time together.

I love the idea of dishes like Paella, one simmering pan feeding a family or group of friends. Served with Some crusty bread and some good wine. What could be better on a summers evening.

The colours and scents of a dish of simmering Paella is such a treat to the senses

This experience of being in Spain, above all, inspired my love of food. In tribute to Francesca (or Pacqui), this dish is my take on Paella – not made with specific scientific measurements, or fancy gadgets, but made with heart and soul…enjoy.

To view this recipe being made, please check out our vlog – Paella Francesca (Serves 4)

Ingredients

2 x Tablespoons of Olive Oil

3 x Small Onions Chopped

8 x Large Prawns (shells on)

Parsley (good hand full)

Chorizo (400g)

Paella Rice (300g) or Risotto Rice

2 x Tablespoons (level) of Smoked Paprika

1 x Saffron (I normally use a whole container)

Chicken Stock (900ml)

1 x Red Pepper

2 x Chicken Breasts

1 x Lemon (Quarter to Serve)

Seafood Mix (400g)

Green Beans, Or Peas (300g)

The Method

Add the oil to a large pan and bring to a medium heat. Dice the chicken, garlic and onions and slice the chorizo. Add to the heat and closely fry to soften and reduce the onions and garlic. You should see the chorizo begin to sizzle lightly and the chicken.

Then dice the red pepper and roughly chop the parsley adding to the pan with the green beans. I find this mix balances the sharpness of the chorizo and helps set of a colourful mix; pleasing to all the senses.

Gently fry the mix while making the chicken stock and add the saffron to the stock and allow to infuse while you add the rice to the pan and mix well with the other ingredients. Add the seafood mix but not the prawns.

Add 3/4 of the stock to the pan and again mix well. The aim here is to create a velvety thick sauce while cooking the rice and ensuring the meat is cooked perfectly and retains moisture. When the sauce is beginning to run dry add more of the stock until the rice is cooked. Then add the prawns and cook until pink.

Then you are ready to serve with a sprig of any leftover parsley and a couple of lemon quarters. The rule I was taught is to squeeze the first quarter lemon over the first half and the 2nd quarter lemon over the 2nd half. Adding the citrus to the meal makes the flavours come alive beautifully.

We had this with an ice cold beer and rustic Garlic bread.

Me Gusto Mucho